Photos from the Pulse Orlando Benefit Show with the Club One Cabaret, The House of Gunt, and The Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque Revue

We’ve all struggled in our own ways to make sense of the Orlando tragedy, and I’m sorry how much those struggles have led to division and argument. If you haven’t looked at the living faces of the 49 who were killed, click here.

On Thursday night, Club One and three local performance groups — the Club One Cabaret, The House of Gunt, and The Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque Revue — raised over $7,000 (including over $1000 just in tips to the performers) for Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund. In some ways, it was an odd melding — the more traditional drag of the in-house cabaret, the anarchic camp of The House of Gunt, the throwback burlesque (and a little boilesque) of The Sweet Tease — but the performances revealed far more similarities than differences. I found the evening a celebration of living, an embrace of differences, an exploration of the fragility and beauty of our bodies. (While I was writing this, I got distracted rereading Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp, which was published the same year I was born, but I’ll save those reflections for a future post.)

The audience was wonderfully diverse, which wasn’t really a surprise. The LGBTQ community in Savannah has never been big enough to fragment into discrete subgroups as it sometimes can in larger cities, and Club One has always rolled out the welcome mat. There was also a silent auction — I won a beautiful painting by Karen Abato — and the bar proceeds also went to the fund for victims. I took a lot of photos, and I didn’t want to wait too long to get a first post up. I’ll post these and dozens more in the next few days to the Savannah Unplugged Facebook page.

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