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All black drag group creates safe space for misfits at sold-out shows

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 20:22:26-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Far from the world in which they grew up, drag queens Venus Ann Serena and Sapphire Mylan call the stage home.

"[I] Discovered drag when I was 18 years old; I was at Nashville Pride," said Serena.

The two perform across the country along with their drag sister Jaidynn Diore Fierce, but the trio has a permanent residence at Diskin Cider for a monthly drag brunch.

"I was a church boy, so I was singing church, did theater in college," said Mylan. "I'm the second oldest of five boys and I'm the only gay one."

They say they were always a little different, but they found a common love for drag.

"I was a big little theater geek growing up, and I was on five different dance teams also, growing up," Serena said.

With hair as big as their personalities, they call themselves the Missfits.

"That's a big reason why we have become successful, is because we are three different facets of drag and we show that black entertainers aren't just the one thing," said Serena.

But in a community known for acceptance, even the Missfits faced stereotypes.

"Growing up in the drag scene, black girls tend to get put into a box," said Serena. "I remember I did a booking one time and I didn't bring a Beyonce number — I don't even remember what I brought that day — and the lady was like, 'oh, so are you doing Beyonce tonight?' I'm like, 'no.' So, she goes, 'but you're the black girl.'"

Since then the group has celebrated three years of sold out shows, even performing on stage with Miley Cyrus.

Now Hollywood is taking notice. Sapphire Mylan's journey from a small town church boy to a drag star is the subject of a new reality show.

"I very much so love God; I grew up in that, and I've never let that go," said Mylan. "Even though the church has hurt me, I want to turn that around and show that God is love, and so I can use that through drag, and I feel like it's a ministry for me."

They say it's a ministry welcoming of all misfits.

"Just because someone doesn't see your shine doesn't mean your shine isn't there, and that's what the Missfits means to me," said Serena.

"And to me, it means to be able to fit in when people say you can't fit in," added Mylan.