Queer Brooklyn’s prolific, swift, and intensely avant garde rapper has emerged as an important force in the Nightosphere. Besides co-producing the massive GiantFest queer music festival with Will Sheridan and a similar improv-centric music showcase called Bonafide Cypher at Eris Evolution with Jen Urban, Senerio DJ’ed Jayse Vegas and Robert Garcia’s weekly at Offside Tavern for much of the past two years. We’re anxious for him to find the time to put out some new music!
149. Ruby Fox
Dubbed “The Coolest Person In the Room” by PAPER in October, and “the most famous drag queen in New York” by that girl’s mystery narcissist roommate, this high fashion dancefloor destroyer is an essential element to any scene that needs to be seen. When she’s not serving face for Susanne Bartsch or Ty Sunderland, catch Ruby most Sundays at The Deep End hosting Otter Box, and she’s soon to be a weekly co-host of The Ritz’s Monday night lineup.
148. Jolina Jasmine
Jersey’s smoldering and exotic dance diva is now a Manhattan staple as well, performing twice a month at Pieces as Jasmine Rice’s Thursday night co-host.
147. Phi Phi O’Hara
I mean, can anything on Instagram beat her gallery of Harry Potter looks from this year? O’Hara even masterfully recreated J.K. Rowling herself! And while the former Drag Race villainess seems to be increasingly going by her given name of Jaremi Carey and presenting brilliant cosplay looks that aren’t exclusively female, we still get our Phi Phi fix a few times a year as part of the cast rotation in Industry’s epic weekly revue QUEEN.
146. Whendy Whaxwood
The bingo queen of The Holler in Brooklyn and Paradise in Asbury Park is a lovely comedienne who also threw her wig in the ring for this year’s Miss’d America pageant., She additionally starred as one of the titular Three Tall Queens at The Duplex, a play loosely based on her friend Lindsey Kay’s life.
145. Rise Bar
Watering hole for the beautiful and the bougie (it still cracks us up that they want photo resumes for coatcheckers), this northernmost Hell’s Kitchen venue is still one of the newer kids on the block… yet packs them in throughout the week. And with great drag shows like Messy Mondays and Legend Wednesdays, plus fan favorite Cut Throat Karaoke Tuesdays, it’s no wonder why.
144. Jacklynn Hyde
Sutton Lee Seymour’s lovely and comedic drag daughter is now one of Astoria’s most recognizable queens. Catch her hosting Monday karaoke and a Friday show at Albatross, plus a Sunday brunch at Chelsea’s Doyler’s 37. Jacklynn is now Sherry Pie’s Tuesday night co-hostess at The Duplex in the West Village as well.
143. DJ Nesto
The Monster’s longtime DJ expanded his sonic reach this year with new gigs at Boxers Washington Heights and Jersey City’s Six 26.
142. Inita D
Having a rep for being super reliable and good-natured doesn’t hurt, but this Cheer New York queen’s career exploded in 2019 largely thanks to her jaw-dropping dance moves and increasingly glam looks. Nowadays she’s most commonly found at the Boxers bars in Washington Heights and Hell’s Kitchen, Monster, and Fresco’s Cantina in Astoria… but she’s kind of popping up everywhere else as well.
141. Sherry Poppins
This crazy queen will do any damn thing for a gag, including lip synching the Wii shop channel theme. Although she’s current immersed in the Astoria scene where she has shows at both Alabatross and Icon, Sherry still frequently turns it out with her OG Brooklyn crew to co-host the wild Str8 To DVD showcase monthly at Gold Sounds.
140. Dan Darlington & Peter Napoli
The DJ pair’s popular local furry circuit party BRUT has recently become a global phenomenon, travelling all over the world dropping the sexy beats. BRUT made its way back to NYC a few times in 2019, notably for World Pride and Halloween.
139. Theydy Bedbug
Alternately embracing, destroying and subverting forms of gender and genre that you didn’t even realize were there in the first place, Theydy is one of those performers leading the New Drag Revolution in Brooklyn. This year’s winner of Brooklyn’s biggest drag competition Mr(s) BK and now the host of The Rosemont’s monthly alt-drag showcase Wannabe, Theydy could very well be writing a new chapter in the history of drag as you read this.
This year, New York burlesque superstars Twinky Boots and Milo Pony joined forces to front a rotating roster of the city’s hottest old school burlesque guys in the collective Members Only, which has now had several super successful shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Twinky won Best Burlesque at the GLAMs this year (tied with Chris Harder), and the sky is the limit for these two amazing naked guys.
137. Morgan Royel
This year, the divine diva of Lips Restaurant competed in Miss Black Universe and hosted a major benefit for Princess Janae Place at Stonewall, all while keeping up with her weekly Thursday night party at The Ritz.
136. Cissy Walken
Winning Miss Stonewall during World Pride is a big deal, both literally and symbolically. And the slinky, sparkly Cissy certainly earned the crown, in a pageant number that utilized her Italian heritage, pasta making skills (she teaches classes in that, in full drag) and an audience-murdering wardrobe reveal. She has since returned to Stonewall several times to host Invasions, and provided the only vocals in an otherwise all-lip synched production of The Simzins (which she co-wrote and produced with the other drag stars) as an uncannily on point singing Marge.
135. Daddy Ersin
Macho bear dungeon master Daddy’s monthly RAM at Rebar continues to be one of Chelsea’ biggest draws for those into leather, fetish and fur. RAM’s gone global as well, and an Asbury Park poolside edition was a highlight of the summer for many.
134. Daphne Always
The comedy chanteuse of Club Cumming may be an increasingly private person, but that certainly hasn’t slowed her starpower in 2019. After a spectacular turn as Sally Bowls in a production of Cabaret at The Deep End, Daphne went on to perform a number of sold out solo shows at the prestigious Joe Pub.
133. William Francis
The sexy disco and house DJ spent much of 2019 on dance floors all over the world, but off season was found spinning some of our city’s biggest parties and his resident nights at Club Cumming, The Cock and ACME.
132. Ariel Sinclair
The Lips legend and Stonewall Sensation hostess celebrated her 25th consecutive summer as an Ice Palace Entertainer on Fire Island this year, and popped up several times hosting shows and bingos across Long Island as well.
131. The Vault
Brooklyn’s newest hotspot has a strange multi-tiered shape and is desolately located, but that all only adds to the fun. Sexy, scrappy, and with a sound system that slays, the Vault is where one can catch a pretty diverse swatch of shows ranging from traditional showstopping drag to naughty genre-breaking freakiness. The bartenders are all sweethearts and the overall mood is “anything goes, but relax, but HEY WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THAT STAGE RIGHT NOW!?” Bonus: when the downstairs disco is open, there are more bathrooms available then there are in Heaven.
Last year’s Miss Stonewall is this year’s high flying, low diving, pint size dance queen of NYC, and an increasingly edgy fashionista to boot. The Hawaiian flower is wanted all over the city for guest spots and special events, but you can catch the always game Hibiscus monthly for her popular Stonewall show.
129. Preston Burford
One of nightlife’s most in-demand editorial photographers can only do so much for us due to a demanding daytime career, but managed to gift us with some stunning shots of this season’s NYC RuGirls and several other local queens as well (including the cast of this season’s longform Astoria drag competition, Iconic).
128. Tammy Spanx
The bingo (Cherry’s on Fire Island) and brunch (Mad River on the East Side) queen is comedy gold, and made a wicked Mary Sanderson in the Club Cumming production of Witch Perfect, where she also hosts a monthly variety show. Tammy and Bootsie LeFaris really put the “cunt” in “country” with a pair of southern-fried Invasions at Stonewall.
127. Ted Bishop Nieves & Darker Link
NYC’s bear supercouple just tied the knot. Both title holders (Ted is last year’s Mr. Fire Island Bear, Link is Mr. Rockbar 2019), Ted continues to DJ in venues ranging from The Ritz to The Hangar to Rockbar–that last one being the site of Purgatory, a monthly kinkfest that he spins while hubbie Link hosts.
126. Devo Monique
Possibly the Brooklynest of Brooklyn queens, Devo is also one of the hardest-working. It’s a marvel to see how many times she pops up at events to gag the children with a fierce dance number, and challenge them with a provocative look that challenges what audiences expect from a queen. Catch her regularly at Macri Park, door queening for Mondays on Mondays, and monthly at The Rosemont… and we’ve heard that there are even bigger things in store for this talented girl.
125. Mini Horrorwitz
Brooklyn’s comedy creepclown has been serving us classic glamfish as of late, and we’re here for it. In November, Mini hosted Miss Gay Beer 2020 at C’Mon Everybody, and became the main attraction of Metropolitan’s Wednesday night party CAKES. But also, she’s everywhere in Brooklyn doing everything.
124. Dezi 5
If there is a post-drag nightlife in NYC, this dynamic performer will be part of the first wave. With a friendliness that belies a larger-than-life personality, a flashy wardrobe and a ferocious singing voice, this musician and producer electrifies any room he’s in. Currently hosting a Tuesday night bear party at Nowhere (Beers & Brawn) and a fun monthly situation at The Vault called “Full Length LP” where singers and drags cover entire iconic albums at once, Dezi is a king among queens. And this just in, we’re loving his soulful, soon to be released new single, “Lady.”
123. The West End
The Upper West Side cabaret lounge and the site of the former Westgay at Westway has played an important role in nightlife these past few years, giving platforms for singers and musicians and helping to launch or elevate the drag careers of queens like Alexis Michelle, Nedra Belle, Schwa de Vivre, Brita Filter, Lagoona Bloo and many more. Home of the Ultimate Drag Pageant and the So You Think You Can Belt singing competition, The West End is getting ready to see the launch of a sister bar in Hell’s Kitchen in the coming months… which is likely to be a game changer in its own right.
122. James Michael Avance
One of nightlife’s most deft and creative editorial photographers, James put out some great shots of both local and RuGirls this year, while also release snipets of original music on YouTube.
Having obtained a global following on Instagram thanks to her bold, creative and dreamlike (at times nightmarish) drag looks, the artist formerly known as Harajuku seems to be keeping it more soft and femme as of late… but no less gorgeous. One of three queens currently turning the party every Wednesday night at The Rosemont for OOPS–perhaps the borough’s most popular weeknight kiki–Juku now also packs them into the Vault for her “Met Gala” affairs on select weekends.
120. Matty Glitterati
The otter-tastic party monster continues to curate the popular FEMME Fridays at Club Cumming, which features some of the coolest guests performers and DJs the city (and world) has to offer. On other nights, catch him living it up in or near the DJ booth at venues like ReBar, Rockbar and The Cock. And also, see a more serious side of Matty as an actor in the short film Neon Boys.
119. Kristy Blaze
The co-host of Stonewall’s drag competition Polish the Queen and Posh’s Drag-N-Beats Wednesdays is still a big time Jersey broad (and house mother to a large nightlife family there), lending her high energy showmanship to Club Feathers and the Asbury Park bars whenever possible. She’s also recently begun hosting a brunch at Jackson Heights’ new venue Kings, and a retro dance party twice a month at Bedlam.
118. Snack Theater
Rara Darling and Angelica Sundae produce and star in this eclectic revue that combines elements of theater, cabaret, burlesque, drag and Vaudville. With shows every few months at Chelsea Music Hall that include several nightlife luminaries in the cast with new, exciting themes each session, Snack Theater is a great example of how drag and burlesque can evolve beyond bars and clubs into something more “high art”… while still remaining accessible.
117. VJ OhRicky & Nicky Boom Box
This pair DJs most of the Pieces and Hardware shows between the two of them, and now both work at Therapy as well. VJ OhRicky brings us video blocks of pure pop, Eurocheese and K-Pop between and after the drag sets, while Nicky’s audio sets are retro and Madonna heavy… and expect him to turn it on the dancefloor near closing time. Also, both men have an abnormal obsession with Kylie… but what queer DJ doesn’t?
116. Stephanie Stone
A walking encyclopedia of high fashion iconography, the Glamtastic Stephanie has been making the bachelorettes gaffaw at Lips Restaurant and all the children gag at Ladyfag’s main events for a minute now. And in 2019, Ms. Stone started a new venture: her own weekly show, Wednesday at The Duplex.
115. Octavia Anyae
The fun Jersey-based dance diva has been turning it uptown at Suite for years now, but shortly after winning 2018’s Miss Latinissimo crown has became a lot more visible in Manhattan. Octavia now also co-hosts the Wednesday night party at Posh with Kristy Blaze, and is the diva-in-charge of Green Lips, the revived classic kiki that is now Monster’s Saturday night affair.
114. Cameron Cole
Cameron has been instrumental in keeping Brooklyn nightlife thriving and relevant. The DJ, photographer, producer and all-around Jill of All Trades was a regular presence in the production booth at Metropolitan Bar and Macri Park (notably as the house DJ of Macri’s Mondays on Mondays) before being asked along with Macri bartenders Meg and Josh to jumpstart a brand new venue, The Vault. The trio poured the hearts and souls into getting The Vault off the ground, and remain with it still. Cameron DJs many Vault shows and continues to book talent and parties there, while The Rosemont’s manager Troy has joined the managerial team as well.
113. Lauren Ordair
In addition to hosting at Lips Restaurant and her own long-running Thursday night show at The Duplex, NYC drag’s arguably greatest vocalist got the perfect new gig in 2019: hosting karaoke at Boxers Chelsea along with newcomer Vix. Lauren was also one of the titular Three Tall Queens, a stage play based loosely on on the life of its director Lindsey Kay, for several dates at The Duplex.
One of New York drag’s greatest and most photo friendly beauties, the divine diva Digna hosted a weekly at Boxers HK this year, and is a regular presence at The Ritz (where she hosts a popular Saturday monthly party called, what else, “DIGNA”).
111. Cacophony Daniels
Few queens can provoke such joy in an audience as much as Cac can. The Jersey Boys Broadway alum is a Titaness of charm and vocal range, and mixes it up beautifully with her Broadway Mondays at Hardware co-hosts Sutton Lee Seymour and Paige Turner–and can hold her own there when those broads are off on tour.
You haven’t experienced the full gamut of New York drag until you’ve seen Busted do a reveal of the same wrap dress beneath the one she just removed. Much like a really strung out superhero, Busted is fully a character who’s remained basically unchanged since her inception some years ago: weird, rambling, fascinating and hilarious. Best known as a summer seasonal performer at Fire Island’s Cherry’s on the Bay, Busted’s Wednesday weekly at Pieces draws a huge crowd as well. And recently, she started rolling bingo at The Phoenix in the East Village.
109. Jayse Vegas
The city’s favorite queerboi singer / songwriter / dancer / show host released a sharp, sexy set of songs in the form of The Gay Agenda EP. In addition to these tracks, Jayse helped write lyrics for his Hive Mother Honey Davenport’s new music and appeared in some of her videos, as well as his own. Jayse continues to co-host (with Robert Garcia) a popular weekly live music event at Offside Tavern that is now called “Oh Wow,” performs monthly at Rockbar, and is a preferred guest for drag and variety shows everywhere.
108. Zarria Powell
A Miss Liberty Continental contestant this year, the increasingly popular comedic hostess Zarria currently has two big weekly shows to manage: Gay College Tuesdays at The Ritz, and the newer Sunday drag competition at the Monster called “Off With Her Head” which will ultimately crown the next Miss Monster.
Lola is queen of the Cock (bartending and also occasionally hosting bingo there), while holding down the fort to host the “Play With Me” Sunday show and game night at ReBar during Honey Davenport’s absence. Catrina was part of The Phoenix’s Saturday crew for most of the year, while taking part in Ari Kiki’s monthly RIOT at Stonewall. Together, the House of Kiki sisters host one of Stonewall’s most popular monthly happy hour shows, “The Kiki,” as well as Club Cumming’s Thursday night “Viva La Diva” with DJ William Francis.
It was a minute since one of New York’s most glamorous songbirds graced our fair shores, given that she spends much of her time in Europe. But in 2019 we got to see a lot of Epiphany, who co-hosted a weekly show with Pissi Myles at Industry and a weekend party at Phoenix among several other appearances.
105. Zeta Jones
Va va voom! This cosmetic mastermind and delightful dance diva has pulled off what few have been able to achieve: a consistently popular weekly Tuesday party in Chelsea that draws a younger crowd: Zeta House at ReBar. Zeta also appeared frequently at Atlas Social Club and the Pines Pavilion, and hosted her first Stonewall Invasion in September.
104. Chelsea Piers
The singing and dancing damsel is part of QUEEN at Industry’s rotating cast, and one of Holly Dae’s regular guests at Monster. Chelsea also really let the comedic actress within her shine in the very funny Jackie & Chelsea’s High School Reunion at the Beechman in March.
Bartschland’s belle of the ball became well known for cumbersome, fascinating club looks, but has as of late has been serving fabulous femme realness. Now Linux and their boss Susanne are partners in charge of 3 Dollar Bill’s monthly kiki “Play Now,” and Linux released the adorable devil-worshippy single / video “Thanks Satan” in September.
102. Eugene Edo
One of nightlife’s busiest and most prolific DJs, Daddy Eugene rules the dancefloors and scores the drag shows at The Ritz, Barrage, Therapy and ReBar.
The strapping pair of partymakers returned for another summer of FLY Sundays at the Monarch Hotel, and a year of weekly Super Size Queen Fridays at Hardware.
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