Patrick Dunn aka "Kiki Lucia": New Haven Pride Center

Patrick Dunn, also known as “Kiki Lucia” is the first ever Executive Director of The New Haven Pride Center; a non-profit LGBTQ community center which has operated on volunteer efforts for the past 20 years. Patrick had been involved with the New Haven Pride Center well before becoming director, serving as not only a volunteer but a consultant as well. In his first 60 days as Director, in collaboration with other local organizations, he successfully organized the 2017 New Haven PRIDE Weekend - three full days in September of celebration and awareness of the joys, issues, strides and setbacks experienced by the Greater New Haven LGBTQ community. PRIDE weekend incorporated, among many other events, a high-energy block party open to all, drag performances, and a brunch at a favorite, neighborhood, Lesbian-owned bar and restaurant, Barracuda, which culminated in a “Tea Dance” (a dance party traditionally held by queer people to be “out” together before being “out” was legal) at York Street Cafe.  

As part of his services to the LGBTQ community, Patrick performs regularly in drag shows as his alter ego, Kiki Lucia (Kiki is a slang term meaning “party”). For the past two and a half years, Patrick as helped Kiki evolve into an independent character with her own personality (and amazing wigs) to raise money for local organizations such as the AIDS Project New Haven,  LGBT advocacy group know as GLSEN - The CT Gay and Lesbian Education Network - as well as The Imperial Sovereign Court of All of Connecticut - a non-profit network of drag performers who use their artistry to raise money for other non-profit organizations of which Kiki is "Imperial Crown Princess", which is an one-year position that is appointed by the Reigning Monarchs. 

Patrick says performing in drag not only benefits local organizations when done for charity but also effects the economic value of the community when, “…they bring people into the bars and restaurants where the shows take place who then in turn buy food and drinks. This economic support then gives these venues some financial stability”.  

Not only do drag shows positively effect organizations and businesses, they are also considered to be, “…artistic expressions of the LGBTQ+ community. Drag is one of the artistic offerings that our community creates. The work that queens put into their looks, their fashions and their performances is on par with so many fine arts. This is something that we don’t talk about enough. They [drage shows] are also great statements and can have a huge impact on people that experience them. Some of these come in the form of the queens that make political statements during their performances like when Casey Fitzpatrick, Connecticut’s premiere trans drag performer did a piece about trans in the military after President Trump announced his planned ban to when performers like Malaya Love Nations did her piece at PRIDE New Haven this year about cultural identity”. 

I personally attended the mini drag performance hosted by fellow artist and photographer, Daniel Eugene, in his studio space in Westville as part of the City Wide Open Studios Westville Weekend. What is not always entirely evident in a dark bar setting while watching a drag performance is the level of professional quality and seriousness that these queens put into not only their outfits but their characters as well. During this mini show in Daniel’s kitchen, Kiki performed a lip synched version of singer Ke$ha’s “Praying” that held the audience captive for the entire five minute song. By the end of the performance, there were several standing ovations and dollar bills littering the floor.        

Connect with Patrick at the New Haven Pride Center:
84 Orange Street, New Haven  

Follow Kiki Lucia here:

Alisha MartindaleComment