Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) will be hosting the second MTUG Telethon this weekend.

For 24 hours starting at noon on Saturday, December 8th until noon on Sunday, December 9th, the telethon will feature a variety of acts showcasing live music, performing and visual arts, interviews, and the very best the St. Louis trans, queer, and ally community has to offer. The goal for this year’s telethon is to raise $24,000 in 24 hours.

“As a kid I would watch the Jerry Lewis Telethon. I like the idea blending our past with the present, so I thought, how can we do a variety show in the present tense?” MTUG executive director and co-founder Sayer Johnson said.

The one-of-a-kind fundraising extravaganza will take place at The Stage at KDHX Studios (3524 Washington Ave. 63103) and will stream from the MTUG Facebook and YouTube.

"KDHX is a community based broadcasting organization, they saw the value in lifting up a marginalized community and we're so grateful they’re giving us this beautiful venue for 24 hours," said Johnson.

A highlight of this year’s telethon will be "The Late Show" centering trans* talent in front of a live studio audience. Featured acts include Jonah The Godfather of Drag, Dieta Pepsi, ButterScotch, Helena Handbag, Amber Adelaide, Tom Mars, Brother Daniel, Mercury Poisoning, Simon Glamour, Zane Mazzaratie Steele, Duchess, and more. Kristen Goodman is producing the event. Doors open at 9 p.m. on Saturday night (lobby café and bar will be open) with show time from 10p.m. until midnight. "The Late Show" tickets are $5 and are available on Eventbrite or at the door.

Last year’s inaugural telethon, which was held at PrideCenter and organized in under six weeks, raised over $12,000 against a $10,000 goal. It's a sum MTUG hopes to double with their $24,000 goal this year.

MTUG centers on improving the lives of trans* people, assisting in access to transportation, clothing, food, housing, medical care and other resources.

“We need money to help our most marginalized trans* people,” explained LGBTQIA advocate and entertainer Leon Braxton, aka Dieta Pepsi. “It stands to engage, educate and empower people in our trans* community.”

According to Johnson, the importance of highlighting trans* people is significant in today's political climate where trans* rights are under siege at the federal and state level.

“We are a beacon for the trans* community to see themselves reflected, and find each other,” offered Johnson.

Sponsors and support for the second MTUG Telethon include Tito’s Vodka, Mission Taco, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, KDHX, PROMO, among many other allied organizations.



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