Bodies After Dark: a Black, queer variety show to enhance community within a safe space

by Sophia Lee

Ready to see the most random, queer, gender roles fucking variety show you’ve ever experienced? Drag and boylesque artist Blaque Diamond, The Trans God, and founder of Love Thy Belly, LLC, Fairen Kia, joined forces to curate a safe space event for people to express themselves and learn what feels comfortable and free for them.

? Drag and boylesque artist Blaque Diamond, The Trans God, and founder of Love Thy Belly, LLC, Fairen Kia

Bodies After Dark is a queer variety show encompassing anything from drag to burlesque to kink. This performance will be a follow-up to the first in what could possibly be an ongoing series, as the first show caught so much attention that people immediately wanted more. The Bodies After Dark shows currently take place at the Old Louisville Coffee Co-op and run for about two hours. 

“I wanted people here to know that you can do this too. You can perform too. You can be seen as sexy if you wanna be seen as sexy. You can do burlesque-style performances if you want. You can get on stage with the body that you have. You don’t have to lose weight. You don’t have to present a certain way. You don’t have to present feminine. You don’t have to present masculine. You can do things that are comfortable to you and still be celebrated and express that. I really want that for Kentucky, for my hometown,” Diamond said. 

About three years ago, the two creatives met at a poetry event hosted by Sis Got Tea, a local, Black-owned, woman-owned, LGBTQ-owned tea business. Blaque Diamond was born and raised in Louisville but moved to Brooklyn. They frequently travel for their “vanilla job,” as they called it, where they work in emergency management. You can book and support Blaque Diamond’s passions here.

“There wasn’t a space for people like me, and I know how important it is to have that. That’s one of the reasons I moved to Brooklyn. All the events that I go to, that I’m not paid to do, are queer Black events. They’re for trans people. They’re for queer people. They’re for black people. They’re for fat people. And I wanted that here. I want people here to have that same sense of community that I have back in Brooklyn,” Blaque Diamond said.

Fairen Kia was born and raised in Frankfort but moved to Louisville. Love Thy Belly holds workshops about body positivity, self-love and more. LTB  demographics range for people of ages 3 – 70+  folx across all spectrums of age, race, gender identity, and socioeconomic status. If you’re interested in learning more about Love Thy Belly, you can follow them and check out their workshops and events here.

“Love Thy Belly is a body-positive organization committed to the representation of fat and large bodies in multimedia forms. So fashion, film, photography, and now stage presence thanks to this collab with Blaque Diamond,” Fairen Kia expressed her excitement for the project. 

Through the show, the two hope to encourage people, who may not be in a place in their body journey to even want to be in front of other people, to see representations of themselves, and grow from that. 

“When we say body positivity, we truly mean that. We don’t just mean a certain type of body positivity. We mean differently-abled bodies. We mean fat bodies. We mean trans and gender non-conforming bodies. Body positivity across the board. We want to encompass it all. When people are coming into our shows, we want them to know that it is a safe space and you need to be mindful of that because we are celebrating our bodies and if you can’t handle that, we will put you out.”

The show will take place on Saturday, February 4th, from 8 to 10 PM at the Old Louisville Coffee Co-op. Tickets are $10, and you can purchase them here. Folks have the option to sponsor a ticket for a trans person even if they cannot attend the show themselves. If you are a Trans BIPOC individual who would like to attend and can’t afford a ticket, you can reach out to Blaque Diamond on Instagram. Come out, support, and learn how to start the journey of loving all parts of yourself!