Cruising with a Carrie Underwood energy, Georgia Moore strolls into Punky’s Bar 10 minutes early in a sky-blue pencil dress with pageant-style hair higher than the queen herself.
She makes a few rounds of side hugs and yells at an impatient bar patron to “sit down sweetie, we’re starting soon.”
The Athens, Georgia native has been doing drag for five years, and for the first time during a show on Tuesday, May 29, two of her former high school students are in the audience for Drag Bingo at Punky’s Bar in St. Petersburg.
“I’m very country and I’m very clean….I don’t do backflips because I’m too old and I’m too fat,” Moore said.
Her drag persona isn’t exactly a secret.
During the week she’s Brad Rice, a 39-year-old history teacher to 11th and 12th grade students at a high school in Tampa.
“I mean, I can’t hide the fact that I’m gay; it’s the south, and I don’t advertise the drag, but they figure it the hell out,” Moore said.
For a Good Cause
Moore has been putting on six-inch heels and bringing in money for charity for the past five years. In fact, Moore’s debut was for a church charity event.
“I put on ‘Good Girl’ by Carrie Underwood and did the thing,” Moore said. “I never imagined falling in love with it.”
Most recently, you catch Moore at Punky’s, 3063 Central Ave., raising money for a different charity each Tuesday through 10 rounds of Bingo.
One week, it’s Project No Labels, a local LGBTQ nonprofit dedicated to promoting positivity in the Pinellas community, the next it’s a fundraiser for Pride on Central.
Moore’s goal for 2021 is $25,000 – not unreasonable considering she raised over $18,000 last year despite a pandemic cutting into her stage time.
She filled in at Punky’s for three months before COVID-19 hit, and is now the official “Bingo girl” at the St. Petersburg bar.
“For me, personally, this is about how we can help and where the money needs to go,” Moore said. “There’s a lot of need in this community and a lot of hope too.”
See the Georgian queen every Tuesday at Punky’s at 7 p.m., not so sharp.