Early on the morning of Thursday, April 13, Sparkle Leigh—cartoon drag goddess extraordinaire—was hit by a car after leaving her regular gig at R Place. (The driver sped away afterwards but was quickly apprehended by SPD.) Sparkle sustained several injuries and spent a day-and-a-half in the hospital. As these injuries tend to go, Sparkle was rushed back to the hospital twice after being released for further inspection, and also underwent emergency dental work.
From the GoFundMe set up for Sparkle:
“She has now been released from the hospital and is resting to try to make a speedy recovery, but the medical costs she has incurred leave a cloud over her. The doctors have estimated the costs of everything thus far at $15,000-$20,000 and there is possibly more to come.”
That amount of money is steep for anyone, but it's especially rough for those who embark on the sacrosanct career path of drag queening, which
doesn't typically never includes health insurance. (If you thought there was some magical drag queen union that offers benefits to full-time performers, well... then you’re as delusional as this tweet.) Even though she's a career queen, Sparkle's gigs don't include sick leave, meaning she's losing wages while trying to recover (which could take two to three weeks).
As of today, the GoFundMe page set up for Sparkle has raised roughly half of its $15k goal, and while $7.5k is an impressive amount—and reflective of Seattle’s supportive drag community—Leigh needs help from outside her immediate community to reach $15k. Remember, y'all, drag queens are an integral part of a healthy city nightlife. By supporting drag queens, we support local businesses (and the proliferation of neon wigs).
"Sparkle Leigh’s primary interest in any show we’ve produced has always been community involvement," Sparkle's sister in the Haus of Glitterbeast, Butch Alice, commented. "It’s amazing seeing the community respond the exact same way, sharing the fundraiser and donating so readily to someone who would do the exact same."
And Sparkle seems to be keeping her spirits up despite the setback: "I'm just very happy to still be here. Sadly, it seems it might be more of a lengthy process to get back to 100 percent, but one VW can't keep me down! I'm honestly moved to tears when I think about how I owe my recovery (and very much my life) to a handful of Family, as well as the immediate response from the community response. We rally and we gather and we make the fire bright again."
So Seattle—let's rally and gather and make that fire bright again. Donate to the cause at Sparkle's GoFundMe page.