Hawai'i State News

Native Hawaiians stand in solidarity with drag queens

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement will host a drag show at its Inaugural Western Regional Native Hawaiian Convention in Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy: Māhū Magic

With more than a dozen states across the U.S. looking to ban public drag performances, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement will be celebrating diversity by hosting a professional drag show at its Inaugural Western Regional Native Hawaiian Convention on June 19-22 in Las Vegas.

“In the Native Hawaiian culture, gender is not limited to two options. The Hawaiian word māhū refers to someone who is defined as ‘the in-between’ or the third gender that embodies both the male and female spirit,” said Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s cultural ambassador.

“Māhū have always been respected and valued members of the Native Hawaiian community, serving as central figures in our oral traditions, often cast as cultural keepers and beloved caregivers for children and the elderly,” Wong-Kalu continued.


Māhū Magic will star Hawai‘i born and raised Sasha Colby – the first Native Hawaiian contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race who was recently crowned the winner of Season 15.

Māhū Magic will be held on June 20 at the Westgate Resort in Las Vegas. Tickets are on sale now at Mahumagic.com.

“As an organization representing Native Hawaiians, it is our responsibility to stand up for the cultural values and beliefs that make up the fabric of our community,” said Kūhiō Lewis, CEO at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.


“The Aloha Spirit embodies the values of acceptance and inclusion. So it’s troubling for us to watch what’s happening across the U.S. – not only against drag shows but against the LGBTQ+ and other minority groups as well,” Lewis said.

With more Native Hawaiians currently living outside of Hawai‘i than within, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is hosting its inaugural western convention on the continental U.S. to provide opportunities for those who left the islands to reconnect; attend workshops and presentation on cultural practices; discuss issues related to education, healthcare and housing; and learn about National policy issues impacting Native Hawaiians. Registration is open here.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments