This year, the Portsmouth Pride Youth After Party will be getting an upgrade courtesy of Somersworth’s cafe-turned-conversation-start
The free party, titled the ‘After PRIDE Special’ and taking place at the United Methodist Church at 129 Miller Ave. in Portsmouth, will feature an adaptation of Teatotaller’s popular teen drag show, known as “After School Special.” The pride party will feature local teen starlets Raya Sunshine, Veronica T, Jesselyn Rose Viam, Arabella LeBessé, and Famine performing for a room of their peers after the day’s main celebrations at Strawbery Banke. The event, including music, snacks, and a bubble tea concessions booth from Teatotaller, will run from 7-10 p.m. All ages are welcome to come, though RSVPs are encouraged through the event page: www.seacoastoutright.org/ports
Known for it’s sober all-ages drag celebrations, Teatotaller was approached by Seacoast Outright to help take the youth after party to the next level. Teatotaller first made a name for itself in the LGBT community after Huffington Post Queer Voices featured them on the front page for a queer-friendly billboard erected in downtown Somersworth. “Since the billboard got attention we’ve been heralded as a hub of lgbt activity,” says general manager Palana Belken, “We had queer icons like James St. James and World of Wonder writing about us. It’s been inspiring to see a brand can build success on progressive, inclusive values. We also hope that original billboard will be on display at the party.”
Many of the teens performing have been avid followers of the popular VH1 TV show, Rupaul’s Drag Race. “RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on television for a decade,” noted Teatotaller owner Emmett Soldati. “The students that are performing this week were watching this show as young as six years old. When I was 6 years old I was watching Growing Pains.”
He continued, “It’s evident in how crafty, resourceful, and mature these kids are, that the show has had quite an impact.”
The ‘After School Special’ debuted in April to a room of screaming teens and has become a twice-a-month packed-house series. Hosted by Raya Sunshine, New Hampshire’s first drag-queen-crowned-prom-queen, the event is always all ages and free, but tipping the ‘Queenagers’ is highly recommended. The cafe will also continuing it’s popular Somersworth drag bingo series with a ‘Somo Pride Drag Bingo’ the following Thursday, June 28 at 7 p.m.
The After PRIDE Special is being held this Saturday, 6/23, 7-10 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 129 Miller Ave, Portsmouth, NH. The After School Special continues every first and third Friday (7/6, 7/20, 8/3, 8/17) at Teatotaller in Somersworth, 7 p.m.