Austin’s Oilcan Harry’s will host official “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing parties

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” returns for its ninth season on Friday, and Warehouse District nightclub Oilcan Harry’s has been chosen by VH1 to help celebrate this fashionable occasion.

Premiere viewing parties on March 24 and March 31 will give you the chance to win some “Drag Race” swag and enjoy the adventures of the queens competing for the ultimate crown. The free fun begins at 7 p.m. March 24; 18 and older are welcome.

The first episode features a guest appearance from Lady Gaga.

Throughout the season, Oilcan Harry’s will host trivia contests during each Friday night episode, followed by performances by local female impersonators. And the nightclub will be bringing in Season 9 contestants throughout the spring as special guest performers at the weekly Super Sunday Show at 11 p.m. and midnight.

Season 8 of “Drag Race,” you may recall, featured Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine.

SXSW posts signs in bathrooms opposing controversial Texas ‘bathroom bill’

Days after a Texas Senate panel approved Texas’ controversial “bathroom bill,” South by Southwest organizers are speaking out against the bill, which prohibits transgender-friendly bathrooms in schools, universities and government buildings.

PHOTOS: Bathroom bill protest at the Capitol on March 7, 2017

SXSW organizers placed signs in bathrooms at the festival, including in the Austin Convention Center. The signs read, in part, “We oppose discriminatory legislation such as the Texas SB6 ‘bathroom bill’ and support civil rights for all persons everywhere.”

These signs were placed in bathrooms at the Austin Convention Center. Phil Jankowski/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Senate committee approved Senate Bill 6 early Wednesday morning, nearly 21 hours after a public hearing that drew hundreds to the Capitol to testify on the bill. Read more coverage of the bathroom bill here.


‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ premieres this week, but don’t forget this Austin queen

On Thursday, some familiar gentlemen will start their engines, and the best (of the best) women will eventually win a coveted crown. The second season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” premieres Thursday, featuring fan-favorite contestants from past seasons of the drag competition reality show.

One local face, unfortunately, not join beloved drag queens like Alaska, Katya and Alyssa Edwards: Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine.

RuPaul's Drag Race season 8 premiere featuring Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine, at Ironwood Hall on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Erika Rich for American-Statesman)
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 premiere featuring Austin’s own Cynthia Lee Fontaine, at Ironwood Hall on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Erika Rich for American-Statesman)

A-List Photos: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 8 premiere party in Austin

Fontaine (born Carlos Hernadez) didn’t steal the crown at the end of season 8 of “Drag Race” — she sashayed away in the third episode — but she did manage to snatch the title of Miss Congeniality, a title often awarded to queens with a strong fan following.

Before the debut of season 8, the fixture of local gay bar Oilcan Harry’s said in an interview with Austin360 that competing as the show’s first contestant from Austin was a source of pride:

“It’s a wonderful experience to represent Austin, Texas, my Hispanic community, and my community here in Austin. We are equipped with great performers — female, male, androgynous, campy, trashy, whatever — and this city provides everything in between. So I’m just proud that I can represent a little piece of that and share it with the entire world.”

From the archives: 25 years of Pride

Though she won’t return to TV sets this week, Fontaine is scheduled to appear at the Austin Pride festival on Saturday.

Fans petition to create first LGBT ‘Star Wars’ character after Orlando shooting

Photo via

“Star Wars” fans have created a petition calling for the franchise to make its first LGBT character in honor of the Orlando, Fla. mass shooting.

The petition was created seven days ago by Joshua Yehl who was friends with Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen — one of the 49 victims of the mass shooting that took place at the gay nightclub Pulse. Yehl writes to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger, asking that the new character draw inspiration from Leinonen. Here is an excerpt from the petition:

On June 12, 2016, the world lost one of its most passionate Star Wars fans. On that day, 49 voices cried out and were silenced by hate. One of them was my best friend, Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen. He and I bonded over many things, but nothing brought us together like Star Wars.

Yehl has garnered nearly 5,000 signatures, using the hashtag #PutDrewInStarWars on social media to spread the word. He writes that an LGBT character would not just be for Leinonen but for all the Orlando shooting victims.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams said earlier this year that the film franchise is about inclusivity and welcomes the idea of having a gay character.

““I would love it,” he said in an interview with the The Daily Beast. “To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”

People speculate ‘Finding Dory’ trailer shows Disney Pixar’s first lesbian couple

Still from “Finding Dory,” showing Disney Pixar’s first lesbian couple. Photo via Pixar Animation Studio.

When the latest “Finding Dory” trailer came out last week, fans took special notice of one quick clip that made them speculate the possibility of Disney Pixar’s first inclusion of a lesbian couple.

At around 1:07 of the trailer, a little girl by a stroller drops her cup and two women help pick it up. Though the pair could simply be friends or one of the women might be a stranger passing by, some people are hoping that they’re the child’s mothers.

The theory surrounding the trailer comes at a time that fans are campaigning for Marvel to #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and Disney to #GiveElsaAGirlfriend. If Disney Pixar has decided to show it’s first lesbian couple, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see when the movie premieres June 17.

Marvel fans are campaigning to #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend

Steve Rodgers and Bucky Barnes in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios.
Steve Rodgers and Bucky Barnes in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios.

First, it was #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, referring to the main character from Disney’s “Frozen.” Now, the Twitterverse has set its matchmaking sights on the ever-patriotic Captain America.

The hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend started trending yesterday and is still going strong on social media. Fans of Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, are calling for Marvel to give the character a boyfriend in the series’ next installment.

In the past three “Captain America” films, Rogers has had two female romantic affiliations: Peggy Carter and later on, her niece Sharon Carter. But like with “Frozen,” many Marvel fans are using the hashtag to stand for more LGBT representation in blockbuster films.

“I think its great,” Idina Menzel, the actress who plays Elsa, told ET. “Disney’s just gotta contend with that. I’ll let them figure that out.”

While many fans are in agreement with the campaign, there has yet to be a definitive consensus on who Roger’s lover should be.

Some say it should be Bucky Barnes.

And others think it should be Ironman a.k.a Tony Stark.

And then, there’s this guy.

Austin drag queen to compete on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

For seven seasons, drag queen/household name RuPaul has asked a different crew of female impersonators to lipsync for their lives on Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Soon, Austin will finally have its own fierce queen to root for.

(Photo courtesy of Logo)
(Photo courtesy of Logo)

Cynthia Lee Fontaine, a regular performer at Austin bar Oilcan Harry’s, has been cast as one of twelve queens competing for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” in the show’s eighth season. The cast was revealed Monday after a weeklong social media scavenger hunt.

Fontaine’s Facebook profile says the performer has been doing drag since 2007. Also, the drag queen’s Instagram profile contains several Austin-related gems, like a picture at the Texas Capitol:

And then there was that one time Fontaine appeared in the pages of the American-Statesman:

Watch Fontaine’s video introduction below:

The show’s season premiere will air March 7 at 8 p.m. with a special 90-minute episode. Contestants are competing for a $100,000 prize.

(Photo courtesy of Logo)
(Photo courtesy of Logo)