Emilie Rasmussen 4.3.2019

The House V, an event put together by Lavender Thug, was held on March 15, 2019, in downtown El Paso. The show, which was in a bookshop, began at 7:30 PM and consisted of various local artists, musicians, drag performers and vendors.

Most of the show’s attendees were young adults. There was a bustling crowd both upstairs and in the basement, where musicians and eventually drag queens performed.

The House V’s theme was love and the earth, and was organized by Lavender Thug, whose name is Joshua Yrrobali. Lavender Thug was raised in El Paso, and explained that “As an artist and performer striving to make it big, I would perform at and attend shows others would throw…I figured hey I could probably do this better!”

“I wanted to create that same energy of being free and dancing and not even thinking twice about what someone would say or think…” said Lavender Thug. They continued: “…because hey, I’m being free and you’re gonna love me for it! And you’re gonna love it so much you’re gonna wanna join me in being free, it’s all about expression of self in the most creative ways.”

Lavender Thug explained that sometimes, organizing shows is overwhelming. However, they said that they “…wanted to create an environment where people felt at home and felt free to be themselves and not judge or be judged, this is why I say ‘welcome home’ when people arrive, because I want people to know they are safe in these four walls wherever the show is thrown, it is their home.”

Benji Martinez was a part of the event, offering makeup services. Martinez began using makeup on July 4th, 2017. “Whenever I got a chance to practice I would and eventually I got comfortable enough to actually wear it out in public… The love and support I receive always pushes me to get better and get more creative with my looks,” said Martinez.

Bomb Beauty Products offered Martinez an opportunity to work a pop up at The House, where he would, he said, “face paint and do creative makeup looks on people that came to the event. Of course, without hesitation I accepted because being able to do what I love is a no-brainer. It was an awesome way to meet new people and get them out of their comfort zone.”

While at The House V, Martinez was able to meet and work with another makeup artist, and gave many people different makeup looks.

Martinez said, “Being a part of this event really helped push me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to meet a lot of awesome new people… I can be introverted when it comes to meeting new people, but the energy at the event was so happy and positive, it just made the event so much fun.”

At the end of their interview, Lavender Thug said: “We are all living this extremely lucky and unique human experience, we are all one still though, and karma is real, so just love everyone and everything unconditionally, including yourself, and the world will be a better place! That’s the mission, love.”

What did I think? This was my first time attending one of Lavender Thug’s shows. I’m still feeling intensely excited about it. I love the idea of creating shared experiences like this one, and I love shared ideas and shared feelings and shared excitement and happiness.

It was refreshing for me to be surrounded by lots of positive energy and other creative people my age. Knowing a few people was also a really neat feeling for me. I decided that I want to make more art in the next few months, even though I’m usually pretty busy.

The next House will be on April 26th, and its theme will be sex and sex education.