Beyoncé’s BeyGood Hosts Its First Equality Ball In Las Vegas

Beyoncé’s foundation, BeyGOOD, hosted its first Human Rights Campaign Equality Ball on Sunday (Aug. 27), just as the Renaissance World Tour made its way to Las Vegas.

The celebration of Black queer ballroom culture echoed the sentiments that inspired the Grammy-winning album, RENAISSANCE. Held at the Palms Casino Resort’s KAOS Nightclub, the ball was not only a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to express themselves, but also offered community services like HIV testing, voter registration, and access to local LGBTQ+ programs/initiatives.

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign’s first Black queer President, shared in a statement, “Ballroom culture is synonymous with the Black queer community — it creates a safe space for LGBTQ+ people at a time when being your authentic self was dangerous. But, let’s not get confused, it’s still dangerous for us — Black and Brown trans women are facing an epidemic of fatal violence. The Equality Ball serves as another space for those who feel overlooked to take center stage and let the world know that — as Beyoncé sings — you won’t break our souls.”

Festivities kicked off around 2 a.m. PT with Precious Basquiat and Kevin JZ Prodigy serving as commentators. Miss Lawrence, Dyllón Burnside, Pose writer Jack Mizrahi, RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s Elliott with 2 Ts, and more were in attendance as Dashaun Wesley, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Ricky Holman, and Jennifer Barnes-Balenciaga judged the affair.

En Vogue’s Maxine Jones performed the group’s hit, “Free Your Mind,” earlier in the night before Kevin Aviance from House of Aviance — whose cult track, “Cunty” was sampled on Bey’s “PURE/HONEY” — gave a riveting performance midway through. The newly formed Kiki House of FuBu made their ballroom debut, and Makaylah Basquiat shut down the event with her remake of Queen Bey’s “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM” tour, taking home the $11,000 grand prize.

Earlier this year, Mary J. Blige hosted her first Purpose Ball as part of the 2023 Strength of A Woman Festival and Summit. Saucy Santana, who performed that night, considered the ball to be the LGBTQ+ community’s “motherf**king Grammys.”

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