Local Luminaries Light Up the Night at Legendary Children, a QTBIPOC Celebration

by Alex Garland

As the sun set over Elliott Bay, the pink and purple lights of the Seattle Art Museum’s Paccar Pavilion at Olympic Sculpture Park began to illuminate the stage for the seventh annual Legendary Children event, Seattle’s end-of-summer party celebrating queer, trans, black people , Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC) ballroom scene. With the event returning for the first time since the pandemic began, the crowd was eager and engaged as performers of all ages took the stage.

Drag queen Aleksa Manila stands on stage and addresses the crowd through a microphone while DJ Kween Kay$h stands behind her
Drag queen Aleksa Manila has hosted Legendary Children events in the past and reprized her role this year. In the background: DJ Kween Kay$h. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Hosted by emcee Aleksa Manila, the venue quickly filled with an adoring audience who showed their support loudly and financially, with folded bills raining down on the stage as the artists received tips. Public Health – Seattle and King County were also at the event, giving out free COVID-19 boosters and monkeypox vaccines.

That emerald spoke to two performers about what the event meant to them and what advice to give to younger artists.

Hot Pink Shade enters and leans back, her hair touching the floor
Actor Hot Pink Shade. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Hot Pink Shade is an artist in the Ballroom community who feels empowered to celebrate other Artists of Color at Legendary Children, “but at the same time, I can sit back and share my art, my hard work, and what I’ve done party to achieve legend status. It’s about coming together and being a family.”

Performer Hot Pink Shade performs on stage at Legendary Children
Hot Pink Shade dazzles the crowd. (Photo: Alex Garland)

When asked about their advice for young artists, they replied: “Follow your dreams, follow your heart. Don’t compromise who you are to be someone else. There will always be a cookie cutter. Stand out, do, be you.”

Kylie Mooncake's 007 dances at Legendary Children
Kylie Mooncake’s 007 dances at Legendary Children. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Mooncakes 007 has been with the SeaTac Ballroom community since its inception and thinks this night is special. “A lot of ballroom kids [don’t] We know we’ve got a ballroom scene out here, we can perform and collect a check, but it’s also a way to get a little exposure. Hopefully blacks and browns who come to this event know there’s a ballroom scene here if they want to be a part of it and they want to be involved. If not, then I hope they know it’s happening and that it’s going well and thriving as best we can.”

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When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, Mooncakes 007 says, “Be honest with yourself. That means stick to your boundaries. You don’t have to be an asshole. But keep those boundaries and know where you stand and what you stand for, and keep working toward those goals. Remember, at the end of the day, no matter how successful and rich and exalted you become, there was always a community that was there to support you before you were anything like that. So make sure you always give something back to him. Make sure you always honor it as best you can.”

Members of Coach Cosby's Cutting Up Dance Team perform, some standing with hands raised, others crouching and dancing
Coach Cosby’s Cutting Up Dance Team takes the stage. (Photo: Alex Garland)
Legendary Children co-organizer Davida Ingram stands on stage with a microphone and addresses the crowd
Legendary Children co-organizer Davida Ingram addresses the crowd. (Photo: Alex Garland)
A crowd gathered at the Seattle Art Museum's Paccar Pavilion in Olympic Sculpture Park to watch the Legendary Children event
A crowd gathered at the Seattle Art Museum’s Paccar Pavilion in Olympic Sculpture Park to watch the Legendary Children event. (Photo: Alex Garland)
Seattle icon DJ Riz Rollins smiles for the camera, wears headphones and stands behind his mixer
Seattle icon DJ Riz Rollins keeps the party going. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Alex garland is a photojournalist and reporter. Keep following him Twitter.

📸 Featured Image: Drag performer Kylie Mooncakes 007 performing at Legendary Children on September 23rd. (Photo: Alex Garland)

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