Battle for the Tiara

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Battle for the Tiara
Status Active
Genre Fundraiser
Frequency Annually
Venue Orpheum Theatre
Location(s) Los Angeles
Country USA
Years active 1989-
Inaugurated 1989 (1989)
Founder Alexis Pittman
Activity Best In Drag Show
People Roger Hyde, Jeffrey Drew

Battle for the Tiara is the original name for the Aid For AIDS (California) fundraiser, Best In Drag Show, held annually in Los Angeles. It also is the name of the award-winning 1998 documentary film that chronicles the fundraiser.[1][2]


The well-known drag show fundraiser was founded by Alexis Pittman and a small group of friends in Los Angeles in 1989.[3] It is a farcical beauty pageant where amateur, male contestants dress and perform as women in categories of evening gown, swim suit, talent, and question and answer segments. Battle for the Tiara began as a small, annual AIDS fundraising event in a private home, and due to its popularity,[4] it was moved to subsequently larger venues. An award-winning,[5] 1998 documentary was made of Battle for the Tiara,[6] by Charley Lang and Eric Schiff, which chronicled the history of the Los Angeles fundraising event that has raised millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS treatment and assistance through Aid For AIDS in California.[1][2] When Pittman died, the group stopped production for two years, then brought the event back in 2003 with the name, Best In Drag Show. During the interim two years, another version was produced by the show beneficiary entitled, Quest for the Crown,[7] the subject of director Roger Hyde's documentary, Queen of the Whole Wide World.[8] By 2008, the renamed fundraiser was being held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, which seats 1,900. In 2010, the benefit raised $300,000.[9] In 2011, the winning show contestant from 1998 Battle For The Tiara, Jeffrey Drew as "Lotta Slots, Miss Nevada," became the director and choreographer of the later version of the fundraiser, Best In Drag Show. Quest for the Crown and Best In Drag Show are registered trademarks of the California non-profit Aid For AIDS, founded in 1983.


The fundraiser, currently named Best In Drag Show, has raised millions with the help of show underwriters, private and corporate donations, and a large group of volunteers. Each year, the show raises more than a quarter of one million dollars in one evening.[10] for the Los Angeles-based, non-profit organization Aid For AIDS and is supported by an extensive list of celebrities[11][12]


  1. ^ a b Battle for the Tiara, 1998, Dakota FilmWorks
  2. ^ a b Battle for the Tiara documentary film. Directors Charley Lang, Eric Schiff. IMDb website. "[1]"Accessed January 5, 2010.
  3. ^ Maynard, Kevin. "Nostalgia for the Discontinued LA Fund-raiser 'Battle For The Tiara' that helped Aid For AIDS annually." The Advocate. August 17, 1999."[2]" Accessed April 27, 2010.
  4. ^ "My Favorite Weekend." Los Angeles Times. Booth Moore. September 17, 1998."[3]" Accessed January 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Winner Best Documentary: Outfest Los Angeles; Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Sydney queerDOC Film Festival entries."[4]"
  6. ^ Kelley, Shannon. "Visions of L.A. in the Age of AIDS – Battle for the Tiara." KCET Online."[5]" Accessed April 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Diroll, Pat. "Quest for the Crown Brings Out Bevy of Beauties at AIDS Benefit." Los Angeles Times. March 7, 2000."[6]"Accessed January 5, 2010.
  8. ^ IMDb website. "[7]"Accessed October, 2010.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2010-10-29.  Accessed October 29, 2010.
  10. ^ Aid For AIDS website "[8]"
  11. ^ Best In Drag Show 2009. WeHoNews online. October 22, 2009. ""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-12-05. ". Accessed December 4, 2009.
  12. ^ Stars Judge Best In Drag Show. Entertainment Tonight (ET) Online, video. October 20, 2009."[9]" Accessed December 4, 2009.

External links[edit]

  • Aid For AIDS website – [10]
  • Dakota Filmworks website [11]