Lip-syncing for our lives

Lip-syncing for our lives

As leaders ascended into Los Angeles for the 9th Summit of the Americas, so too rose Hollywood's most famous star. Dressed as 5 iconic Marilyn Monroe figures in white dresses with red lipstick and the infamous beauty mark, a group of drag queens protested the event, demanding urgent funds to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.

Organized by the 70-million-member global rights group Avaaz, the mission of the demonstration was to draw attention to the extreme impacts of the ecological crisis taking place across the Americas. These include increased food insecurity, tragic migration waves, a mounting financial crisis, and deadly living conditions due to more recurrent and extreme events across the hemisphere.

Drag queens Aurora Sexton, Mischa Kinx, Marilyn, Vivienne Vida, Pixie Dot, and Hope showed up to the Summit of the Americas dressed as Marilyn Monroe. 

Just as Marilyn Monroe sang to John F. Kennedy, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” the queens sang to the American leaders,

Happy summit to you
Happy summit to you
Happy summit, Mr. President
Happy summit to you
Dear Mr. President
Save nature before it’s gone
To really save our home
But first, you gotta pay the bill
And fix the problems by the ton
We thank you in advance
Everybody, happy summit
Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States
Thank you!

Five heads of state were called out, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pressuring him to pay the money pledged to halt climate change and to end his government’s investments in fossil fuels, as well as Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro about the destruction of the Amazon and his contempt for the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Particular attention was paid to US President Joe Biden, reminding President Biden that he needs to pay the money promised to address climate change and ensure ambition is met at the summit by "saving nature before it's gone."

Twelve years after the Obama-Biden administration's $100 billion pledge to support low-income countries experiencing disproportionate impacts from the climate crisis, the US is still falling tens of billions short of delivering on its promise. The 9th Summit was another opportunity for Biden to restore America's image in the Americas, committing to pay $32-49 billion per year in climate funding.

With fabulous style and sass, the Marilyn drag queens delivered a powerful message that no one likes it hot and that humanity prefers those fighting for a better planet, future, and action from our leaders.

A centerpiece of the protest was an emotional performance by Kalista Stage dressed as Evita Perone, lip-syncing a beautiful rendition of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” addressing Argentinian President Alberto Fernández and asking him to do more to save threatened ecosystems from harmful development. Here are the full lyrics to the song:

Don't feed the greed Argentina

It won't be easy
You’ll think it's strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That you still need their vote
After all that you've paid

You won't believe me
Since you will see
Is a plan you once knew
Although it has failed
Through the ’90s
The '80s
And '70s too

I cannot let it happen
It has to change
You cannot pay anymore
Looking out
Argentina
With an outstanding debt
You must choose freedom
Recover around
Trying anything new
But nothing
Seems possible
At all
You never
Expected it to.

Don't feed the greed, Argentina
The truth is
You give them Nature
All through your wildlife
Your green resilience
Just keep your glaciers
And save the planet!

And as for future
And as for green
They were never priced in
So it seemed
To the world
They were not that desired
They’re not illusions
They're all
The solutions they promise to be
The answer
Was here
All the time
You have them
And hope they will bail

Don't feed the greed
Argentina (humming)

Don't feed the greed, Argentina
The truth is
You give them Climate
All through your landscape
Your green resilience
Just keep your glaciers
And save the planet!
Haven't paid too much?
There's nothing more
You can bear
To pay to them
But, all you have to do
Is look at us to know
A green World
Will be true!

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