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Meet the drag queens taking on the ultimate sewing challenge – making protective equipment for healthcare workers

Patrick Kelleher April 10, 2020
Drag queens face masks coronavirus

Gary Marion, who is making face masks in coronavirus lockdown

Drag queens who have been prevented from performing due to the coronavirus pandemic are now using their time to make face masks for healthcare workers.

Gary Marion, whose drag name is Sushi and is a star on the Florida Keys scene, started making protective face masks after he lost his drag work due to the pandemic.

He wanted to use his talents to do something positive – so, he started making face masks to help protect frontline healthcare workers.

The colourful face masks have already been sent to local government officials, hospice staff members, airline employees, workers at essential businesses and many others.

The drag troupe has made 2,500 face masks so far to help protect healthcare workers in the fight against coronavirus.

His drag troupe does not charge for the face masks, but they ask for a donation to help cover the cost of the fabric as well as provide aid for the drag queens until they can return to work.

So far, they have made around 2,500 face masks, and they have recently received an order for 500 more.

“We started making 100 masks a day and now we’re making 500 masks a day in two shifts, a morning shift and an evening shift,” Marion said.

They are now creating the masks 24-hours a day to meet the extraordinary demand brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

They are shipping the face masks across the world to protect frontline staff.

Marion is not new to sewing – he is the leader of a troupe of drag performers known as the 801 Girls, and he designs their stage outfits. He also makes his own outfits for his drag performances.

The face masks are being made out of colourful and eye-catching fabrics, and Marion said they are “the recommended CDC (Centers for Disease Control) mask”.

We started making 100 masks a day and now we’re making 500 masks a day in two shifts, a morning shift and an evening shift.

“There’s nothing special about them,” Marion said.

He also said he believes word is spreading quickly about their face mask because so many people know about a “shoe drop” routine he performs in drag every year on New Year’s Eve. For the performance, Sushi is lowered from a height in a giant red shoe.

Marion and his drag troupe are shipping the colourful face masks across the United States and the world.

 

More: 801 Girls, Coronavirus, COVID-19, face masks, Gary Marion, Sushi

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