Remarkable People 2023: Angelique Young, activist and entertainer

I met Angelique years ago in the Tampa Bay drag scene. I quickly learned that she is a powerhouse performer who is friendly and kind.

Our relationship might have stayed in the “friendly acquaintance” stage, but 2023 happened. That’s when Florida politicians made it a priority to target the LGBTQ+ community, and the trans community in particular, with laws aimed to deprive them from basic human rights with attacks on healthcare and more.

Some of the legislation targeted drag performers, painting the art of drag in an unjustified, negative light and aiming to limit performances. Angelique decided she would not stand idly by.

An emergency meeting was called in Orlando for drag performers to unite. Angelique, with the help of Brianna Summers and other local performers, arranged for a concurrent satellite meeting in Tampa Bay for us to get involved.

This is where I started learning that Angelique was also an inspiring leader, someone determined to use their platform to help make a positive impact. The sequence of events that followed was swift and impressive.

Seven additional drag performers and allies joined Angelique and Brianna to execute an action plan to address the injustices occurring in Tallahassee, dubbing ourselves The Drag2Talle Nine. Angelique connected us with Equality Florida, which hosts “Pride at the Capitol” where LGBTQ+ Floridians and allies travel to Tallahassee to make their voices heard, both in public hearings and in private meetings with legislators.

Funding was needed to get us up there, and the local community was extremely supportive through a series of local fundraising efforts. We made it to Tallahassee, thinking we would mostly be advocating against the anti-drag bills — but after learning about the high number of anti-trans bills proposed, our focus shifted towards advocating against all the bills attacking the LGBTQ+ community.

We learned a lot during that Tallahassee trip. We could have stopped there, but Angelique had bigger plans and a bigger vision. She joined Orlando drag legend Darcel Stevens to plan the first ever Drag March in Tallahassee, which took place April 25. Following Angelique’s leadership and with support from Equality Florida, The Drag2Talle Nine were able to raise thousands of dollars to send about 50 drag performers and allies from the Tampa Bay area to Tallahassee and march for our rights.

It took several fundraisers, T-shirt sales, political rallies and a massive social media initiative led by Angelique to make it happen. More than a dozen groups from all over the state also attended the march, where hundreds demanded to have our voices heard, showing Florida that we would not back down when it comes to defending the most vulnerable in our community.

Angelique was one of the main speakers in the Capitol that day, delivering an inspiring speech and spreading her heartfelt message that “there is no community without unity.” I teared up witnessing what I could only call a most magical moment.

I am now proud to say that Angelique is my friend. She inspires me and so many others to focus our energy on helping others, which is where true life purpose can be found. She has recently announced that she will be moving to Pensacola. She will be extremely missed in Tampa Bay, but we know we have not seen the last of her. I know she has even bigger plans for her activist efforts, and we can’t wait to witness it.

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