• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

North East Connected

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Drag queen calendar is talk of the Toon

A University of Sunderland art and design student has created a one-of-a-kind drag queen calendar that has become the talk of the North East.

Haydn Brown has teamed up Newcastle’s most glamorous community in a bid to support transgender children and young people across the UK.

Haydn, who is studying a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, along with Louise Harvey, pulled together the Newcastle Drag Queen Calendar on the ‘spur of a moment’.

From drag queens posing on a carousel to more candid snaps taken behind the scenes at performances, the calendar aims to celebrate the very best that their hometown’s drag scene has to offer.

Haydn, 19, from Gateshead, said: “We really wanted to produce something that represented the Newcastle scene.

“It was important to us because as members of the Newcastle scene we spend a lot of time with so many diverse people from different backgrounds and places and it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you identify as, people will still spend the time to talk to you or go out of their way to help.

“I think we’re really lucky to have such a tight knit community that a lot of places don’t have. So we wanted to use the profits made from this calendar to help young people who don’t feel like they have a place to get the support they need to find one.”

All proceeds from the calendar will be donated to charity Mermaids UK who work to support gender variant and transgender children, young people and their families.

The pair said they chose the charity because Mermaids supports a cause close to the hearts of so many people on the scene.

Haydn added: “We wanted to make sure any money raised went to a charity that everyone thought was important, especially with everything going at the moment regarding trans’ equality and trans’ rights.”

After coming up with the idea in September last year, the duo were left with less than three months to shoot and create the entire calendar in time for the start of the New Year.

“We didn’t really have a lot of time to shoot,” Haydn added. 

“We decided to do it at the end of September so we really had to work non-stop and do as many photo-shoots as we could to get to done by December. At one point we weren’t sure if we’d even get it done.”

However the calendar was complete on time and is now on sale across the UK.

Haydn, who used to go to Thorp Academy in Ryton, Gateshead, is hoping to continue his career in photography once he leaves University.

The pair have had buyers from America purchasing the calendar online, with the help of one of the world’s most famous drag performers Yehuda Yamasaki, a contestant on American reality TV show Ru Paul’s Drag Race, who posted about the product on her Instagram.

“It’s great to see people supporting a great cause as well as supporting Newcastle’s local drag,” said Haydn.

To find out more or purchase a calendar visit LAH photography.