North Texas Daily

Glitterbomb continues to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in the Denton community

Glitterbomb continues to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in the Denton community

Glitterbomb continues to celebrate  diversity and inclusivity in the Denton community
July 11
10:25 2019

Editor’s Note: Some sources asked to be identified by stage names only.

Beginning at 8 p.m. in downtown Denton, Andy’s Bar is transformed into a “queer variety show” that provides performers and fans an inclusive space to embrace and celebrate their true personalities. As the lights beam down on each performer, they get to embrace and showcase their artwork in front of fans in a welcoming and supportive environment.

Glitterbomb was founded in 2015 by Lilith Karen Grey and Chloe McDowell and at first, Grey was hesitant of bringing this type of show to Denton, according to The Dentonite. With the help of a friend, Grey realized if she could produce Tuesday Tease at Sue Ellen’s in Dallas, then she could bring a similar concept for everyone 18 and older.

Since Glitterbomb wanted to accommodate minors, former LGBTQ friendly bar and venue Mable Peabody’s added more security to help filter minors into the bar and compensate performers for each show. With Mable Peabody’s financial support and Grey’s production experience, Glitterbomb was able to take off and successfully curate its shows in Denton.

Burlesque performer, Vivienne Vermuth, performs as Connie the Hormone Monstress from Netflix series, Big Mouth during her Glitterbomb set at Andy’s Bar in Denton, Texas on June 27, 2019. Photo by Bertha Smith

“Much like how a church is, it’s not the building — it’s the people,” Glitterbomb photographer Sarah Lewis said. “I like to think Glitterbomb is the people, not the show.”

Lewis started working for Glitterbomb after she posted on Facebook about saving up for a new camera for her photography business, Saraphimart. When Mable Peabody’s closed in 2017, Glitterbomb relocated to Andy’s and Grey, who was already acquainted with Lewis through Glitterbomb, hired her to help out with the show and get the camera she needed.

“It’s neat seeing people grow as performers,” Lewis said. “ I wish there were more [new performers]. It’s the best feeling to watch someone’s first time on stage.”

Starting from a small staff to a full-on show with performers coming from everywhere in the LGBTQ community, Glitterbomb has grown in size and popularity over the years. The Bearded Queer, a 24-year-old Glitterbomb performer, said performing on stage is a “transcending experience.”

“[Glitterbomb] has always been a well-oiled machine and when something’s not broken, you don’t fix it,” The Bearded Queer said. “[It’s] such a professional production from start to finish that not much in that aspect has changed. Each show is unique as far as cast and themes go, so they’ve made it to where it’s very easy to stay fresh and relevant.”

The Bearded Queer’s first performance was on the Glitterbomb stage in October of 2015 at Mable Peabody’s. They took a break from the spotlight, but now perform regularly at Glitterbomb.

“All of my self doubt and anxiety melts away, and I’m able to fully live in this character I’ve created,” The Bearded Queer said. “I love being on stage and knowing that I’m able to bring some laughter into someone’s night makes all the pain, sweat and more sweat completely worth it.”

Not only does Glitterbomb welcome the LGBTQ community, but it welcomes people of every ethnicity, sexuality and race. Former UNT transfer student Beth Roberts said that LGBTQ spaces cater more towards white gay men rather than the community as a whole, but Glitterbomb expresses and pushes for the bigger picture.

“Glitterbomb has a wonderful black, queer, plus-sized female host and a variety of different acts that aren’t just white gay drag queens,” Roberts said. “I feel like it’s more accepting of the wider community and a nice change from the old systematic oppression.”

UNT education senior Cheyenne Drake said the show is a lot of fun and that she is glad that Glitterbomb is an accepting environment.

“I know a few people who are in the show and they all love being a part of it because it’s super empowering and about embracing the female body of shapes and where everyone can feel sexy,” Drake said.

Every Thursday, Glitterbomb puts on a show with a different theme. Tickets are seven dollars but make sure to get there early for a better chance to see the performances. The next show is on July 11 and the theme is “Hot Hot Hot.”

“Just by existing it is helping the queer community and providing a space for people to not only feel safe but to know that they are valid and loved,” The Bearded Queer said. “The production team is extremely vocal on bringing social issues to light and being sure that the community is aware of them and how we can all work together to solve them.”

Featured Image: The Glitterbomb production team and performers close out the show in Denton, Texas at Andy’s Bar on June 27, 2019. Photo by Bertha Smith

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Cydne Robinson

Cydne Robinson

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