Most of the event’s crowd arrived long before the 9 p.m. door time and many were inside before protesters gathered peacefully with their posters. They distributed fliers with Needle’s controversial “Heart You Nigger” autographed headshot on one side, and her list of offenses on the other.
At one point the group chanted “If you’re racist and you know it go inside,” to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Enakai Ciseaux and partner Maura Ciseaux met with Needles to ask for a public apology. Needles apologized to them personally, but did not promise to make a public apology.
After an opening number to selections from “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Alissa Brooks, Savannah Leigh, Envy Van Michael and other members of the Fantasy Girls cast performed before Needles took to the stage.
Dressed in black with a skeleton print across her chest, Needles began the performance in a closed casket. She raised a Bible (which she tore apart later in the number) and a sign that said “Art is dead.” For her music, she chose Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People.”
After emerging from the casket, she collected a fistful of tips from the crowd and uncovered a blender and a bottle of vodka sitting on a table. She mixed the vodka and money in the blender, drank from it, and spat it into the crowd gathered around the stage extension.
When given a microphone, Needles almost immediately addressed her meeting with the activists earlier in the day, saying, “That didn’t go so well.”
After noticing one of her acrylic nails had broken off, she said, “I don’t hate minorities, I hate it when I break a nail.”
Citing her attempts to start a dialogue with Atlanta’s LGBT community, Needles also donated $1,000 in cash and some of her tips to Lost-N-Found Youth, Inc., aa homeless LGBT youth transitional housing and assistance non-profit. Rick Westbrook, dressed as Sister Rapture Divine Cox, jumped on stage to receive the donations.
UPDATE: A national protest of Sharon Needles is being organized.
Top photo: Activists protest outside of RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Sharon Needles Jungle Atlanta performance (by Bo Shell)