Christmas comes early at Sister Louisa’s

This December marks the second year that Taylor Alxndr has hosted the annual Holigay drag show at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium.

“The major inspiration [for the show] is the holidays,” Alxndr said in an email to The Signal. “But also everything that comes with them. Every year there’s a ‘War on Christmas.’ It pops up like clockwork, when it’s all just performative, capitalist hoopla. With drag, we’re always coming at things in more subversive ways.”

Alxndr is a prominent queer performance artist and musician in Atlanta, serving on the Atlanta Pride Committee and as head organizer for Southern Fried Queer Pride.

She started Amen in July of 2017 and acts as host and curator. Amen: The Holigay Show is part of the monthly drag show that takes place at Sister Louisa’s on the first Thursday of every month.

Dotte Com is a monthly performer at Amen and was also part of this year’s holiday drag show.

“This is a monthly show for me that I always do,” Dotte said. “Being visibly queer is a way of showing others that you are strong. That you can be who you are bravely and own it.”

In the subversive spirit of drag, Amen offered a queer twist on the traditional Christmas spectacular. According to the show’s event page on Facebook, “It’s that time of the year where Christians boycott Starbucks and some man enters your house with gifts – and we’re throwing a drag show all about it!”

The show is, in many ways, a response to conservative news outlets and the sensationalism of the War on Christmas. The politics surrounding a Christmas-themed drag show is not lost on self-titled “Trash Art Queen,” Paege Turner.

“Christmas is pretty traditional and Christian at its core,” Turner said. “Drag is the exact opposite. It’s loud and gay and questions societal norms. Drag, good or bad, is inherently political because gender is, and our existences as queer and trans folks are.”

Paege Turner is the creator of Hussy and a regular at Amen. Described as “a variety show for Weirdos,” Hussy puts on productions throughout the year. Turner also told The Signal that they love working with Taylor and will continue to be a part of Amen.

Good news for those who would like to make drag a part of their Christmas tradition: It looks like Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium will continue to house the monthly drag show into the foreseeable future.

“We’ve been doing this drag show now for more than a year,” Henry Grant, a.k.a “Sister Louisa,” said. “It seems that Taylor loves the space upstairs. Until it doesn’t work out for Taylor, or I with our parishioners and staff, [Sister Louisa’s] will continue to host the monthly Amen show.”

This is also good news for regular performers, like Dotte Com.

“I’m totally going to be in every one of these shows as much as I can,” Corn said. “I love doing this show. It’s really great to be able to bring something to a community monthly. Especially since Amen has an audience that isn’t always queer. So it’s great to be able to bring our talent and our identities and our existence into their eyes and have them be able to see what we do and what we’re made of.”

Paege Turner also had a wonderful time being a part of The Holigay Show this year.

“It was amazing,” Turner said. “Everybody brought their A game and the show was completely packed.”

Amen takes place in a small, intimate space. It is an event that promises great drinks, entertainment and welcomes people from all walks of life.

“I’d love for anyone at Fox News to come to our show,” Alxndr said. “That would be a hoot.”

Sister Louisa’s Church is less than a mile from Georgia State on the corner of Edgewood Ave. and Boulevard. This art gallery and bar offers weekly ping pong tournaments, tarot readings, and church organ karaoke. Founder Henry Grant first opened the doors in 2010 after a long-time stint as a bartender and it has since become a local institution.

For those interested in attending other holiday-themed drag shows throughout the month of December, Taylor Alxndr will be hosting The Winter Motherland Drag Show at Mother on Dec. 14. This event will feature DJ Jsport and a Misfit Toys-inspired theme.

Alxndr will also be hosting the Nightmares B4 Christmas drag show at 529 on Dec. 21, which will feature a costume competition as well as performances by Dotte Com and others, and the New Year, Who Dis? New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Bakery on Dec. 31.