A video has struck a chord with many living under stay-at-home orders, while also helping to raise money to benefit some of the most isolated.
It features 26 drag queens performing along to the classic song, ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
Originally performed by British singer Vera Lynn in 1943, the track became popular with soldiers, their sweethearts and families during World War II. It has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent weeks, as much of the world shelters in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The video is linked to a fundraiser for the British charity Age UK, which helps improve the lives of seniors.
“Older people have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” explains a statement on the fundraising page. “They are among those most at risk from the disease, already experience a disproportionate level of social isolation and may find it more difficult to adapt to communicating online.”
The project was the idea of the UK-based drag queen, Cheddar Gorgeous.
Participants in the video come from five different countries, including Peaches Christ and Hollow Eve from the US and Australia’s Courtney Act. Crystal and Blu Hydrangea from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK also appear.
“The song was floating around my consciousness,” Cheddar tells Queerty via a phonecall. “And then I heard it was Vera Lynn’s 103rd birthday.
“I’d been chatting to a couple of my friends who live in San Francisco, and Courtney [Act] was in LA. I said ‘I want to do this daft thing, are you up for it? And you can get some other people involved, too?’
“And so it started very much as me trying to find ways to connect with people who I’ve worked with, in the past. As drag queens, we are in a situation where our entire careers, our lives and the way we connect as artists, has been shut down by this crisis,” he said.
“Then it fed into another stream of what’s going on for me at the moment,” he continued, “which is I’ve been doing quite a lot of work with LGBT elders. Older people in our society struggle with making their needs visible. It’s very easy to brush the needs of older people under the carpet. And one of the things about drag: it has this power to draw attention to things that might not necessarily be being seen or recognized.”
At the time of writing, the fundraiser had just reached its £2,000 ($2,465) of its £2,500 ($3,080) target.
Cheddar says he’s currently alone during the lockdown, living in a tiny apartment in Manchester, England.
He says being alone has focussed him, like so many others, on getting used to the “the ebbs and flows” of his emotional states. However, he also recognizes, “how our discomfort forces us to think about things in new ways, do things in new ways, connect with people we weren’t connecting with before, so I think every discomfort in life is also an opportunity. I try to embrace that.”