Monday (8.8.2022)

MONDAY (8.8.2022) Your daily guide to New York City nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE / SOHO

  • CLUB CUMMING: “Cast-Offs” feat. Ben Rimalower & Daniel Nolen (8pm);
    Lance Horne (9pm)
  • NOWHERE: “Macho Mondays” feat. gogo boys & DJ Ryko (8pm)
  • PHOENIX: TBA

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Bar Babe of the Month: Ryan at Georgies

A recent contender for Rebel Supply’s annual Best Bartender in Asbury Park contest, Ryan DeLucia is a neighborhood institution!


Bar(s) that I work at: My main job is Georgies in Asbury Park, NJ and my second job is The Chapter House in Howell, NJ

How long I’ve worked there: I’ve worked at Georgies for a little over three years. I’ve worked at Chapter House for six years.

What are my shifts: Georgies Tuesday nights eight to close for our “Go Go Rama”; Thursdays I work from open to close for our infamous “Hotties & Oddities” drag show; Saturdays I work from eight to close for our karaoke; and Sundays I work our Drag Brunch from one to eight. I work at Chapter House every Monday night from four to midnight, and every other Saturday Lunch from noon to five.

What makes this bar great: [Georgies] is a place where you can go to be yourself without fear of judgement from anyone. The people that come in are very loving, and make going in every day a delight. Everyone from the owner George, to my general manager Joe Cole, to the staff, are like a family to me and treat me very well there. I truly enjoy my job.

Best drink I make: Georgie’s specialty cocktails–the Liquid Marijuana as well as our Jamaican Rum Punch–both rum-based drinks, and since we are a beach town bar I feel they compliment well.

I love it when customers: have their minds made up on what they want to drink, and have their money out and ready.

I hate it when customers: flag me down to tell me that someone else needs a drink like I don’t have eyeballs of my own. My head spins around Linda Blair style when that happens.

Craziest thing I’ve seen here: walking out at the end of the night and seeing someone passed out drooling on themselves on the bench, and having to wake them up and them calling me “Mom,” lol

Other places I’ve worked: I’ve always been a career bartender; before here I worked at T.G.I Fridays when it was still popular, before the franchises went out of business.

My hometown: I’ve lived in a lot of places, but my hometown is Neptune, New Jersey.

Stuff I do when I’m not bartending: school work–I’m currently in school studying to be a therapist for recovering addicts in the LGBTQ community. It takes up a lot of my time, but when I’m not doing that I’m working on keeping myself in shape because mind and body health is very important.

Single or Taken: I prefer not to say, because I like to keep some things private; magicians never reveal all their secrets.

Who/what turns me on: I would have to say someone with a nice figure and a complex mind; there’s nothing sexier then someone who can keep me on my toes.

Favorite music: I like all kinds of music as long as it speaks to my soul on some kind of level.

Favorite movie or TV show: I have a list of favorite movies because horror is my favorite genre. My favorite shows though, at the moment, are Stranger Things and Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. I like myself a mystery.

Favorite drag queen: our headliners here at Georgie’s–Divinity Banks, Tastie and Morrigan Von Haunt.

Favorite gogo boy: Dolce and Chris the Supermodel–they’re some of our boys here on Tuesday nights

Favorite DJ: Phillip James who also works for Georgie’s he plays here in Asbury as well as Provincetown

Other stuff you need to know about me: I’m really down to earth and a sweet person. I treat everyone the way I want to be treated and I love everyone until given a reason not to. I’m one of the underdogs and I will love and support anyone when they truly need it. I will never be fake and people will always have a friend in me.

Follow me on: Instagram, Facebook & TikTok

Tip me at: Venmo @Ryan-Delucia, or you can tip me in person at Georgies Bar any of my shifts.


Bar Babe Archives

Sunday (8.7.2022)

SUNDAY (8.7.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

TRIBECA / CHINATOWN / LOWER MANHATTAN

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Saturday (8.6.2022)

SATURDAY (8.6.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Friday (8.5.2022)

FRIDAY (8.5.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Mx. LeStrange

Since the end of lockdown, this performer has been producing, hosting and performing in a variety of new gender diverse drag and variety programming in the queer Queens County hub of Astoria. In fact, their name was once “Astoria!” Now we call them simply, and aptly, Mx. LeStrange.


Thotyssey: Hello Mx. LeStrange! How is August treating you so far, now that we’re four whole days in?

Mx. LeStrange: August’s been fantastic so far! I have so many new gigs with new faces, and I can’t wait to show everyone what I’ve been working on.

Excellent! So, you have really become the Quing of Astoria recently. I was wondering though–when you were starting your takeover of the ‘hood you were known as “Astoria LeStrange,” but have since simplified it to Mx LeStrange. What prompted that change?

I initially started as a drag queen before I was exposed to the king community. Unlike most, I didn’t really put much thought into my drag name. The first time I painted my face I looked in the mirror and said “Astoria LeStrange!” Don’t get me wrong, I love my name. But as my drag grew to be more of a gender-bent art expression and I started performing more “King” styled numbers, I felt as if Astoria was too feminine. I’ve played around with different first names, but for now I’m just LeStrange. One name worked for Cher, so I think I’ll manage!

Are you an Astoria native?

I wish I could claim that–Astoria local, rather. I moved to NY in 2019 right before the pandemic from Kansas City, Missouri!

That must have been quite a case of culture shock! Were you always into performing or art while growing up… and did you move here to pursue that?

Well I’m a Gemini, so naturally I love attention. While I didn’t start or debut my drag ’til June of 2021, I’ve always been involved in some sort of performance art. I did a lot of local school theatre growing up in Indiana and sang a lot in church, so I’d say between the two I was destined for the stage. I initially moved to New York to pursue my career as a flight attendant, but as of April I made the switch back into advertising so I’d have the opportunity to invest more time into my drag. I now work from home, which is very conducive to producing and performing.

That’s great! How did you discover drag, and what drew you to it?

The first ever drag performance I saw was in Lawrence, Kansas at this dive spot called JazzHaus. I saw Ms. Amanda Love–she’s an iconic staple out there. I’ve always been captivated by the creative skill and performance, but I really feel like I was drawn to drag as almost a necessity of expression. The pandemic was hard; it left us all with endless downtime to think about ourselves. But it gave me the opportunity to really deep dive into myself and my gender. Drag was just a way to get that out and be tangible to me; Mx. LeStrange really helped me understand myself in a different light.

Now that you are Mx. LeStrange, tell us a bit about what your drag and performances are generally like these days.

Well, the beauty is that it’s always evolving. I like to describe my drag as camp chaos. Most of what I perform are mixes that I’ve made, with some sort of reference or gag. You may come to one show where I perform as a fairy Pokémon trainer, a drunk pirate, or Willy Wonka… then come to another a following week where I’m pulling from musical theatre soundtracks. I can’t always promise I’ll be serving King or Queen, but I’m always serving artist, and always serving strange.

And you sing as well.

I do! Not too frequently in drag unless I’m booked specifically for a singing gig, but you will find me hitting up the local karaoke spots out of drag.

The Astoria drag scene is kind of hard to define, I’d say. There’s a lot of different expressions and aesthetics and influences going on!

I adore Astoria’s drag scene, and it’s been nothing but supportive and accepting of me–especially in a climate where it’s so difficult for non-traditional drag artists like Kings and Things to get and maintain well-paid gigs. Beyond the spaces we have, the artists really make the difference… especially for a relatively new performer and producer to be welcomed with open arms. I feel blessed. Astoria’s queer scene is growing, and I look forward to being a part of it.

You’re gonna be partaking in several different shows and experiences over the next few weeks, starting with an early sporting event of sorts in Brooklyn this weekend!

Sunday [morning] I’ll be at the Big Apple Softball League’s “Queer of Diamonds” for the first annual Drag Softball Game! It’s at Prospect Park: 10:30am game time, but we’re also having a home run derby, drag performances, and lunch afterwards for those looking for a fun day at the park for some queer sports!

Then later that evening, you’ll be at Astoria’s newest queer venue Kween starring in a showcase called “Kings of Kween,” where you’ll be joined by Hugh Mann Race. Tell us more!

I’m very excited to be booked at Kween and work with Pedro again; I love what he’s doing for the queer and Latinx community. The show Sunday is one I hope becomes reoccurring, and I’m very excited to have another space to display King talent in Astoria. I know Hugh, and I have some very fun numbers planned.

On Saturday the 13th, you’ll be at Astoria’s oldest queer venue Albatross for producer Bryan De Parsia’s recurring showcase that you’ll be hosting, “Mx. Cabaret!”

Yes! Mx. Cabaret is a variety showcase similar to my “Trans Excellence” that aims to create spaces for trans and non-binary people to showcase their talent. So it’s not exclusively drag, but it is inclusive of it. Bryan’s background in opera leads him to book the most phenomenal jazz and opera singers along with drag performers, musicians… you get it all! Mx. Cabaret very much feels like home because so frequently I get to work alongside some of my closest friends, and that creates a whole new atmosphere of joy. If you don’t come for my chaos, come for Avery Nusbaum; her voice is otherworldly. The whole cast is going to be so fantastic.

Now tell us about how your monthly showcase at Albatross, “Astoria’s Kingdom,” came about, and how it has evolved.

Well quite frankly, I saw the need. I wouldn’t have the show if it wasn’t for the Cake Boys and the NYC drag king network. I competed in the Cakeboys’ “Takes the Cake” competition back in August of 2021, and I was flabbergasted by the talent and brand new (to me) style of drag performance I was exposed to. I went home the night of, and reached out to pitch the idea of a king-thing drag showcase to Albatross… and started the first show that September!

And boy has it evolved. Sometimes thinking back to some of those earlier shows–how unorganized I was–feels a bit cringe. But that’s just growth! I can’t believe how far we’ve come… and to think our September show on the 17th will mark one year.

Before that anniversary, you’ll have an August 20th showcase which will have an open set for guest performers! How will that work?

Like I mentioned earlier, since kings and things are so often under booked and represented in the drag scene, there’s not usually a lot of stages for gaining experience. I did my first open set back in March, and had such a blast that I decided I had to bring it back. In the past, I’ve used a website that simulates a spin-the-wheel feature where I’ll display all the names of the performers entered, and spin to see which artists will make up our open set cast!

You have much going on in the land of Astoria, so to close I’ll ask a very controversial question… what’s the best place to eat there?

Wow, hardest question so far! Well, I’m a sushi slut dumpling dude, so I’ve gotta go with either Pink Nori for the lunch specials, or Bund on Broadway for the soup dumplings. I shamelessly had Bund delivered for lunch today!

Delicious! Thanks, Mx. LeStrange!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Mx. LeStrange’s upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram.

On Point Archives

Thursday (8.4.2022)

THURSDAY (8.4.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife events.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • COCK: DJ Scott Ewalt (6pm)
  • CLUB CUMMING: Burlesque feat. Tallulah Talons (7pm);
    Tim Young (9pm)
  • PHOENIX: Trivia (8pm);
    DJ Boyish Charm (10pm)
  • SLIPPER ROOM: “Boys Night” burlesque feat. Eve Starr with Jason Mejias, Ben Franklin, Joshua Dean & Mr. Gorgeous (9:30pm);
    “Late Night Cravings” burlesque feat. Chris Harder with Rain Supreme, Alisa Mae, & Axel Diego (11:30pm)
  • NOWHERE: TBA

LOWER MANHATTAN / CHINATOWN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Goldilocks

Discussing her journey as a queer indie reggaetón recording artist, her upcoming showcase and the *ahem* “deep” inspiration of her new single, it’s the always-shining Goldilocks! [Cover photo: Raquel Beauchamp]


Thotyssey: Hello Goldilocks, thanks for chatting with us today! Happy August… how’s the month treating you far?

Goldilocks: I’m having a blast so far, how about you?

I can’t complain. Well no, I can complain a little! August is a slow month for nightlife, after all. Actually, that reminds me… some time ago, you were supposed to perform at a party I was running called “Thot Mess,” along with Dragula star Erika Klash… but Covid cancelled us, and the party has yet to return! Did Covid slow a whole lot of your projects and progress down?

Yeah, Covid definitely changed the game a little bit! I had some big shows and plans lined up that got canceled… including ours, lol! But I also got to experience some new ways to entertain a crowd. I was able to perform for Amazon Music’s “Together at Home” virtual concert series, as well as for the Festival of Lights and Sound, and I put on some other fun shows online.

So I definitely feel like I learned a lot, and got to connect with a worldwide audience in a way I hadn’t been able to do before. Plus all that time in lockdown helped me make some dope music… so it’s all good. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes!

I did love the video for your very chill track “Slide My Way,” from almost a year ago now. That wasn’t your first video, right?

No, actually it’s like my third or fourth–but def one of my favorites. We had so much fun shooting that.

How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard you yet?

I would say it’s like a mix of reggaeton, hip hop, pop, and just vibes.

And in your videos and live performances, you always have hot dancing girls with you, lol! Where do you find these ladies… are they your friends?

The girls I dance with are my friends, and they’re amazing dancers and choreographers. They create all the dances themselves, and they’re such an integral part of my shows at this point.

So where are you form originally, and what was the sort of music that originally inspired you while growing up?

I was born and raised in Queens NY, which is where I currently live. But my family is from Asturias, Spain; I’m a first generation Spanish-American. Growing up, I listened to a mix of everything. I always loved reggaetón and rap, and rock and pop music, jazz… even country music sounds good to me sometimes, lol! I love music, all types of music. And I love learning about new music and old music I’ve never heard of.

Can’t wait to hear some Goldilocks country ditties some day!

Lol, I don’t know if I’ll ever make country music on my own ’cause it’s really far out of my comfort zone. But if someone hits me up with an idea for a collab on a country song, that sounds good to me! I’d have the verse in their inbox by tomorrow!

When did you begin recording an performing as Goldilocks, and how did that name come to you?

I started when I was about 19 years old in college. But I had been messing around with rapping and freestyling with friends for a little while by then, nameless, until the name came to me one day. You know, I heard of this lesser-known character from the DC universe named Goldilocks who had the power of persuasion, and it kinda just spoke to me. And I was blonde as a kid, so I was like… yeah, why not? I can rock that. And then it just stuck, everybody started calling me Goldi.

And Goldilocks is very much a rising star today! I’ve seen you perform a few times, mostly with the Jayse Vegas camp, and your energy is always fantastic. But what are the challenges of being a queer indie recording artist today?

I guess the challenges are that people sometimes think they won’t connect with a queer artist if they’re not queer themselves–but to be honest, all that melts away when people hear the music and see the show. Music transcends all those labels, and so do people’s souls. I think we’re all more similar than we realize, and keeping that in mind has really helped me avoid and get through some of those challenges and barriers. And also, girls like me… so that always helps, lol.

You have an upcoming new single called “Feel Good” and an accompanying release party this weekend!

Yes I do! And I encourage everyone who is hot to get a ticket for the show on Saturday, because it’s gonna be a MF party!

What can you tell us about the sound of and inspiration for the new song?

A lot of people may be surprised, but the inspiration for this song is actually and honestly an ode to the best head I ever got in my life. It’s magical, it’s breathtaking, it’s all-consuming fire. It feels gooood! I don’t know if this is a family friendly interview, but that’s the god honest truth.

People in families need good head, too!

They may need it the most.

Tell us about the release party (now that phrase has a different meaning, lol) this Saturday (6:30pm) at 3 Dollar Bill! You’ll be joined by Young Wepa and Darlin! The Band.

I’m going to do a full set–45 minutes–and I’ll be bringing a special guest with me during my set. And the other two performers are amazing–I invited them out because I really think they will mesh with the energy and get the crowd hyped. It’s gonna be a blast… no pun intended!

Anything else the children should be looking out for in the near or distant future?

Absolutely! I got two new singles dropping this summer, and a couple others on the way after that. People can pre-save “Feel Good” right now, and that’s the best place to find all my upcoming stuff… as well as my website.

Much to look forward to! Okay, in closing… who’s had the best summer bop so far (besides you of course)?

Maaaaaaan, I haven’t stopped listening to that new Drake since it came out. Catch me partying to the new Drake album with my tits out in Spain this summer!

We will definitely be there in spirit! Thanks, Goldi!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Goldilocks’ upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Also, check out her website.

On Point Archives

Wednesday (8.3.2022)

WEDNESDAY (8.3.2022) Your daily guide to New York nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING



WEST VILLAGE / SOHO

EAST VILLAGE / LES

TRIBECA / LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Purss’ophonie

Taking over Brooklyn nightlife with fierce numbers and fabulously faux fashions, Purss’ophonie is ready to be crowned Queen of the Underworld! [Cover photo: AJ Jordan]


Thotyssey: Hello Purss’ophonie! I understand you were unable to watch Zavaleta host the “BitchFest” grand finale at C’mon Everybody. But do you have the Tea for us as to who won, how it went, etc.?

Purss’ophonie: Unfortunately I was at work, and the clips / vids were virtually non-existent… so I know for a fact it was crazy. The one small sliver of information I was able to pry out was that my brother Gray Aria won!

That’s great! He’s amazing. Isn’t it annoying though, that we now have to rely on people posting these news items to IG stories, which disappear in 24 hours? These updates were so much easier to find when we all just dumped everything onto our boring old Facebook feeds!

Oh yes, definitely! If you miss something posted about you, you would have to rely on word of mouth… and then find the person who posted the story to then ask them to go in their archives to send it to you. Can you all just send me a telegram? A pigeon message with footage?

Good old-fashioned smoke signals!

[Photo: Anthony Leo]

Well, no doubt the BitchFest competition played an important role in your drag… you made it all the way to the wildcard semifinals a few weeks ago! What were your overall thoughts and impressions of partaking in the competition?

Overall, my experience with competitions hasn’t been the best, so to say. Under the fire and confident exterior, I’m a pretty sensitive person. When I was asked to do BitchFest, it felt sort of like an honor… but I did have a moment like “Okay Purss, you’re a bitch, but more of a ‘Mrs. Bitch Without the Ring.’ Where do you fit in?”

My season’s cast was pretty stacked, and I’d competed against one of my castmates before (and lost, shoutout to Oliver Herface). The first two weeks, I had to pull myself away from my own thoughts and pick up my big girl panties to make it through the next week. I’ve gotten some great feedback from Zavaleta and the judges, but the one important thing I’m able to walk away with is that I have the ability to change and adapt… all while being aware of external factors (space, audience, how a performance will be received) pretty quickly.

That’s the greatest skill set for a performer to have, and not the easiest to learn!

Thank you, it’s definitely coming in handy with these few gigs coming up!

So, where is your original hometown, and what were the things you were interested in while growing up that might’ve led to drag?

I was born and raised in Queens–Astoria, specifically. I’ve always wanted to be an artist and learned the basics: drawing, painting, and dancing by the time I was a teen. By then it was a matter of time that I settled on my niche, which was graphic design. I spent so much time until I was in my mid-20s working on that craft, and eventually becoming the go-to designer for a few artists and party promoters. It was a great gig, but I didn’t feel comfortable being behind the scenes anymore. I randomly thought “I can do that” after watching Bob the Drag Queen win Drag Race Season 8.

A great inspiration! Your name is funny because “Persephone” was a tragic Greek goddess, but it also reads as “Purse So Phony” which celebrates Beauty on a Budget!

Exactly! Everyone take notes! The drag persona has been in the stew for a long time cooking–and I knew the name had to have meaning, be funny, and also tell people what I’m about. Growing up poor and in the projects definitely comes with its own stigmas that I had to navigate, especially when I met other people while I started in nightlife.

A lot of that started as a kid because my mom (love you!) couldn’t afford name brand things, so most of the time I was in Old Navy clothes and Payless shoes like a lot of the kids around me. While brainstorming the name ,I noticed a lot of fashions–the same fashions I would get made fun of for–were in style. During that time I was heavily into gaming, and my main game was Smite, based around a MOBA play style with different pantheons of gods. And like any good sign, Persephone was released. Not long into reading up on her, I realized I might not come from the Underworld, but I do come from under a manhole cover to bring fake bags. The Purss is so phony.

How might you describe the kind of performances you like to do today onstage?

I usually perform music by artists that are POC. I best describe my performance style as someone who gives good face and can move their body. “Is it great?” Is a question I’ll let the audience know, lol.

Have you had an all time favorite stage moment yet?

It’s pretty niche and probably one that most people would be embarrassed from, but I fell while performing at “Amigas” [at the Rosemont] my first time and I recovered so effortlessly that I didn’t even realize it happened! Aside from that gag factor, performing my eight minute Nicki Minaj mix on a whim to a packed “Madd Mondays” crowd at Metro and having the crowd know all the words definitely takes the cake.

Incredible! So these days you’re hosting monthly bingo (second Fridays) at the Big aLICe Barrel Room in Brooklyn’s Industry City.

Yes! The gig came about so randomly, by chance encounter. I had a last minute brunch, and then zoomed into Icon to do about four to five more numbers. And while outside, a random person (at the time) came up to me and complimented me, and chatted me up. After about two minutes of her telling me my hair was beautiful and stunning, she said “the brewery my partner works for is looking for a queen to host bingo.” Yeah, sure, here’s my Insta, take care babes. What shocked me is that Monday I got a DM for my email, and by the next day I was on the phone closing the deal (look at me).

It’s a very laid back gig. We play bingo for free beer, and then have a final lightning round played for a bigger prize (a 4-pack of beer to take home). The crowd is mixed as there is a queer happy hour beforehand–but I have to say that whether they are there for bingo or not, they always end up staying and having a good time. That part’s the most important, ’cause I would say roughly about half of each month’s audience has never been to a drag show. So a lot of the drive comes from wanting to connect with those that it’s their first drag show, but also to create a community to leave people with the feeling of wanting to go back, even if it’s just for the vibes.

Sounds super fun! You’re also gonna be with your fellow “BitchFest” alum MissMa’amShe for a takeover of DJ Sean McMahill’s party “Yes Homo,” this Saturday at C’mon Everybody! That should also be a ki!

Yes! I’m so excited to work with my best friend, and be able to take over the stage with her mama Mx. Iodine Quartz. I know for a fact that night is gonna be a ki… I’m already tired for work the next day!

Anything else on the agenda for you?

I’m part of a cast for a themed show for August 26, so keep your eyelids peeled!

Indeed we will! To close, we’ve had about three days of Renaissance in our lives now… what’s your verdict? Bop, Bomb or Mixed Bag?

I’m such a horrible Beyoncé Stan; I listened to it the first time in full last night at work. It’s a bop, I fear… she’s stepping on my neck again, your honor!

Thank you, Purss’ophonie!


[Photo: MissMa’amShe]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Purss’ophonie’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (8.2.2022)

TUESDAY (8.2.2022) Your daily guide to NYC nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Stella Virgin

Check out a double feature on Saturday from this Long Island Wild Woman, Stella Virgin!


Thotyssey: Hello Stella, happy August! Let’s start with the question of the hour: how are you feeling regarding Jinkx Monsoon’s recent Drag Race All Stars 7 win, and do you have thoughts on the whole season in general?

Stella Virgin: Honestly, I’m stoked for her. In realness though, I don’t actually watch Drag Race (Drag Gods, don’t smite me).

What a shocking confession, let me sit down for a sec, lol! Does Drag Race not appeal to you, or do you just not have the time?

I used to be really into it, and then I got busy with school. Then I tried getting back into it, then got busy with being an adult (or semi-functioning adult)… then Covid happened. Now, trying to get back into it, but I just don’t feel attached to it. I won’t lie, I do very much participate in the meme-ery, but I haven’t seen a full episode since Trixie won All Stars.

Well, that was a high note to check out, at least!

Sure? I’m not sure; it gives me a touch of FOMO with anything past then, but c’est la vie!

So how is Long Island Drag these days? It seems that the queens there have been Hot Girl Summering these past few months, finding more and more venues to turn it out all over the Island!

Long Island Drag these days… it’s wild! Everyone is up and about, doing their things. It seems like every time we start a new show, four new venues ask us to start shows. It’s so different from a few (pre-Covid) years ago. It’s a little overwhelming, but entirely amazing.

Before we continue to discuss the the present and future states of LI drag, we’d best cover your origin story! Are you a native Long Islander?

Kind of! I was born in New Hampshire, raised on Long Island, came into my own adulthood in Buffalo, then moved back. If any of that makes sense.

Sure! And how did drag start for you?

My drag really originated in theater. My junior year of high school, we were doing excerpts from Our Town, and whoever was in charge of directing a specific scene needed a Mrs. Soames. I gladly offered to sit in and do it for a few classes… then it became a thing. My beginnings in drag are pretty much just portraying weird characters in theater, and writing scenes poking fun at teachers.

How did your funny / punny name come to you?

Haha, the name! Well, you’re one of the first few that get the name at the drop of a hat. The name really came from a joke between a close college friend and I; at the time, I was still a virgin. In order to get into the frat houses for free, I’d go in drag and have to give some sort of female name, so we took my virginity and made a pun. Really, nothing too special… other than a solid attempt at totally “legal” drinking.

That’s why many girls became queens in the Olden Days! How might you describe the sort of queen Stella is today, as far as looks, numbers, etc.?

I like to say that she / me / I / we are / is the eclectic queen of art and performance. My looks and numbers are very varied. There are shows where I do characters, there are shows where I just revive old pageant numbers. I really, in all honesty, try to just do things that I will have fun doing. I want the crowd to have fun, so I have to have fun to bring them into the fun. I try to bring music people know, but also mix in a number that someone wouldn’t expect.

Who would you say are coming out to these Long Island shows that you and your fellow queens do: thrill-seeking straight folks, local queer people who don’t want to commute to NYC, etc?

On Long Island, it’s a mixed bag and it depends on the show and space. Last night with Toni Homeperm at The Shabby Tabby Cat Cafe, we saw a lot of women. At LaBelle and Bella Niche’s brunch at The Warehouse, we see bachelorettes, some queer folk, some straight guys. At NuBar, I think most of our crowd is queer folk; but I don’t want to assume… people can be whoever they want, whenever. At BTW, I’ve seen a good lot of everything. So, it really truly depends on how the show is marketed, what the show is, and the location.

You’re gonna bring them all out with a double feature this Saturday, August 6th!

Oh, I hope I bring it all out! I told Toni last night that I hadn’t planned anything yet for the two shows, but I had ideas.

You’ll be starting with “Ladies Who Luau” (3:30pm) at the Pine Grove Inn in Patchogue, alongside Toni Homeperm and Tom Catt!

Pine Grove Inn is really a unique experience; I was introduced to the space pre-Covid. It’s a beautiful space right on the water, tucked away in Patchogue. This will be the second luau event Toni has asked me to be a part of at the Pine Grove Inn. All I can think about is how sweltering it will be performing outside, then running to NuBar right after!

Nubar is where the three of you will be later that night (9:30pm), this time joined by Jasmine GString, for that gay-owned venue’s anniversary!

That show, I’m actually very excited for! Indoors, air conditioning, the works! NuBar will be celebrating their 6th anniversary, which is wild. It’s one of the only queer spaces left here on the island, and that in and of itself deserves a celebration. And with Jasmine too… I love working with her! We’ve been doing drag for probably the same amount of time, she makes me laugh so hard.

What else is coming I for you… and might we see you turn it in NYC anytime soon?

Y’know, I hope I have a comeback in NYC; when I moved back here, I did a few shows at Offside Tavern with Jayse Vegas. I went with Makon Mayhem to some Club Cumming events, but took a step back from NYC for a bit once I started working my day job more.

As for what’s coming next with my drag, I will be in the Nassau County premiere of Kinky Boots at Cultural Arts Playhouse in Syosset. Other than that, I’m honestly not sure. I try to keep a happy medium of Drag and Not Drag time, but it’s really all up in the air… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Balance is key! Thanks, Stella!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Stella Virgin’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

On Point Archives

Monday (8.1.2022)

MONDAY (8.1.2022) Your daily guide to New York City nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE / SOHO

  • CLUB CUMMING: “Cast-Offs” feat. Ben Rimalower & Daniel Nolen (8pm);
    Lance Horne (9pm)
  • NOWHERE: “Macho Mondays” feat. gogo boys & DJ Ryko (8pm)
  • PHOENIX: TBA

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Ricky Allson

A singer / songwriter who is about to release new music while constantly working with fellow queer musicians to create their own, Ricky Allson’s taking you to a House Party in the city this week. [Cover photo: Steven Gabriel]


Thotyssey: Hello Ricky! How have you been dealing with the summer heat these past few weeks?

Ricky Allson: I’m avoiding the heat by not always being in the city! I took a week in LA, and a Fire Island moment as well. Other than that, I am blessed with good air conditioning, and I go out when it cools off at night.

Sounds glorious! I was just watching your video for your track “Take It And Run” that you dropped in March. The always sexy Mel Lennon played your BF. How fun was that shoot?

Mel is the definition of sexy, haha! We had a lot of fun acting with each other, and there was lots of laughter in between. That was an all day, 6am to 4am shoot driving from NYC to Philly and back. Yikes! Mel and the others involved made it a lot of fun, and helped me in so many ways. Shout to them all! As you know, it takes a village…

Indeed it does! So you are a recording artist, a multimedia performer and a producer among other things.

Yes I am all that, lol! Two degrees in music and music education have helped with developing all of it. I’ve spent a lot of time as an educator and a musician, and my music degrees actually have a focus on classical saxophone!

Oh wow! Would you say that you are more of one role than the others these days?

My passion lies in the creating process, so I love songwriting and producing, and have seen myself doing more of that lately. I am currently working on tracks for Jayse Vegas and Robert Garcia, Robyn Banks and Ed Korzethf, and always working and collaborating with J.R. Price and many others including myself.

[Photo: Steven Gabriel]

Where’s your original hometown?

That is a tough question for me… but I usually answer with Stratford, CT; it’s where I went to high school. I was born in Tolland, CT but moved throughout CT in my youth.

And I’m guessing you were always into music growing up.

Music has always somehow been a part of my life in many different capacities, from singing to piano / saxophone to obsessions with Dance Dance Revolution. Moving around made it hard for consistency, but marching band in high school revived that love and drive.

When did you start writing and recording your own music?

Okay, I’m gonna try my best to answer this without getting to deep-divey! But it all started in 2018. I had started to put more time into myself and my identity, and finally had the self-confidence to pursue this passion. I have something to say and share in my own unique way that I know others will connect with, and it will make an impact. I put myself on the sideline for far too long, and this passion and career pursuit is me loving myself.

There’s a small, mighty and growing community of local singer songwriters who are finding their way onto queer bar stages, even as drag is still the dominant entertainment medium there. I imagine that you’re all kind of a tight-knit group, but it also must sometimes get frustrating that you’re not all yet being given the stage time you deserve!

We all try to help each other out where we can. I’ve felt so much love from those who have been successfully pushing longer than me, such as Vegas Valentine or Jayse Vegas.

What I really want to say here is that I totally understand why drag shows are a dominant entertainment. They are fun, and people live for the tasteful braggadocio that is drag. I love it, too. But us queer songwriters have a uniqueness to our craft as well. Drag queens often join forces to make shows; I can see drag and queer artists joining more often than they are, too. There’s enough space for everyone, and I know many on all sides of things are working to create that platform for us. Now us songwriters just have to speak up and sing our hearts out!

And as always, the support from Thotyssey helps tremendously.

We do what we can!

What is the collaborative process like for you, as far as songwriting and producing go? J.R. and Robyn, for instance, have very different styles from each other, and from you! Is it about searching for common musical ground, or finding a way to adapt to everyone’s differences?

I treat each collaborative process like a therapy session… even if the other doesn’t realize it, lol! My first collaborations started with-an-up and coming pop star from Brazil named CECÍLIA. She was my roommate (and fierce ally) for a good three years, and I had the pleasure to build songs from the ground up with her. We still work together, and bring tracks to our producer Randy Whisky who enhances the songs to their full glory.

Long story short, I feel the need to communicate and connect as best as I can prior to the creation process. It helps with knowing the sounds and genres they like: J.R. giving a contemporary Y2K with a mix of Taylor Swift and indie songwriting, while Robyn Banks is all about finding a hip-hop beat that hits well then adding some camp to it.

We’ll get a chance to see you live this week when you appear along with J.R. and Mel for Jayse’s Thursday show at Rebar, “House Party!”

Yes! Jayse is letting me crash his party, and J.R. and Mel are my accomplices! Rebar is going to be so much fun, and I am going to premiere a new song that will come out at midnight that night. Everyone will get a sneak peak! I might even pull something out to surprise the crowd (swing by to find out)! Come through at 9pm for the party, and we’ll make you feel at home! DJ Samuella will be providing beats for us to dance to all night!

The rest of the world can stream the new song the following day… what can you tell us about it?

The song is called “The Come Up,” and after writing an EP which was all about relationships and writing with others in mind, I wanted to write a selfish song that I think everyone can relate to. It’s a high energy, synth pop rock vibe that talks about how people can mistake my kindness with flirting, and how frustrating it can be that people jump to that. But at the end of the day, I mean… I am horny, too. So its a fun way to describe trying to get the right one to fool around with, but ending up with no one for the night from being too picky. It’s a summer bop and will be available on all platforms!

Extraordinary! And what else is coming up for you?

There will be a music to be released later on for “The Come Up” that is still in development, and I will be performing with many others in “Vinyl Fantasy” on August 22nd at 3 Dollar Bill. We are honoring the flavor-filled album Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus! Other than that, keep your eyes and ears open for projects that I am producing or singing on! Pretty soon I’ll be everywhere!

No doubt… see you out there soon, Ricky!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Ricky Allson’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and his website. Stream his music on all multiple platforms here.

On Point Archives

Sunday (7.31.2022)

SUNDAY (7.31.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

TRIBECA / CHINATOWN / LOWER MANHATTAN

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Saturday (7.30.2022)

SATURDAY (7.30.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Friday (7.29.2022)

FRIDAY (7.29.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

  • TUCK ROOM: Beyonce / Renaissance tribute party feat. Velvet Noir with Jaé, Sheneeda Dickson, Privilege, Cara Westwood, Angelique Stevens, Gia, Lanyé Armön & Taraye (8:30pm)

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Tuna Melt

This native New Yorker, producer and music industry insider is here for both a fun new weekly in Queens and a very important event in Brooklyn: the King of the Sea, Tuna Melt! [Cover photo: Désirée De Sade]


Thotyssey: Hiya Tuna! We’re passed the summer halfway point… how has the season been treating you?

Tuna Melt: So far, so good! June was a whirlwind of my day job plus my first Pride month performing as a drag king. Many plates were spun! July I’ve focused on rest, working on my weekly at Savage, and connecting with close friends at Jacob Riis. I would love to hear how your season is going, too!

Good! Getting busier and dipping my toes into new waters… even though these dog days of late summer tend to be nightlife’s slowest! All drag is sweaty in the summer, but I bet king drag is particularly a challenge in this heat.

Facts. My mustache just won’t stick. Prosaide. Waterproof makeup. Eye liners. Eye shadows. Setting sprays to the max. I’ve tried it all; my sweat is my kryptonite. I’m feeling blessed, though, that rompers are still a thing… I love a gaudy men’s romper.

So how long have you been Tuna now?

My official one year dragiversary will be on August 20th; I shouldn’t be surprised one bit that Tuna is a Leo. My first performance was at the #TakestheCake competition produced by The Cake Boys. It took some convincing from my drag dad aka my actual biological father Theydy Bedbug for me to sign up. A slot opened up, and I figured “Why not?” I had no idea the adventure I’d go on, or that I would be the runner up. It’s been a truly transformative year for me in and outside of drag.

Let’s discuss the Tuna prequel story for a moment: where are you from originally, and were you always a performer of some sort?

I was born in Manhattan at St Lukes, raised in the sticks of the Hudson Valley. My family is Chinecuadorican (aka Chinese, Puerto Rican, and Ecuadorian). My parents are from Ecuador and Puerto Rico, which meant they instilled in me as a kid that I had to work two times harder than everybody else.

I fell in love with music when I first heard SWV’s “Weak” in my parents basement. I remember this vividly; it felt exactly like the way I fell in love with a partner. That song hit me like a ton of bricks. I have a large family of aunts, uncles, and cousins in NY, and we all love performing in one way or another. My refuge as a kid was choir. I didn’t fit in the town I grew up in because it was mostly white; I was definitely made fun of and bullied for being Latine and Asian. My parents are my heroes, and instilled in me a work ethic because they came from nothing. I also never really felt like I fit because I never got to know my Asian culture (something I’m reclaiming and learning now) and… I was never Hispanic enough.

The town I’m from is extremely conservative in New York, so I couldn’t wait to get away… and college was that getaway. I went to Wagner on vocal scholarship for an Arts Administration degree, and my senior year I interned at Atlantic Records. I knew from a young age I wanted to work in music, and I’ve worked myself up to be a Music Business Administration Partner in Music Tech under the best licensing teams in the business. Getting my foot in the tech door was also life-changing, but I was alone as a trans nonbinary person. That’s what led me to drag.

There’s a growing number of drag performers who aren’t doing the usual female drag today, but surprisingly few true kings. What inspired you to make Tuna a Mmanly Man, if that’s accurate?

Lol, a manly man! That’s so funny because Tuna is also in a lot of ways a reflection of the cis and trans men in my life that inspire day-in and day-out, but also poking a little fun of the seriousness of masculinity. Tuna is fluid, but is going through his gaudy boss phase. I’m very inspired by Walter Mercado, Elton, Gaga, and Liberace. I wish my bank account was just as inspired–gaudy suits ain’t cheap!

My dad really broke the machismo mold as a Latino man. He could have been more like my uncles, but he’s sensitive, caring, generous, and a huge supporter of my drag. What I know of my grandfather was that he was a community leader in Ecuador for the Cantonese population.

I also work in a cis male dominant industry, and the cis women in the music industry are just as much of powerhouses on my teams as the men. As a trans person in this space, I’m trying to navigate my own glass ceilings and creating my own path, so Tuna on stage is my way of channeling the way I wish I could take up space. And off stage, it’s being cognizant of the drag kings and Things around me, because we’re very much fighting for our own representation as a community. So in summary: strong dad energy. Also to note: dad energy doesn’t belong to only men. We all have dad energy!

The Cake Boys were great trailblazers for the current wave of Kings and Things coming up in NYC drag, and their weekly showcase at The Q was a fun way to present these performers with a popular stage in Manhattan. It’s such a shame, but certainly understandable, that they cancelled the show after news got out via Frankie Sharp’s lawsuit of former fellow manager Alan Picus‘ alleged inappropriate behavior with racist / transphobic door policies and employee interaction, among other grievous activities.

I hope in the near future The Cake Boys get their roses for the space they have created in NYC. I am proud of them, and all community members that are committed to holding venues accountable in their racism, transphobia, sexual misconduct, and misogyny. I also hope people see this as an opportunity to give us more weekly homes, monthly show spots–as Kings and Things, and also alternative drag queens and burlesque artists. We need community more than ever, and what separate an actual community from a group of acquaintances is committed action and mutual support for each other.

There is actually gonna be a “town hall” of sorts to address these issues–which will also function as a benefit show for those affected by the Q situation and related discrimination issues in nightlife–this Sunday at 3 Dollar Bill. The organization We Together is producing the night, Neon Calypso and Cake Boy DJ Senerio are hosting it, and you’ll be appearing onstage. What more can you tell us about “Art Riot?”

I’m truly honored to be a part of this. “Art Riot” will be an educational town hall that will address issues such as racism, misogyny, transphobia, fatphobia, sexual harassment, etc. and coming up with specific and concrete solutions, suggestions and visions of changes we would like to see implemented in nightlife.

I am moderating a panel with Themme, Klondyke and Lucky Pierre for Drag Kings and Drag Things, discussing our experience. In addition to the Cake Boys, these three represent some of our most talented and hard working Kings and Things (and everything in between) and I really need everyone that’s not us and committed to changing nightlife there to listen and take action.

One thing I will say about the King and Thing community is that we show up for each other, but we also need the larger drag community to show up for us. Key words: show up for us. I do not expect everyone to love my drag, or understand it, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less of a drag performer… and all of us are necessary to create change.

Everyone who can come out, should! Meanwhile, you have a fun weekly situation up in Astoria care of the newly re-opened and rebranded eatery Savage! “Belt with Melt” is the Thursday karaoke party you host, where you get the chance to rock those well-honed choir chops. How has this new night been so far?

It’s been a learning experience, and also does not feel like work because singing is what I love. My goal is to bring more Drag Kings and Drag Things to Astoria. I also have my own point of view of karaoke as a King: I’m not afraid to try multiple genres of music… and also I make mistakes when I sing, too. I want this space to be a space where anyone who wants to sing, can. People fear public speaking more than they fear death, so for me karaoke people always bring me joy. There’s something special about someone who comes up and says, “fuck it. Today I’m singing my song.”

Savage Latin is also a vegan venue! Big shout out to them: I went to the owners and said “this is what I want to do on Thursdays,” and they said “go for it.” [The venue has] really let me run with my idea, and I’m hoping to bring a different singing experience as a King. I went to audio school, so it’s my goal to make sure everyone feels like they are a star when they are on the mic. It’s my way of combining the niche (Tuna) with what’s universal: singing.

There’s a also a show in Astoria that you produce seasonally, at Grove 34, called “Transcendence.”

“Transcendence” came from my love of Astoria and performance. I’m in my first year, and my goal is to do four shows in 2022 with the intention of producing four shows in 2023. No matter how you paint your face, drag is not easy… yet the demand for it is growing. There is a demand for queer culture, and I wanted to create my own space. I heavily rely on my corporate event planning experience to make this happen, and I fully fund each “Transcendence” show. My artists get $200 for two acts, and a $50 cab stipend.

This came from my first year as a King and Thing when I was hearing sometimes that our drag is viewed as “less than,” and that we don’t draw crowds. Well, if you have a bad time slot, how can you draw a crowd? I’m going to turn 36; most of my friends have kids and need to wake up early, so I said, “let me invest in my own space… a space where performance, in particular underrepresented and/or trans performers, can feel like they can breathe, and the audiences that love us can breathe, too.” My goal is to invest the community and it’s performers, and I’m open to sponsors to keep this long term. And also, I want to show people that a trans masc nonbinary person of color means business. The next “Transcendence” is 9/24, and the line up is amazing!

By the way, it’s great that you get to work so frequently with your spouse, burlesque artist Redd Flag!

Redd Flag is my co-producer with “Transcendence,” and 100% someone I frequently collaborate and perform with. They brought into this [nightlife] world when we first started dating! I was a corporate stiff who gave up on performing before Redd Flag. There would definitely be no Tuna if I hadn’t met them. I started by watching them perform when they were taking classes at the NY School of Burlesque. They have a raw talent in them, and I am excited for them to create new solo acts. There’s nothing I love more than seeing them perform.

[Photo: JF Sheehan]

Is there anything else to add?

One thing I want to say is that in face of the problems our entire community [is confronted with], I’m hopeful we’re going to come together.

Same! Which brings us to the Great Queer Uniter, Beyoncé, and Renaissance! By the time this interview comes out, it will be a Thing. By your prediction, will the new album change our gay lives forever?

I have loved Beyonce since “No, No, No Pt. 2.” Beyoncé changed the way we released music, from visual formats down to the day it’s released. I’m going with “Yes.” I think she is someone who is constantly looking for ways to reinvent herself and her art. #beyhive

Thank you, Tuna!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Tuna Melt’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Instagram and YouTube.

On Point Archives

Thursday (7.28.2022)

THURSDAY (7.28.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife events.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / CHINATOWN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

ONLINE CONTENT


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DIVES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DRINK N’ DRAW | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA

Save the Date | Full Calendar

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Piper

Representing a new generation of nightlifers challenging the cis male gender norm of drag performance, Piper is a Tiny Dancer with a Heart of Gold who’s nevertheless here to slay NYC’s most marvelously monstrous drag competition.


Thotyssey: Hello Piper! Thanks for chatting! We’re nearly at the end of July… how did the month treat you?

Piper: Hi! Happy to be here! July has been great! It’s my first summer in the city, and I’m having the time of my life. The heat has been killing me, but I’m surviving.

Well done! Where are you from originally?

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, but started drag in college in a small town in Florida!

Oh wow… what drew you to do drag initially?

Well, I found drag through Drag Race during my senior year of high school. When I moved to Florida, I instantly knew I had to experience drag in real life. I was at the local gay bar almost every night watching shows for four years. I didn’t really see myself represented in a lot of the drag I was around, which is why it took so long for me to start. But now that I’ve started, I can’t be stopped!

What is it about the art of drag, do you think, that inspires so many people from different walks of life and gender identities to pursue it?

I think so many people are drawn to drag because it really allows you to express yourself in a way that mainstream art doesn’t always understand. Also, every performer I have gotten to meet has a different perspective and a different reason for why they decided to start drag. Because of that, each performer and their art is so unique to them… which makes drag such an intimate and personal experience.

As Piper, you’re known for your creative looks and dancing. But also you just exude this super positive energy that’s infectious! Most pics I see you in, you’re smiling. Is this how you might describe Piper to the uninitiated?

Thank you! And for sure! Piper is definitely a party girl who loves to dance around and shake some ass. My pop icon growing up was Britney Spears, so as Piper I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from her music and upbeat performance style!

Were you always a dancer?

Yep! I grew up dancing since the age of four, and really haven’t stopped. In college, I got a lot of opportunities to start choreographing as well. Being able to take my dance and choreography background into drag has been super fulfilling!

You’re a frequent presence at Maddelynn Hatter’s “Madd Mondays” at Metro, which features an open stage that often showcases kings, things and non-binary drag performers! I’m guessing there are some really positive and inspiring vibes that keep folks coming back there every week.

Oh, absolutely… I love, love, love “Madd Mondays!” Maddelynn really gives all the performers love and the chance to shine, which is not common at every open stage / competition. I was also recently adopted by [Maddelynn’s drag child] Blue, so “Madd Mondays” has become a way for me to see a great show and my family!

So, you officially have a Granny Hatter?

Haha, yes… good ole Grandma Madd!

What’s your favorite number to do these days?

Ugh, it’s so hard to choose! I definitely have some staple numbers (“Good Ones” by Charli XCX and “The Motto” by Ava Max). However, recently I’ve been competing in La Zavaleta’sBitch Fest,” and have been able to do some more creepy, seductive numbers… which has been a blast!

[Photo: Anthony Leo]

Tell us about “Bitch Fest!” This is a competition that Zavaleta started at C’mon Everybody after her season of Dragula aired. It therefore has a somewhat darker edge than most local competitions, and you won a preliminary cycle of it.

I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it! As someone who is still exploring what my drag is, I’ve been really grateful for the opportunity to expand my own concept of drag. I’ve tried to use “Bitch Fest” as a way to do performances that I’ve never done before, and try new things! I’ve gone scary, sexual, upbeat, emotional… who knows what’s next for me?

Also, I’ve really enjoyed being surrounded by the other artists and competitors. Each person brings something uniquely themselves, and it is always a joy to see someone perform in a way that’s meaningful to them.

This Sunday is… OMG… the “Bitch Fest” grand finale at C’mon!

Ahhh! I know! It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so excited! I’m actually working on my outfit as we speak!

You are among a really fascinating group of finalists.

They are all so different and so good at what they do, that I truly have no idea what everyone will pull out! What I do know is that it will be an amazing show and a true fight to the finish!

What else is coming up for you?

Well, I will be at Big aLICe Brewing Co. with my sis Purss’ophonie on August 12th for bingo. I also have some really cool choreography projects in the works, so keep an eye out on Instagram for when those will be out!

We shall keep our eyes open! Lastly, you might be the last person I get to ask: who’s winning All Stars 7!?

For me: I’m Team Jaida and Monét all the way!

Thanks, Piper… break a leg at “Bitch Fest!”


[Photo: Jeff Eason]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Piper’s upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

On Point Archives