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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Bend’s vibrant drag scene

While Bend may seem more like a modern town, the local drag scene in the city provides flair and edge – otherwise unknown by celebrating individuality, uniqueness and creating a sense of family for everyone involved.

Although many drag companies are operating in Bend, one of the more widely known companies is the Cult of Tuck, founded in 2018 by the late drag queen Deb Auchery.

The Cult of Tuck is a drag group comprising around 12 official members, with several other drag performers involved as “drag babies” and guest artists and performers at their shows.

The Cult of Tuck embraces that not all drag artists are glamor queens. While they have their fair share of glam artists, they also have alternative, goth, and non-human personas. They’ve been described as a punk group of drag kings, queens and everything in between.

Jade Robinson has been part of the local drag community since she was around 18 years old. She started with the drag group Queens of the High Desert doing kid-friendly and Disney-themed shows.

She said she and the other drag performers wanted to do their own thing and become more political and raunchy with their art.

Robinson has been a member of the Cult of Tuck since she was around 20 years old, and she could expand on her drag persona in the way she wants. Her name on stage is Jade the Vixen.

“She’s a little bit dark, she’s a little bit twisted,” Robinson said, referring about her stage persona

“One of my favorite characters is Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time, and I always want to give her vibe.”

Robinson said being in this community with like-minded individuals who also view gender as performance has been amazing for her. She said drag is a very transformative art form, and it’s allowed her to discover herself and a family she feels grateful for.

Other Cult of Tuck member Kimi Jo Randolph also expresses gratitude for the family aspect of the troupe.

“We’re not in this family because we fit a certain sleeve, we’re in this family because we do not fit a sleeve,” Randolph said.

Randolph is relatively new to the drag scene, her first show being in October of 2021. She said drag has always been a part of her, but that she didn’t feel right stepping into it.

Drag has historically been an art form reserved for gay cisgender men, and Randolph expressed hesitancy in stepping into the field because she felt like she wouldn’t belong.

Randolph said pushing past that fear and joining the drag scene was the best thing she ever could’ve done. She identifies her drag persona as an alternative horror goth queen, performing under the name Lady Lilith Livewire.

Although being featured as a guest artist in past shows, Randolph is a new member of the Cult of Tuck, only just being inducted at their Halloween show on October 27th. She’d been very close friends with several members of the Cult of Tuck for years, being as close as attending their friend and family events. Randolph said that becoming an official member of this family meant so much to her.

“It was absolutely humbling, it was validation. I knew that what I was doing was right and okay, and the imposter syndrome faded more than it ever had,” Randolph said.

Shows put on by The Cult of Tuck take around two months to plan, and they consist of a theme for the night, sometimes revolving around a holiday. The show then gets named, usually to the theme. Drag performers then lip-sync to songs they resonate with as artists, or they’ll sing either popular songs or their original songs. Drag nights are made to just have fun for guests and performers alike.

“It’s kind of like a giant family reunion in the green room because we’re all so busy with our normal chaotic lives that realistically, the most time we spend together is at these shows,” Randolph said.

The art of drag can bring people of all backgrounds together to celebrate individuality, freedom, and expression; many things not a lot of people have the privilege of getting from their biological families.

Found family is a concept that is very important to many LGBTQIA+ individuals, and The Cult of Tuck has created a welcoming familial community for many people across Central Oregon.

Lady Lilith Livewire (Peter Brown)
Jade The Vixen (Peter Brown)
Jade The Vixen (Peter Brown )
Peter Brown
Lady Lilith Livewire (Peter Brown )
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About the Contributor
Parker García, Staff reporter
Parker García is a staff writer who began working for The Broadside in 2023 to pursue their long-term interest in journalism.

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