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Joshua Machiz: Making Change With DragOn

By David Rabadi

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There are two types of people in the world. There are thinkers and there are doers. I had the honor to speak to one of the founders of DragOn, Joshua Machiz, who is creating change by bringing awareness to HIV and actually helping to put an end to it. Read below his fabulous contribution to the LGBT community and how YOU can be a part of it.
David: What is your role in DragOn and how did you come about it? 
Joshua: I am a founder of the group along with my other four friends. We started it three years ago, myself, Victor Rodrigues, Brian Paylago, Tom Smith and Matt Tague. We decided that we wanted to create a party that would help support the LGBT community with a focus specifically on ending HIV. While not over, the fight for marriage equality is largely won, but HIV is 32 years old and we still don’t have a cure. So we partnered with GMHC, which is the nation’s leading provider of HIV /AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 9,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City, the epidemic’s largest U.S. epicenter.
David: How does a person benefit from being a  part of DragOn?
Joshua: It’s a liberating experience to do drag and everyone who does it has the opportunity to walk in the runway competition and be judged by amazing celebrity judges and the winner is  crowned the queen of DragOn. Even if they don’t want to dress up it’s like coming to see a spectacular performance, because the level of costumes is just so high that you will feel like you were transported into the future literally, because that is the theme this year! Also, nobody does anything half way at DragOn and the best part is that you see people doing drag that you would never think would do it  - and they turn it out like it’s a part-time career! Drag is special because it is anybody’s game to win, it’s not just about being pretty it’s about creating a character and a look. 
Link to Get Tickets GMHC:
David: What obstacles do you face in your position?
Joshua: I think our main obstacle is getting people to realize that they don’t have to come in drag to enjoy the party. It’s just as much a spectator sport as it is inclusive of participation. Also, if you haven’t done drag before, it can be a little intimidating and we want to make it easier for people we are always available if somebody needs help with their look. Just reach out to us on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/DragOnNYC
David: What is the most rewarding part of your position?
Joshua: I think most rewarding is introducing a younger demographic to the GMHC community, to educate them about HIV and that the fight is far from over. Also, it’s about awareness of GMHC for those that are HIV+ that there is not only a place to go for treatment, but a community to support you. 
David: Is there a message you would like to share with people?
Joshua: Come see an amazing night of drag performances and help us put an end to HIV!
Thank You Joshua for taking the time out and to speak with me. I wish you continued success with DragOn!!

Published on Apr 14, 2015

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