Like Oklahoma City Thunder fans and E.L. James, heavy-metal Pittsburgh-based drag queen Sharon Needles is having one hell of a summer. After winning the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and performing at Capital Pride in Washington D.C., Needles was honored in her hometown, as the Pittsburgh City Council declared June 12th, 2012 as Sharon Needles Day. Needles performed at the ceremony, reworking “Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to reflect Pittsburgh parlance (“Yinz guys look like you’re both pretty groovy.”).
Councilman Patrick Dowd praised Needles as a trailblazer and for her outspokenness over the bullying of LGBT youth. But perhaps the most touching response comes at the top of the comment thread of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story on Sharon Needles Day. Needles’ mother, Joan Coady, left the first comment: “…your family is so proud of everything you've accomplished! We can't wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for being a voice for those who are following in your footsteps! Love you, Mom.” Even if you’re not a fan of RPDR or of Needles’ work, you’ve got to love a mother who supports her kid in pursuit of the dream.
Not to overshadow this very special occasion for Ms. Needles, but the city has awarded a number of days to cultural entities, from ‘Google Day’(March 26th, 2010, as part of a strategy to lure the high-speed network), U2 360 World Tour Day (July 26th, 2011) and, back in 2010, through an initiative from councilman Bill Peduto, the city declared December 7th, 2010 Gregg Gillis Day, honoring one of its most popular musical native sons, party monster Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk. All we need now is for the ‘burgh to declare Wiz Khalifa Day.
Watch some highlights from this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Roll clips: