A Southern Drag Queen Performs In Blackface, Kicking Off A Small Town Firestorm

Since its 1978 release, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” has established itself as one of the quintessential gay anthems. Whether you are hearing it on a dance floor during a tea dance or watching a drag queen turn a look to it, it is one of those consistently amazing and familiar songs that we all know and love. A drag queen in Georgia though, recently put her definite “own” spin on it. 

Facebook user Bryan Timbs posted the following message on Facebook last night. According to his post, Douglasville Irish Bred Pub & Restaurant in Douglasville, Georgia allowed a drag performer by the name of Robin Springs (a caucasian man named Chris Hunt) to perform in full blackface and afro wig to the strains of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. According to the post, this performance was followed his drag mother Sandy Springs, who walked by a mutual acquaintance of the original poster and made a racial slur (which is stated in the post below).

The pictures below clearly show performer Robin Springs in both blackface and the black afro wig mentioned in the post. A picture of Springs showing her as clearly, a caucasian man, also in drag, is also below.

What makes this incident even more embarrassing for both the business that hosted it and the LGBT community in Georgia and otherwise is (brace yourselves): this was a competition and this performer won. A white man performing in blackface won a drag competition. In 2019. In the United States. 

Israel Holcombe, who’s husband was in attendance at this event. stated to me exclusively that he is “sorry that the beautiful queer parts of the South are being represented so poorly” and that his husband’s drag sister, Mavis Gary, who was also in attendance, directly heard Sandy Springs make the aforementioned racial remark. Holcombe, a regular at the establishment, wanted to make it clear that “the queer community outside of the perimeter doesn’t support this”.

Following the negative backlash that the promoter, the establishment and the Springs family received, performer Chris Hunt (who performed as Robin Springs) released this statement on Facebook last night;

What makes Hunt’s post above that much more shocking is the comments under the original post. Both patrons who were at the event or others who were not and state that they “know” the performer make a myriad of excuses for the behavior, and some even are blaming the public for daring to consider this behavior “racist”. 

While our the LGBT community & the amazing performers that make our community sparkle with the art of drag have helped us make great strides, we clearly have so much farther to go. The community of Douglasville, GA and the drag community as a whole both deserve better than to see behavior like this be both tolerated and celebrated. 

Requests for comment to both Sandy Springs and Robin Banks from me have not been answered as of press time 

All pics courtesy of Facebook

 

5 thoughts on “A Southern Drag Queen Performs In Blackface, Kicking Off A Small Town Firestorm”

  1. I just want to say I was not there that night but Sandy Springs is part of my family. In no way, shape or form is she racist. I am 100% sure her words have been twisted and taken out of context. I have known her for the majority of my life and stand by her. She is a giving, kind and loving person who puts everyone in front of her own needs. I find it completely impossible to believe that words they are saying she said came out of her mouth. Like I said I was not there but 100% believe Sandy Springs words were taken out of context. I do believe bitterness can make people say and do things in spite. In this situation I hope it not be the case because I also believe in karma. You reap what you sow.

  2. Black face goes back hundreds of years. Not the 1970’s. And anyone who doesn’t know that, especially people who should be socially aware are lying. There are LGBT people who are racist. Ignorance runs deep and runs ugly.

  3. I was there too. I noticed her makeup got significantly darker after her first number. I looked and kind of did a double take. The Lip Sync off should have been between Bella and Aniyah cuz they were the two best but the crowd kept chanting Robin, Robin,Robin and wouldn’t let the hosts get a word in edgewise. And from what I understand Baza-Fain has nothing to do with the Fabulous show. It’s Sandy and Ivanna’s show and Amber Divine and Divine Faces has nothing to do with the Fabulous show. Sandy is gone for making that unacceptable slur and Ivanna left because of it( good for her! 👍🏼)and the Fabulous show is no more.

  4. Blackface has not been tolerated by most folks since the early 1970’s. There is no way that this person can be that ignorant of what blackface means to people of color. I am a white Mississippi raised, born and bred woman that is 60 years old. I have known this is not acceptable since 8th grade!!!!

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