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The Heart of Drag Kingdom: The King Coach's Speech on 3 Ways to Make a Difference

drag kingdom kings of joy kings of joy all-stars making a difference Jul 04, 2024

Chris Lani-McAllister: My wife, Danica Lani!

Who loves a switch? Me.

Ooh, kinky.

Alright, so this is Danica, this is Daddy Joy, Dario DiBello, the King Coach, who's been coaching 112 Drag Kings. 

Danica Lani: Wow, it is a privilege to be with each and every one of you here tonight. I am thrilled that we've had so many Kings of Joy here on stage tonight. 

Who's loved the Kings of Joy? Yes! Don't they give you so much joy? They give me so much joy. 

I am known and have been named by the community with a couple of names. The first one was Dance Mum.

I don't know if any of you saw me up in the tech box there, but there I was going one, two, three, four, and yes, that's it, that's it! And also crying, because, you know, they're my Kings. And so that was the first name.

And then the second name that I got given was The Mother of Drag Kings. 

[*Chris runs onstage with a jacket.] 

Oh! A costume change...Thank you.

And then I was named Daddy Joy. And then the King Coach. 

So, these are the names given to me by the community and I accept them.

Kings of Joy was created because I'm not from Sydney originally. Anyone else in that category? Yes! Just three of us? 

So those of us not from Sydney and made the trek, made the move to Sydney, have often found that it's hard to find your place. You know, it's hard to find your people, it's hard to find community.

And I didn't have community when I first moved here. And so Chris said to me, well let's create it. Let's create community. 

Chris and I actually met doing a group Drag King performance. A mutual friend rang me and said, can you choreograph this routine? I was like, yep. Chris was one of the other backup dancers and a first-time Drag King. 

And on the second rehearsal, they did a Patrick Swayze slide on their knees, across the floor. That was it. I was a goner. I was a goner. And so, there you go. 

We're now married! Yay! And of course, in true lesbian style, we started dating on the... second rehearsal. 

That performance night was fabulous. It was here at the Red Rattler. This has been my second home away from home, the Red Rattler. So please give it up for the Red Rattler.This cultural icon and hub. 

So there are three ways that Kings of Joy and Drag Kingdom and you are making a difference tonight. 

Firstly, 10 percent of everything is going to our friends who you met earlier in Block 13 and they're the sweetest, sweetest human beings. 

One of the things that really stands out for me about being with Block 13 over the last three years on Zoom has been that they're not bitter. They're not bitter towards their perpetrators, and some of the crimes are traumatic and horrendous. Things that you wouldn't, wish upon your worst enemy. Even in the camp in Kakuma, the UNHCR thought they would support them by offering conversion therapy. So a lot of human rights disgraceful abuses have happened.

People fled Uganda because their lover was killed. One of our friends - the hitman who was hired to kill her said ‘I know your brother, so I'm going to tell you to run. Take your children and run.’ You know, this is the kind of stuff that people are confronting and dealing with and this is why, when we first met them, they really thought they were the forgotten people.

They thought no one cared and that they'd been forgotten. And what Queers of Joy and Kings of Joy community have done is actually created a family for them where they feel seen and heard and loved. And guess what? They love you. They might not have met you yet, but at the end of each of our calls, we envisage a future together where we're on the dance floor, the same dance floor, together. In a safe country and dancing together. 

So you've made that difference tonight to their quality of life and to their future, having a future in a safer country. So yeah, our dear friends at Block 13. That's the first way we're making a difference tonight. 

The second way we're making a difference is the rest of the proceeds go back into the Kings of Joy Pay It Forward program. So Kings of Joy is a community initiative. You don't have to pay upfront for the first time Drag Kings. And then Kings of Joy pay for future Kings. How cool is that? Very cool community initiative. But this is what I get to do and I love it.

So the third way that we get to make a difference is here at the Red Rattler. As I mentioned, my home-away-from-home. And they are fundraising at the moment for the end of the financial year, by the 30th of June, to be able to keep the doors open. So buying your ticket has made a difference. But if you could also contribute in another way, they've got a Give Now campaign as well.

So let's keep supporting the Red Rattler. So we can have amazing nights like this.

I am still puffed out from that routine. Anyone with me? Yeah. 

I want to thank all of the Kings of Joy who have participated, all the Kings of Joy who are here tonight. Thank you Abe on tech. Yay, give it up for Abe on tech. Sammy at the bar, Harry on security. And some other special thanks - Nat aka Rex Koochie did our music mixing. Yes, Rex Koochie. 

Everything that you need is in community. You just gotta ask for it. So we had Tuey the Pink and Kaizer and TeQuila on makeup tonight. Jack. I got the name wrong again. Jack! It's a new name. So Jack on makeup tonight. Really thank you Kings.

And Maggot Banks on merch. And Mr. Goondiwindi Jones at the door. You've been greeted by so many Kings tonight. Thank you for being here. 

We're here to prove that you can have fun and make a difference at the same time. Lastly, I'll say if you do want to be a King of Joy and join in the fun, it's as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. And some of them come off. 

There are QR codes where you can come and join us. For our next round of first-time Drag Kings, we've got an introduction next Monday night. So be quick, get in, and I'd love to work with you and be part of it together. 

Let's grow together!

Thank you so much!


Danica Lani

The King Coach

P.S. Wanna be a Drag King? Learn how to become a Drag King. Click here to join the Kings of Joy community

Hello handsome, 🌈 I'm Danica Lani, also known as The King Coach. I'm here to empower you in your exploration of gender, sexuality, and performance. I have proudly mentored and choreographed 112 first-time Drag Kings since December 2020. Welcome to the joyous community of Kings of Joy, where we uplift and celebrate each other every step of the way! 🎉🤩 Let's embark on this Drag King journey together, cheering each other on! 🤗💖 #KingsOfJoy 

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