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Drag queen bingo is always a night of fun and laughs, but an upcoming event at the Tap Room in Ypsilanti is going to a good cause as well. Boylesque Bingo & Drag is hosting a charity bingo event for April R. Austin, one of its best patrons who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“For Jadein Black’s Birthday Bingo, we are doing a bingo where all cover, all tips and any other money donated is going directly to our pal April R. Austin,” wrote event organizers. “This single mother of an autistic son is saving up money for her stem replacement surgery for her multiple sclerosis. This surgery is the only thing that can potentially prolong her life, and trust us when we say, we want this girl around for a long time!”
Attendees will play four games, see performances by queens and other local talents and all proceeds will go toward helping Austin. Bingo costs $25.
The host of the event is drag queen Jadein Black who is a teacher by day. The idea first came about when the two met through the school where they both teach and Black invited Austin to attend a Boylesque event.
“She went to Drag Queen Bingo that night and from then on out it sparked something in me and her,” Black said.
No stranger to fundraisers, Black has hosted numerous events through Boylesque to raise money for community groups, schools and more. She said she saw this as an ideal opportunity to help out a member of the community in need.
“I don’t usually do fundraisers for individual people, because then a lot of people ask to do them, too, but April’s story really hit my heart,” Black said. “Especially to know that I can be a big part of making a difference in her life.”
Austin said that meeting and working with Black has only helped to improve her quality in her life while she waits for treatment.
“She promised to help me and has helped me ever since and inspired me to help others as well,” Austin said. “People don’t realize that I live in isolation because I’m sick and I’m raising a child that has special needs, so when I go to some of these drag shows I feel safe. It’s a good time where I can laugh, I get out, I’m around people, and that helps me deal with my depression as well. … I appreciate that in my life right now.”
To find out more about Austin’s condition, the fundraiser and how to donate online visit gaybe.am/99. To reserve seats to this upcoming event email firstname.lastname@example.org.