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|After racism controversy, Sharon Needles to return to Atlanta for 'Miss Originality 2012'|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|July 17, 2012 09:15|
“RuPaul's Drag Race” winner Sharon Needles will return to Atlanta this November for the “Miss Originality 2012” fundraiser, although after her last visit, a more fitting name might be “Miss Controversial.”
Needles will judge a drag competition and will perform two numbers to raise funds for Lost-N-Found Youth and Pets Are Loving Support (PALS), organizers said today.
The Nov. 9 event is sponsored by Brushstrokes, David Magazine, Gayborhood, Boy Next Door and will be hosted by Jungle Nightclub.
Last year's “Miss Originality” fundraiser raised $2,700 for local charities, including Jerusalem House and PALS, according to a press release.
The press release makes no mention of the intense debate sparked by Needles’ last performance at Jungle, noting only that “she’s been lauded for a refreshing alternative ‘spooky’ aesthetic and self-deprecating humor.”
Needles prompted controversy during her last Atlanta visit when she was accused of making racist statements and using racist imagery in her shows around the country. Needles met with activists prior to her Atlanta performance, but the meeting broke down when she declined to offer the public apology that one critic wanted. Her packed show at Jungle later that evening was met by about 15 protesters.
The visit sparked heated conversations about race within the LGBT community and even divided the local chapter of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of drag nuns who raise funds and awareness, and are involved in the leadership and founding of Lost-N-Found Youth. One member was removed from the group after criticizing a leader for appearing on stage in costume with Needles to accept funds for Lost-N-Found — which will now benefit from Needles’ November appearance.
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