250. Lacy Stoner
New York body painting extraordinaire Ish Peralta got into his ganja queen gear several times during lockdown, gracing us with funny / weird stoner-approved shows in revues that often included his girls Erika Klash and Crimson Kitty.
249. Unkle Spooky
Queer NYC’s premiere horror host is responsible for one of the year’s most entertaining digital weeklies: “Unkle Spooky’s Stay-At-Home Spookerama,” where he screens horror movies twice a week on Zoom to a rabidly loyal crew of fans who chime in with jokes and trivia throughout. On Friday the 13th in November, our favorite Unkle joined fellow hellion Michael T at Club Cumming to screen–what else?–Friday the 13th.
248. Viki Villainess
With a high fashion, high pressure day job, we’ve all seen a lot less of this Villainess around town these past few years than we’d like. But between hosting the popular and hilarious “Shade Parade” podcast with sis Ari Kiki, putting her spin on the latest Tik Tok trends, and turning out virtual numbers that feel more like intricately produced short films for digital showcases, Viki’s proven to be a queen here to conquer the digital age of drag.
247. Lady German
From Boston by way of Honduras and Florida, Lady German’s been a vividly colorful presence at The Ritz in recent times. She was a good match for a virtual Zoom edition of DJ Steve Sidewalk’s popular Ritz party Gay College Tuesday, where she hosted and performed several times during lockdown.
246. MTHR TRSA
The popular, anything goes Brooklyn queen and podcaster (who first became a star in Florida) created one of The Vault’s more popular nights, Hole Pics. While making a few digital appearances in various virtual shows, MTHR brought Hole Pics to a more socially distant park setting one day as a benefit for the Femme Defense Fund–then later did live Bushwig Halloween in the park as well.
After a prominent 2019 that saw her starring in the HBO documentary WIG, legendary Brooklyn trans punk goddess Charlene stepped away from the spotlight after a personal tragedy. But when she released a stark and tribal clip of her in the dark woods stomping around a campfire to Fiona Apple’s “Heavy Balloon,” she marked her return to nightlife, and has since appeared in a few virtual shows as well as a captivating live number for Bushwig.
244. Whendy Whaxwood
After a few digital performances, New York’s funny lady (have you seen her lip sync her own snarky Yelp reviews?) returned to Asbury Park’s Paradise in autumn to host socially distanced bingo for another consecutive year.
243. Flotilla DeBarge
It seems like every drag queen who’s been in the biz for a decade or longer has an amazing Flotilla story. With one of those forceful personalities that you don’t want to be on the wrong end of, this true icon of New York nightlife and Wigstock star has captivated audience with unfiltered, intelligent hilarity for years. And while her Instagram has long been a lovingly curated gallery of important figures in Hollywood, fashion and politics that all the children should study, it was her video with sis Lady Bunny–a parody of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” where she celebrates her own Dry Ass Pussy in some fast and furiously funny lyrics–that made her a 2020 digital star.
242. Linda Felcher
The bizarre, compelling (unpredictable and certainly never boring) performance artist who self-describes their drag as “very high concept, low budget,” Linda’s live performances–complete with massive set pieces and unwieldy costumes–are as hard to describe as they are to forget. This made them the perfect digital performer, with both pre-recorded and livestreamed numbers that appeared to be beamed down from Mars.
A Brooklyn performer with an intense star power and extraordinary likeability, dancer and DJ Zenobia (who already had a small role in the internationally broadcasted hit TV show POSE) put out some great digital performances during lockdown. She was most commonly found on Zoom for the monthly “Honey, I’m Homo” alongside Theydy Bedbug and Rara Darling.
240. The Golden Gays NYC
Classic 80’s sitcom The Golden Girls with its timeless cast is perfectly binge-worthy viewing during the doldrums and stress of quarantine. And while Golden Girls drag tributes aren’t new or rare, The Golden Gays NYC (Gerry Mastrolia as “The Rose,” Jason B. Schmidt as “The Dorothy” and Andy Crosten as “The Blanche”) really have the formula down masterfully. While paying tribute to everything we love about the Girls and the sitcom’s groundsbreaking storylines, the Gays infuse their shows with music, modernity and audience participation. And now with a weekly live digital presence and some special virtual shows under their belt, the Golden Gays NYC are becoming just as binge-worthy as the Girls who inspired them.
239. Shanita Bump
Halloween queen Shanita is a tailor-made for digital drag… few can marry sexuality and horror as deftly as draglesque monster Mx. Bump. While October is their peak month, we had them on our screens for basically all of lockdown in various virtual revues.
Here’s the downtown darling that is keeping glam rock alive in NYC! Singer / songwriter Greko collaborated with his scary Drag Race sis Sharon Needles to compose last year’s GLAM-nominated anthem “Lift Them Up,” featuring additional vocals from Amanda Lepore, Peppermint and Blondie’s Deborah Harry. The Haus of Aviance remixed “Lift Them Up” this August, and in October Greko adorably played “Fagula” in Sharon’s virtual Halloween special filmed at Club Cumming.
237. Danielle Cardona & R0zegld
These singer / songwriter popstar besties hosted the monthly “Torch” party at Macri Park, where local queer singers and musicians got to perform their own originals alongside the pair. “Torch” went digital during lockdown for a few weeks, and then the gals got to work on their own musical projects: R0ze (aka Jen Urban) dropped a remix of Danielle’s “Song For The Ladies” in March, and released her own new single “No Way” (with producer Christopher Ambrose) in September. anielle’s got new music in the works, too. In November, the pair hosted a live music show at Brooklyn’s Cooper Park.
236. MysterE Mel
Ari Kiki’s first ever drag son is living up to the family name, with colorful looks (kings can be just as shiny as queens!) and vibrant performances. Besides the welcomed change up of lip synced male pop vocals, Mel’s also a pretty great live singer… and a welcomed addition to the Haus of Kiki’s several virtual revues this year.
235. Annie Manildoo
This leading lady of Long Island had a busy digital summer, participating in several virtual shows including a few with the Long Island Gay Men’s Chorus and Drag Queen Story Hour, as well as her own seventh drag anniversary roast. All while making the grades as an online student!
234. Baby Love
Known for combining “high” and “low” fashion while keeping the party going throughout Brooklyn, Baby gave us a few great digital performances (including a set for the “Be Cute” party’s anniversary on Zoom in June) and a vivid array of killer looks on her Insta.
233. Wendy Stuart Kaplan & Tym Moss
NYC knows Tym as a beloved cabaret performer, film actor (Junk, The Garden Left Behind, and Neon Boys all received wider digital releases this year), the host of internet radio show “Artists Exposed” (which just celebrated its 500th episode) and an all-around champion of nightlife and the arts. Wendy is becoming quite the queen of the scene herself, co-hosting (with Steven Bloomer-Teague) the TriVersity Talk livestream chat show and her own Pandemic Cooking with Wendy. The pair have become fast friends and appeared in digital shows / parties hosted by the likes of Ike Avelli and Evan Laurence. In November they joined forces to host the talk show “If These Walls Can Talk” streamed live from one of their favorite venues, Pangea.
232. Kari Kerning
Nina West’s drag daughter has a reputation in NYC for her elaborate, FX-laden costumes, and she’s always a treat to see live (Kari was previously a recurring guest for both Tina Burner’s Industry showcase and the Lucky Cheng’s sponsored drag brunch at Secret Room NYC). These digital days, she co-hosts a monthly Zoom show with Cheng’s sis Svetlana Stoli.
231. Bibingka Mama
Brooklyn’s sexy AFAB draglesquer and pastry chef (she brings her own Filipino bibingka cakes to every show she partakes in for the audience) ran The Rosemont’s monthly party “Body Rolls” and was a favorite guest of shows all over the borough. Her looks and starpower made her a great digital performer as well, for virtual revues like “A+: The Pan Asian Revue.” Also, according to her GiantFest Awards nomination, she’s apparently dropping a single soon!
230. Jessica Rose
A young queen who helped usher in the new era of Long Island drag before moving to Brooklyn, Jessica was hosting a monthly show at C’Mon Everybody when lockdown brought her to the livestreams. The flirty, funny and fashionable Ms. Rose now performs weekly on IG, with special guests.
229. Theydy Bedbug
Our still-current reigning Mx. Brooklyn kept busy with live and digital activism as well as captivating virtual shows, most notably the monthly “Honey, I’m Homo” on Zoom with co-stars Zenobia and partner Rara Darling.
228. Ivy Stalls
Arguably Long Island’s busiest queen this year, the always fun Ivy gave us several digital shows while hosting weekly bingo nights at local venues One Eye Jacks and Mi Tierrita.
227. Stephanie Stone & Chandilier
This pair of Glamazons are fan favorites among the queens of Lips Restaurant, and both hosted their own weekly shows at The Duplex pre-lockdown. Hopefully it won’t be long before we see them onstage again.
226. Matty Glitterati
Veteran nightlifer, DJ and producer Matty brought us Club Cumming’s wildly popular FEMME showcase, and moved it to Instagram for a few weeks during lockdown. Meanwhile he enjoyed a wider screening of the short film he got rave reviews for starring in, Neon Boys; he hosted a socially distant Pride party in Rockaway; and posed for some amazing horror shots in his boyfriend Krys Fox’s annual Halloween photo series (see above).
225. Kevin Aviance
Has any living human shaped the style and definition of this city’s nightlife more than this icon? From music to dance to fashion to general coolness, Kevin Aviance’s entire being remains difficult to define, and yet a force that defined a whole subculture at the same time. Always adding an air of credibility and importance to any nightlife event he attends, it’s been a treat to watch him share songs and stories on “The Kevin Aviance Show” every week on his Instagram during quarantine.
224. Rara Darling
The popular burlesquer / producer gave us lots of virtual eye candy in 2020, thanks to digital editions of the sexy circus “Snack Theater” that she co-runs with Angelica Sundae, and the monthly “Honey, I’m Homo” Zoom shows alongside Zenobia and partner Theydy Bedbug.
223. Tim Young
A ginger gogo boy turned musical thirst trap, Tim has been wowing the children from behind the piano for a minute now in spots like the famous Club Cumming where he co-founded the popular music event “MARY.” During quarantine Tim hosted a fully live-sung, all request digital show for several weeks as well as an outdoor version of The Deep End in Ridgewood’s Super Smash Bros. weekly tournament.
222. Luxx Noir London
This Jersey girl seemed to have appeared out of thin air in 2020, armed with one of Instagram’s most dazzling and diverse galleries of lewks. After additionally proving she’s a strong performer as well thanks to participating in several virtual drag revues, Luxx is another quarantine breakout star we can’t wait to see more of in real life.
221. Marisa Corvo
The sassy Staten Islander won the Stonewall Sensation singing competition a few years back, and has since been a staple of the stage at venues like the Ice Palace, The Duplex and Stonewall itself. This year she brought her powerful pipes to the set of the most epic competition in existence right now–TV’s The Voice. Her dynamic take on Pink’s “Perfect” turned three of the four chairs, and the very charismatic Marisa aptly landed on Team Kelly Clarkson. Sadly Marisa didn’t make it all the way to the finish line, but she’s definitely done all of NYC proud!
Longtime drag performer Jeff Poulin’s Spacebabe persona has long been using a sort of “UFO found footage” type of multimedia in her live events, so quarantine virtual shows were an easy and interesting transition for her. A Spacebabe digital event is always fun and delightfully off kilter, and her occasional live shows this year have been a treat as well.
219. Juniper Juicy
Gotta love a draglesquer whose Insta show’s start time was 3:33! Gracing our screens with grass green, sexy “Mr. Tumnus in the gogo cage” lewks and a message of self-love, Juniper appeared in several virtual revues in the lockdown months in addition to their own “Into the Sluttery.”
218. Cakes Da Killa
The crowd-pleasing New York-based queer rapper joined forces with producer Proper Villains and label Classic Music Company to record his premiere solo release, the six song EP Muvaland which dropped in November. Kids, “Don Dada” and “ICU” are serious fucking bops!
217. Thee Suburbia
Always combining avant garde fashions with intense performance and out of the box music selections, Suburbia and her tribe in the POC Arts Collective were important contributors to both digital drag and the Black Lives Matter / Black Trans Lives Matter movements. At one point she and a large cast of guest performers even engaged in a live “virtual tour” across multiple social media platforms on different dates.
216. Lailah Lancing
A venerable figure of New York nightlife whom many know as a fixture of the original Lucky Chengs, getting served at the bar by this lovely rockabilly rockstar is a must have experience. These days, legendary Lailah is pouring all the spirits at Playhouse and 3 Dollar Bill.
215. Nicky Boom Box
Argh, when are we gonna see and hear our beloved Nicky in the Pieces and Hardware DJ booths again!? Fortunately in the interim he’s graced us with a few fun mixes (including this popular one for Halloween). And this just in: with the return of limited capacity indoor seating, he’s been back spinning at Industry and Playhouse.
214. Evita Loca
The former Jersey Boy blends her natural sense of comedy and camp with a dazzling curation of lewks and a fierce set of pipes for a weekly digital revue, “Hump Day.” Already a star on the rise pre-lockdown, Evita’s definitely a queen to add to your 2021 drag star watchlist.
213. Astrud Aurelia
A Phoenix native, the jazz music and horror glam makeup virtuoso (and winner of the “DragulaWorld” competition) came and conquered NYC early this year, performing in shows with the likes of Rify Royalty and Maddelynn Hatter. Astrud was pretty much everywhere before Covid, but may have left NYC during lockdown.
212. Candy Buttons
Holly Dae’s sis and a monthly guest for her live Monster Bar show, bearded queen on the rise Candy hosts her own lockdown-era weekly Instagram show while frequently guest starring on Holly’s as well. Still a digital darling as of this writing, Ms. Buttons is also boytending at Monster.
211. Evan Laurence
The Jersey City musical performer who combines old school bohemian aesthetic with delightfully silly song lyrics and a pleasing hippie vibe became a regular presence in Stonewall this year, thanks to Chauncey Dandridge’s monthly “Freak-Out” variety showcases plus his own headlined shows there. His act and persona translated perfectly to the virtual stage, where’s he’s performed several times and hosted a number of variety shows of his own throughout lockdown.
210. Dotty Spartans
Westchester’s favorite horror queen was a monthly guest performer for the popular “Look Queen” drag competition at NYC’s Playhouse, and after lockdown resumed hosting her own monthly affair at Birdsall House at Peekskill. And as alter ego Philip Francis, Dotty now hosts her own true crime podcast, The Drunk Detectives.
Appropriately named for her great height, breakthrough queen Sequoia was Albatross Bar in Astoria’s resident karaoke hostess and a contestant in both a prior season of The Ultimate Drag Pageant and the cut-short “Dragaret” singing queen competition at Club Cumming. During lockdown, she made a few fun digital appearances.
208. The Circuit
If queer nightlife is a subculture, than the circuit scene must be a subculture within a subculture. But seeing any footage or pics from popular circuit parties over the years does not present the idea of “small” or “underground.” These are lavish, expensive, massively attended and notably profitable enterprises that take a perfect storm of production expertise, cutting edge music, dynamic marketing and cultivation of giant, loyal followings to pull off each time. Daniel Lui, who has worked behind the camera for several reality TV productions and is himself a proud circuit queen, launched the web series The Circuit in January to both celebrate and fairly document what goes into a circuit party–and who the people are that both work and play in the scene. Covid cut the episode run short, and the four completed installments don’t seem to be on YouTube anymore. But while the first three episodes showcased the talents and sexy intrigues of the scene’s various DJs, producers and partygoers, it was the fourth that was completed post-shutdown which got the most buzz. This ep reckoned with the much lambasted “Rona Rave” apartment party that The Circuit castmember and pornstar Ian Frost may or may not have produced (he was the most criticized attendee thanks to his Instagramming live from the event). Another Circuit castmember, Alec Brian, DJ’ed. Daniel Lui himself came on camera to publicly criticize the pair and question their thought process. While we were all stuck at home, full of fear and confusion and rage at what was happening in the world and our scene, watching the now-masked Frost and Brian twitch and stammer from the questioning was sad but cathartic. Time will tell if circuit parties will ever return–or if they will be the same as they were if they do–but this handful of gorgeous webisodes painted a pretty accurate picture of how they looked and sounded pre-Covid, and the egos of the scene that both shaped and possibly doomed it.
207. Kamilla Kockman
This fun a sultry member of slaying drag guild The Assassins returned to Cherry’s on the Bay in the summer, this time hosting her own socially distanced weekly bingo night. Recently’s Kamilla’s appeared in Manhattan a few times co-hosting shows with her Assassin sisters Boudoir, Kim and Nick.
206. Kimmy Sumony
One of our area’s few pageant winners to actually be crowned this year, Kimmy is our current reigning Miss Gay New York United States 2020! Technically a Jersey City resident where she performs regularly at Six26 Lounge, Kimmy also hosted and performed in a few virtual drag shows during quarantine.
205. Izzy Uncut
We suspect that she made a lot more digital appearance than we realize, but Izzy is first and foremost a live performer thanks to her stunning athleticism and charisma displayed at her multiple weekly bar shows pre-lockdown. And as her Instagram indicates, Izzy’s cosmetic prowess has become considerable over time. Recently, she’s returned to live hosting care of an early evening weekly at Playhouse.
204. Lauren Ordair
NYC drag’s greatest belter and a super funny lady to boot, Lauren was a favorite Lips queen. She also had her own show at Duplex, a karaoke night at Boxers Chelsea and a moment of hosting the cut-short “Dragaret” singing queen competition at Club Cumming. It will be a great night in New York when we’re hearing Ms. Ordair slay the high notes once again.
203. DJ OhRicky
A longtime VJ and supplier of all things Europop, K-Pop and Kylie Minogue, OhRicky kept busy during lockdown cooking made-to-order vegan splendor. Although one of his home bases, Therapy, sadly closed during quarantine, Ricky has since recently returned to the DJ booth for Broadway Mondays at Hardware.
202. Janae SaisQuoi
This lovely NYC native and a new addition to Marti Gould Cummings’ daughtership boasts an impressive musical theater pedigree, and performed well in a recent cycle of The West End’s Ultimate Drag Pageant. As much an activist as a performer per what the Cummings Girls are wont to be, Janae performs weekly at Brooklyn’s outdoor venue Now & Then and has appeared in several digital shows–including her first dragiversary in November.
The angel-voiced fashionista had shows at Playhouse and Boxers Chelsea pre-lockdown, and has made a few digital appearances since while adding to an impressive IG lewkbook.