How A Star Trek Drag Show Is Helping The Homeless In Oklahoma


In early December, a troupe of Oklahoma City Star Trek fans came together to celebrate their fandom in the name of a worthy cause. A local bar called Frankie’s presented a Star Trek-themed drag show hosted by performer Busty Springfield. Titled “EnGAYge: A Star Trek Drag Show,” the event was the first of its kind in Oklahoma City.

Throughout the evening, a total of 13 drag artists presented their acts in the hope of raising money for  Sisu Youth Services, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless youth in the area, particularly those who have found themselves unhoused as a result of their LGBTQ identity.

EnGAYge Event Poster

EnGAYge: A Star Trek Drag Show took place in Oklahoma City on December 3, 2023

EnGAYge brought out Oklahoma City’s Trekkies

The support offered by the Star Trek community resonated with Frankie’s, the venue that sponsored and hosted the drag show. In the words of owning partner Tracy Harris, “I love Star Trek. It’ll be fun. And it’s for a good cause. So, yeah, we were in.” While Harris is a longtime fan of the show and speaks openly of her fondness for it, her partner Ann Rena noted how many Trek fans quietly support the show and each other. “I was surprised at the people that I see on a regular basis and had no idea they were superfans.” It was this sense of Star Trek community that Busty Springfield was counting on to raise money for Sisu with a charity benefit.

Drag Performer as Lwaxana Troi

Lwaxana Troi as a drag icon

Inspired by “The Outcast”

Regardless of whether the people in attendance had been fans for decades or were just getting their first dose of Trek that evening, Busty was counting on the themes of identity and self-exploration to compel the audience to use their fandom to support LGBTQ youth who had found themselves in need at a very vulnerable point in their lives. Her time in the fandom convinced her that Star Trek’s message of tolerance and personal growth made the ideal theme for her show and its charity goal. There was a very specific TNG episode that really affected Busty, and for her was an example of Star Trek at its best:

“I remember the first time I watched the episode, “The Outcast.” I saw one episode which really spoke to me as a queer nonbinary person, because I was like, this person, who we’ve never seen before is going through these motions of trying to communicate how they feel about their identity to another person in a way that they can hopefully understand, and has to go through that tribulation of worrying whether or not they’re going to be accepted by the people around them for it. And as someone in my late 20s now, who’s kind of been through some of that journey, and still going through a lot of that journey, it’s very validating to actually see that played out on screen and relate to everything that I’m hearing.”

A Drag Performer as @

Even Judge Q feels very nonjudgmental at EnGAYge

“Star Trek spoke to me”

Busty Springfield is an accomplished drag performer, having started in the UK before moving to Oklahoma. While she has done drag for over a decade, she only came into the Star Trek fandom in the last two years. Since then, she has been on a mission to catch up on the many vintage Trek shows and has a particular love for Deep Space Nine. After discovering Trek in August of 2022, she says she took to it “like a duck to water.” In an interview with TrekMovie, Busty recalls the journey from newcomer to devoted fan:

“I was like, this is one of the most incredible shows I have ever seen. Like, it’s not often I find a piece of media that speaks to me. But Star Trek spoke to me and I liked the kinds of difficult topics that they take on in these episodes. And the way that they construct life lessons of these morality plays in a way that doesn’t feel preachy, but still very obviously important and clear, told through a way that’s exciting. It’s like amazing sci-fi adventures. Like, why would anybody not find that interesting?”

Busty Springfield as Kira Nerys

Busty Springfield as Kira Nerys

With strong interests in both Star Trek and drag, Busty felt a desire to combine the two. She felt the show already lent itself to drag concepts with its strong female representation and noted support and popularity within the LGBTQ audience, so all she had to do was decide how it would happen:

“I think what it was, was the fact that as I was watching Star Trek, I kept seeing so much of myself out of drag and myself in drag through all of these characters. I remember, you know, I would flip and say, oh, Tasha Yar so much like me as Busty Springfield, or like, Major Kira does too… Oh, so does Seven of Nine a little bit. These curvaceous boss ass female role models that bear such a strong resemblance to me aesthetically as a drag character, but a resemblance to me, psychologically outside of the character. So it just kind of made sense for me to kind of bring Star Trek into what I do as a drag queen. And then I also realize just how much popularity Star Trek has amongst queer people and amongst other drag performers that I knew around me, I started noticing that about, you know, towards the beginning of this year, so I was like, why not combine the two? There’s clearly a high demand for this.”

Busty Springfield as Seven of Nine

Busty Springfield as Seven of Nine

Funds raised help charity respond to emergency needs

Sisu, the agency that benefited from EnGAYge, is a drop-in center and emergency youth shelter for the “actively homeless or unstably housed” LGBTQ community. The agency also provides resources to connect clients with education, employment, and short-term housing. “The more grassroots fundraising efforts, like the one Busty put on, those are really great as sort of unrestricted funds, to be able to handle emergencies as they come up,” explained Sisu president Dennis Rudasill. According to Rudasill, while the bulk of the agency’s programs are paid for through grants, those grants are strictly controlled and do not allow a great deal of customizing services to individual client needs. Money gained through donations gives Sisu the ability to respond directly to someone’s specific circumstances. “One example might be emergency rent. Maybe we have a client that comes to the drop-in center and they say ‘My rent is due tomorrow, and if I don’t pay the rent, then I’m going to get evicted.’ If we have an emergency fund… we can use this as emergency rental assistance.”

At the end of the evening, a total donation of over $1,100 was raised by the crowd, while more continued to come in through online contributions. The evening was successful enough that future Star Trek-themed events are being considered.

Cast Photo for EnGAYge

The performers enjoy enthusiastic applause and a few Vulcan salutes.


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I’m happily encouraged that this can happen still in today’s environment in a deeply red state like OK (I know the wack FL governor is attacking the drag community with severe restrictions).

Congrats to the great efforts of all involved! 100% stand by you!

I hope they come down and see us in Florida. Looks like a blast.

Yeah, I’d be down.

So much fun! I hope they tour. Living up to the ideals of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

Wow! This looks amaaaazing. Please come to Minneapolis!

A US tour would be delightful.

I think it’s a shame that TNG and DS9 especially weren’t as forward thinking as they could have been. I remember Gene Roddenberry admitting in 1991 that he had been homophobic. Its a real shame that Blood and Fire never got made.

I still don’t think the Blood and Fire script was very good, but as an inclusive statement it would have been a huge step. Ditto casting a man as Riker’s love interest in The Outcast. It’s great we got Rejoined, but that strikes me as being because Berman was, shall we say, intrigued by bisexual women more than he was by bi or gay men.

I agree. I had the opportunity to read the “Blood and Fire” script about twenty years ago and wasn’t all that impressed. It was eventually made into a “New Voyages” episode directed by author David Gerrold himself, and even allowing that it’s fan-produced it’s obviously inferior to much of TNG’s output once it hit its stride, “The Outcast” included.

For breaking ground casting a man as Riker’s love interest would have been a thing, but it wouldn’t make sense for the character who wasn’t shown as remotely bisexual IMHO. Riker seemed rabidly heterosexual like James T. Kirk. It makes more sense from what we saw of Riker that if he were attracted to a genderless species he’d be attracted to one that had subtle female attributes.

If they really wanted to break ground I think they would have needed to use another character were it wouldn’t have seemed so out of character.

Having such a man’s man-type character fall for a character played by a male actor (could be one who presents with more feminine characteristics/mannerisms to your point) would have been quite a positive development though.

Just to add, Jonathan Frakes stated in later interviews that he would have been totally up for playing opposite a male love interest, should the producers have chosen to go that way.

Great respect for those who have the courage to perform this in Oklahoma. In the current climate, that’s no small thing. In Tennessee, it would literally be against the law if it were done anywhere a child might see it. (Strutting around in a Nazi uniform, otoh, is perfectly legal.)

Well, at least they can do a reenactment of Patterns of Force.

Probably not with Spock, because those ears are so … DEMONIC, y’know?

lol, just awesome! :-)

Tell me about standards. At Goodwill, I’ve been written up and pretty much forbidden to put any book out that can be considered to have images that are too revealing — today, that meant not putting out an anatomy manual because the artwork showed genitalia as well as internal organs.

Last week there was a serious science book on cancer that couldn’t go out because on one page out of about 700, there was a picture of a cancer-stricken woman nude to the hips.

Our art book section is almost nonexistent because there are nudes in just about everything we get, even art magazines. I asked if that meant I shouldn’t have put out a tie-in hardcover edition of DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (not one I see that often, but the same image that is on the movie vhs and disk, which for some reason they have no problem with me putting out) because there are paintings of bikini’d women, and was told I was getting the idea now.

We normally get and sell tons of little anime books, and we get five bucks apiece for them. Not any more. I have to look through every page to see if there is any nudity or beheading, which basically means we’re tossing nearly all of those too (plus the time it takes to check these out to this degree all undercuts my production time to reach an absurdly high dollar goal … it’s about volume put out, not quality.)

But when I asked to trash the stuff we got in on bow hunting, they said, no, put those out on the floor, absolutely, nothing wrong with that.

This is a district level thing, not just in-store. It’s pre-censorship to a, well, an obscene degree. 15 years ago, I thought it was imbecilic and silly that big art books of Rubinesque women had to be locked in a glass case (you can look at it, just not touch it.) But this is reminding me of Ellison’s line in THE GLASS TEAT about how we’re entering an era of unprecedented suppression (he was saying this 55 years ago, but I’m really feeling it today.)

Goodwill in California? That’s surprisingly crazy. (I think I recall that you live near Ventura?)

Left California over 20 years back, in the pacific NW now.

I left a fair amount of clothes, electronics and other goods off at Goodwill after my mother passed three years ago. Now experiencing some health issues of my own I’m considering selling the house, but from what you’re telling me I unfortunately may have to reconsider who I donate to going forward.

Yeah, Kev, we all know that the Pacific NW is a bastion of rock-ribbed conservatism. LOL.

Not LOLing over having to move all the non-Christian/Jewish books out of the Religion section years back, since they kept getting torn up and defaced by our clientele (the books are relatively safe in Self-Help now, which is located mere feet away but shows just how limited a vision some folks have.)

That’s mad Kmart. In Europe we Sauna naked and have art depicting nudity. In the UK we’re considered uptight about sex, it’s mad how guns and violence are fine, but not a bit of skin.

I remember walking in the Pigalle in Paris on a mild summer night, looking at middle-aged couples peering through the sex-shop windows at, um, accoutrements best suited for satiating a lady elephant. The area was clean, well-lit, and eminently safe, probably unlike any such district in the United States.

Shockingly, art depicting nudity exists in the both the US and UK, too. I even bought a piece of such artwork in London last year! Quite openly, too — no speakeasies involved.

We agree on this, and I expect Antichrist Bezos also agrees with us.

That may be true, and I couldn’t care less. Selfish billionaires are often sexual libertines for their own selfish reasons. As George Carlin once put it, self-interest doesn’t impress me.

(And for the record, I don’t regard Jeff Bezos as anything like the Antichrist. He’s just an a$$hole.)

Reinforcing again my opinion that while he was alive, Carlin was the most trustworthy of Americans.

Actually, he’s still amongst the most trustworthy of Americans, even dead. Which should tell us something. 🤔

Back to Goodwill, is it their general practice to write-up employees without fair warning? That happened to me some years ago for something that, long story short, in my sincere judgement was not my fault. I refused to sign the write-up, wrote an email to HR explaining why, and left of my own volition shortly thereafter.

The idea was that I had been told to keep an eye on stuff like this previously, so my putting out a Lenny Bruce LP cover with people dressed as Klansmen justified an official verbal warning (one they don’t have to give you paperwork for, which IS new … in the past verbal warnings still had paper trails.)

Apparently this previous notice I was given was in reference to a book of surrealist art, with a cover image of something remotely like a human female, done in geometric glops of color. I had simply priced over the one area that could be interpreted to be a nipple, but putting that out even with this cheeky bit of masking was apparently a no-no, though I had done it with stickers over buttcheeks any number of times previously (I guess with those, there wasn’t a customer or employee who got offended.)

I’m looking to see if there is a district where these folks don’t pre-censor their staff in this way. A previous mgr is who is now something like a regional-level person might be able to help out, he knows how good I am at this job and on his occasional visits, is always saying trying to find me a location with a lower cost of living so I could transfer there and fix up another Goodwill store’s book/media section.

Or shoot, maybe I could get somebody in a real company offering a real job that pays real money to hire me so I wouldn’t be so dependent on the freelance writing income to semi-float our boat! Naah, that sounds too much like science-fiction!

Yeah, I think you should continue to investigate this — this sounds very fishy, and I can’t imagine the public in the Pacific NW area you live in would support this. Maybe that’s how it would be for a GW in Alabama, but it should not be that way on the West Coast.

He pioneered bringing social justice to comedy — a truly great American!

Did you know that George Carlin’s net worth was about $20M in today’s dollars when he passed away, and he had a humongous 15,000+ square ft gated estate in Brentwood?

I think George had a healthy dose of self interest.

Great guy, but let’s not get carried away. Warren Buffet lives more modestly than George did.

We live in a capitalist system where, oddly enough, people who successfully make others laugh and playact for a living tend to get rich — as do others who make useful things or are just good at business. I don’t have a problem with that, on principle. There’s a world of difference, though, between Disney making lots of money because it invested the time and talent it took to produce something like THE LION KING, and getting even richer by having Indonesian children sew LION KING pajamas for $1.00 per day. Understand the distinction and you’ll know why I have an issue with Bezos and don’t with Carlin.

Sure, I agree with that.

I was a little afraid to read the comments here, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised (so far).

This looks like a fun event for a good cause.

Back when TNG started, I was 14 and wished they would just show a same-sex couple holding hands in the background (even that would have been revolutionary then).