Michiana drag queen icon remembered by LGTBQ community
MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Bradley Bogaert has been a part of the LGBTQ community here in Michiana hosting and performing drag shows for the past 40 years. The performer passed away this past Sunday surrounded by family and friends.
“He was mischief in thigh high boots and he was God in a neon wig," said Lance Mullins, Development Director at LGBTQ Center.
A born performer. Bradley Bogaert was a show stopper who dedicated his life to bringing people together. Those that knew him say he was a role model for everyone he met and despite achieving success in other parts of the U.S. he loved his hometown here in Michiana.
“I’ve been all over this country. Worked in California to New York and everywhere, but it was great to come back to South Bend and be with family. I’m very blessed to have a very open and understanding family," said Bogaert in a previous interview with the LGBTQ Center in South Bend.
Friends and family describe him as irreplaceable someone that can never be duplicated but will be remembered for being a trailblazer fighting for inclusivity in our community.
“He always made it a safe space for not just us, but also for us to interact with those who may have you know questions about the community. Maybe, be apprehensive about joining in with the community and he really did a great deal to bridge that gap for all of us," said Mullins.
While he’s no longer able to host pre-show rituals anymore, those that knew him continue to embody him as soon as they hit the stage.
R Bar will be hosting 3 nights of benefit events in Bradley’s honor.
Thursday 07/01/21 - Benefit night with drag show. Door open at 6:00 PM show begins at 8:00 PM. $10 cover.
Friday 07/02/21 - A celebration of life. Doors open at 1:00 PM prior to the viewing with a Polish dinner serve at 6 PM until food runs out.
Saturday 07/03/21 - Benefit night with drag show. Doors open at 6:00 PM show begins at 8:00 PM. $10 cover.
You can purchase a shirt in Bradley's honor here.