CHARLOTTE — For Sabrina Love, her live, gay talk show is more than just a chance for her to spout off about her latest trip to K-Mart or to trash Mayor Pat McCrory and President George W. Bush. QueerView, held every Friday night in Crave at Velocity, is Love’s chance to make a difference in the community and unite it at the same time.
Queerview, Sabrina Love’s live talk show speaks out in support of the LGBT community, which Producer Ricky Burns, II (left) says is about time.
“What we do is what we said we’d do when we started QueerView in September,” Love told Q-Notes. “This show is a chance to give back to the community. We need to do more than just talk about how much we love the community or how much we should do for the community. We have to start giving back.”
Love, who is the show’s host, has been performing as a female impersonator for 14 years. She’s got a decade of performing experience in Charlotte, but there was nothing that had prepared her for QueerView.
“We really wanted to do something this city wasn’t prepared for, something fun and unique,” she said, “but there is no book on how to figure out how to do one of these things.”
The spontaneity of her show is one of the things Love, well, loves. It certainly makes for interesting and unpredictable situations. From special guests and sponsors to audience member stories, she said having a real, interactive experience is something she cherishes.
She also loves that she can “do what she said she’d do” — help her community. At the end of every QueerView, Love performs one final act while a tray collects the charitable donations of her audience. All the money during that four or five minutes goes to a community organization, and to help LGBT people in need.
“Before now the gay club culture never had the chance to give back and for it to mean something,” Love said. “You don’t know that tomorrow you’re not going to be in a situation where you hear the news none of us are prepared to hear, or hear that your job is no longer. None of us know that our future is secure.”
The QueerView Cares Helping Hands Program has raised over $500 thus far. All of the money is going to Metrolina AIDS Project and at the end of every month Love will share with her audience how they were able to help a community member in need.
“Everyone sometimes needs help, but they don’t always plan on needing it,” she said. “That’s why we are here. If you are giving to your community now, you know that if you ever need help, it’ll be there.”
QueerView Executive Producer Ricky Burns II has known Love for years and was happy to team up with her charitable vision. “It’s like attending a fundraiser every Friday night.”
QueerView Executive Producer Ricky Burns
Love calls it like she sees it and she doesn’t hold back. To her, the LGBT community seems divided and too willing to ignore important issues. “We have written off things in our community. We’ve written off homelessness, addiction, poverty and HIV/AIDS, because they are all ‘manageable.’ For those affected by these things, why don’t you just ask if they think their life is ‘manageable?’”
The veteran drag performer said she strives to make Crave and QueerView a place where Charlotte social cliques disappear, but she also admits that the culture of gay nightlife is changing.
“I really do think that the mainstreaming of gay culture is having an effect on nightlife,” she said. “It’s no longer a must for the community to have its own ‘temples of pleasure.’ You can go to a straight club or a coffeehouse now. The next generation doesn’t really need the gay clubs anymore. What was a necessity years ago, is no longer so.”
Love said that today’s youth are “changing the face of what made us” a community. From internet socializing to more accepting and diverse environments across society, younger LGBT people have more options.
The attendance at QueerView every Friday concerns Burns. “We really want to get the word out that we are doing something special and unique. It is time for our community to really step up. You can come in here and have fun and hear Love’s jokes and drink with your friends, but you can also make a difference at the same time. Our focus is always on that last number and our Helping Hands program.”
According to Burns and Love, QueerView is the only live, weekly queer talk show of its kind in the country. In July, QueerView will begin broadcasting on Charlotte public access television. The show has already started broadcasting in West Hollywood, Calif.
In the past, Love has interviewed special guests ranging from Q-Notes contributor Miss Della, who writes the “Drag Rag” column, to representatives of Purgatory, an S&M fetish party that’s held in Charlotte throughout the year. In the future, QueerView plans on bringing in high-profile guests and Hollywood stars, including a very special guest from FOX’s popular 1990s TV show “The X-Files.”
You can catch audio recordings of each QueerView on their website at www.queerviewshow.com, as well as submit questions and emails to Sabrina Love.