305. Miss Simone
Although she’s not on social media and is rarely seen performing onstage these past several years, Miss Simone is a New York icon and legend (mostly a West Village regular, Simone sightings are nonetheless city-wide). When Covid closed all the bars, the palm reader took up show hosting and lip syncing once again in the historic park in front of Stonewall, giving fun pop-up shows for the scant tourists and a growing number of (high tipping) park regulars. A Chilean artist displayed a giant portrait of Simone in the area; even her summer wedding was a must-see event for the Christopher Street crowd. We can’t wait for her to be giving us our fortunes and our lives indoors once again, but we were happy to experience the Full Simone this summer.
304. Seth Sikes
The babyfaced crooner with the magically nostalgic pipes reminiscent of Fred Astaire has been paying homage to the Golden Age greats on stages like Feinsteins 54 Below for a minute now. But this summer, he filmed a series of cute viral YouTube video parodies (starting with this one) on Fire Island paying homage to Judy Garland and the musicals of yesteryear; they caught the attention of a much wider audience. Now with some even newer parodies taking on politics, might we have the next Randy Rainbow on our screens?
303. Lena Horné
One of a handful of new queens to emerge as popular virtual performers during lockdown, the tarot reading, velvet-voiced live singing, mustached Lena combines a fascinating mix of humor, oddity and full-on talent. We can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for this baby queen.
302. Cory Alexander
His striking resemblance to a young David Bowie is what brought our attention to this singer / actor / model, but the edgy performer has found a voice and style all his own. Cory’s appropriately titled September single “Dreamland” marked the debut of an intriguing new voice in queer pop.
The newest edition to the Haus of Hatter was slaying the drag competition stages in the early pre-Covid months with sexy numbers and killer fashions.
300. Freddie Cosmo
Starting out in nightlife as a backup singer for Lavinia Draper, our favorite “Cultural Concierge” Freddie recently began hosting an old school house music party at Atlas Social Club pre-lockdown, and has recorded original music of his own. And now with a new radio show at BBOX, he’s found a great way to do what he loves the most: supporting other local queer musicians and artists.
299. Victoria Chase & Jacqueline Dupree
Two of the city’s longtime, favorite karaoke hostesses were sorely missed during lockdown. As soon as the city allowed them to, though, our queens were back behind the mic: Victoria resumed her popular Thursday nights at Jackson Height’s True Colors Bar, while Jackie hosted Boxers HK’s three final drag shows prior to its closing.
298. Mike Taveira
Hardware and Pieces‘ barman is becoming quite the pansexual heartthrob of sorts as his well-produced, hook-heavy, intelligent pop songs with their sexy, accompanying videos continue to pop up online. He’s got three singles to peruse now, including the jaunty October release “Karma” with its VEVO-approved video.
Before and after the bulk of lockdown, Digna’s petite young drag daughter was making quite the splash around town with her high fashion beauty and bewitching beats.
296. Dorothy Bishop
We dearly miss the spot-on celebrity impersonations and versatile vocals of her live monthly stage show, Dozen Divas. But Dorothy has given us the next best thing with a hilarious series of videos featuring her take on quarantined versions of Stevie Nicks, Madonna, Sarah Palin, Dame Shirley Bassey, Carole Baskin (of course) and many others including a timely, new, original character: Karen the Vocal Coach. And this just in, a digital holiday edition of Dozen Divas is underway!
295. Robyn Banks
The drag queen, Stonewall staffer and recording artist appeared in several digital shows, created some original YouTube content and turned out some classy photoshoots on IG (see above).
294. Jupiter Doll & Charlotte Harlot
This daughter / mother pair of drag performers and trans activists are fairly new to the NYC scene, and made a splash with outdoor Brooklyn shows at 3 Dollar Bill and Now & Then as well as frequent digital show appearances.
293. The Dragon Sisters
We confess to not knowing much about this dynamic drag duo as of this writing, but Issa and Odessah Dragon have electrified a number of recent live Brooklyn events including the Maria Hernandez Park edition of Bushwig. Also credited as writers and musicians with a single soon to drop, we expect to see a lot more of–and learn a lot more about–the Sisters in 2021.
292. Rhiannon Nichelle
The weekly karaoke hostess of the now defunct Vodka Soda Bottoms Up, Rhiannon made a few sporadic digital show appearances–including a lovely stepdown number as last year’s Miss Cheer New York for 2020’s virtual presentation.
291. Shay They & Amanda Massacre
Why should the cis boys have all the fun? Friends and frequent collaborators, Shay and Amanda are newish to the scene but already making their mark in more ways than one. Shay’s a burlesque flavored drag clown who serves sexiness and self-stapling (ouch!), and Amanda is a clown of the Pennywise variety, serving slinky goth drama. Both became producers as well as stars of some noteworthy digital events (particularly each of their Halloween shows, which featured large casts including each other), and we hope so see more of them in the bruised and painted flesh when lockdown subsides.
290. Acacia Forgot
The country singer / songwriter had a strong showing in last year’s “Iconic” drag competition at Icon Bar, and after a few 2020 digital appearances began co-hosting the weekly country kiki “Buck Off” at Now & Then with Kanga Roo.
289. Nicky Ottav
Long time scene queen Nicky has one of the most vibrant, colorful and intricate array of looks (this blue butterfly majesty nearly broke us) in the business. And have you watched her stone a wig, gurl? But besides being gorgeous, Nicky’s also a successful live event producer — back in January we got our only 2020 edition of “Read My Lips,” the wildly popular lip sync battle Nicky co-hosts with Blake Deadly where the winner get $1000. Later in the summer, she also hosted the socially distanced “We Need a Kiki” at 3 Doll Bill.
288. Jolina Jasmine
One of New York and New Jersey’s most beautiful queens and highest energy dancers, Jolina wasn’t really feeling the whole digital drag thing. We can’t wait to see her turn up again at all the venues she was slaying at the beginning of the year (she’s already returned for some shows at Pieces, Playhouse and Paradise). Oh, and we did hear a rumor that she’ll be appearing on the third season of a certain queer dance-centric show in 2021…
287. Ted Bishop Nieves
The popular circuit party and bear party DJ did not go silent during quarantine, thanks to a pair of monthly dance parties on his Twitch.
286. Phil Chanel
Without a functioning nightlife, there isn’t much out there for an event producer / promoter / host to really do (we can attest to that, sadly). But Phil makes it work as best he can, using Instagram and Tik Tok to promote digital mini-editions of his hit weekly drag competition at Stonewall, “Polish the Queen,” as well as virtually hosting and promoting a few big online events… and just being an all around cheerleader for nightlife’s return.
285. Juicy Liu
Known for her side-splitting physical comedy and creative looks, Juicy was Tina Burner’s frequent co-star at Industry Bar pre-Covid. During quarantine she made a few digital appearances, including a fun tribute to Super Mario that was included on sis Iris Spectre’s virtual revue.
284. Sasha VanGuard & Marilyn Monhoe
These two newer queens and good Judys bought their Broadway bound charm and wow factor to the “Dears in Headlights” outdoor shows in Astoria this past summer. Together and separately, Sasha and Marilyn also appeared in a number of digital and socially distanced outdoor shows throughout the year.
283. Adele Computer
The bearded Brooklyn funny gal’s sly, oddball humor was perfectly rendered through a series of silly, surreal, mostly holiday themed YouTube tutorials throughout the year.
282. Virginia Thicc
One of Maddelynn Hatter’s drag daughters and a frequent co-host of many Hatter Family live shows throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, we only got a digital smattering of Ms. Thicc during lockdown. She’s used the time to sew some ferocious looks that we can’t wait to see on her when nightlife returns.
281. Leggoh JohVera
With the enduring popularity of POSE and the new sensation that is HBO Max’s Legendary, the trendsetting ballroom scene which originated among the queer Black and Latinx communities of New York’s discotheques is now the object of global fascination. Locally, the House of JohVera’s founder has been doing the impossible with nearly single-handedly managing the popular “OTA” ball kiki for awhile now at 3 Dollar Bill. With the nightlife shutdown, Leggoh’s accomplished what seemed even more impossible–creating a digital edition of the showcase care of streaming app BIGO, and bringing the queer art form to the masses that crave it.
Dancer and comic Deborah Lohse’s lovably quirky TruDee character uses improv and audience interaction to make memorable moments on a live stage. But as it turns out, her crimson mullet, pink thrift fashion, Cheshire cat grin and graceful clumsiness make for a just-as-engaging social media star, thanks in part to virtual ensemble shows with Catrina Lovelace and the extended Haus of Kiki.
279. Gigi Cutina
A fierce Westchester dancing queen and a monthly guest for Bootsie LeFaris’ popular “Sinful Saturdays” at Pieces in Manhattan, Gigi performed sporadically in virtual shows throughout the lockdown. Later on, she rejoined local sis Dotty Spartans for some socially distant live shows at Birdsall House in Peekskill.
The wonderfully eccentric drag performer and writer is becoming increasingly brilliant as a makeup artist, if their IG gallery has anything to say about it. Sterling’s abstract looks and out-of-the-box performing style have also made them an in-demand guest performer for several digital shows during lockdown.
277. Ike Avelli
The writer and comic brought in some Judys to throw several fun Zoom variety show parties, while touring with his popular comedy show 50 Shades of Gay where social distance allowed. A fun holiday edition of 50 Shades featuring several guest stars streamed in December.
276. Jasmine Kennedie
We only caught wind of a handful of digital performances from Jasmine, but we look forward to seeing her return to the nightlife stages. Pre-lockdown, the gorgeous high-fashion and high-haired dancer had shows at Hardware and Pieces.
275. Lady Havokk
Living up to her namesake while jumping all over her apartment for her early livestream shows, Lady Havokk made the best of lockdown while still reminding us that she’s one of the most fashion-forward queens in the city.
Well, Sucia certainly started the year off right with an appearance on Real Housewives of New Jersey! She went on to perform in several digital shows across social media during lockdown, while a poignant short film she recently starred in, Neon Boys, was widely streamed. Fun fact: the multi-talented Sucia was the final featured drag queen to host Thotyssey’s own twice monthly “Thot Mess” at REBAR Chelsea before the city went into quarantine.
273. Jubilee Rogue & Roqué
This entertaining pair makes up half of the cast of “Oh Yes,” a weekly drag show that originated as a Saturday happy hour in the now closed Boxers Washington Heights. “Oh Yes” has since evolved into a busy Instagram show featuring the whole lineup and occasional guests signing on and off the livestream, all pretty seamlessly. Here’s hoping the show finds a new live stage once lockdown ends.
272. King Ivy
This tattooed hot dance queen has been doing drag since she was a fetus, and is now co-hosting a weekly, socially distanced dinner show with Princess Bitch at Brooklyn’s Now & Then.
271. Cameron Cole
Since the sad Covid-related closing of the Vault in Brooklyn where he managed and DJ’ed, Cameron has resurfaced in 3 Dollar Bill and later Now & Then DJing for Misty Meaner and Mocha Lite’s weekly show. And we hear he’s writing something big, too!
270. Vena Cava
An exciting, fashion forward Puerto Rican-born queen bringing sexy dance and political awareness to her performances, Vena is tearing up guest spots both live and digital, and is surely one to look out for in 2021.
269. Michele Shocked
With her trademark hairy chest, esoteric wit and a diverse portfolio of looks ranging from Martian to high class call girl to fairy princess, Michele reminds us of the queens of Old East Village: bohemian, street smart, and fearless. She appeared as a strange and compelling character while competing in Club Cumming’s “Dragaret” singing queen competition (which was sadly cut short by Covid), and afterwards made it to the finals of a diverse digital pageant. We wouldn’t be Shocked to see her emerge as a top entertainer down the road.
268. Kristina Kiss
This clubland living masterpiece is known to many as one of Susanne Bartch’s gang, but Kristina (like most of the Bartschland fashion demons) is much more than that. Founder of SSIK Designs that specializes in silicone pieces, Kiss has been fitting celebs with her wares at photoshoots and film sets for a minute now. Oh, and she’s responsible for 2020’s most iconic music video look: Lady Gaga’s purple and pink bodice from the “Rain on Me” video, as well as the singer’s look featured on the Chromatica album cover’s artwork.
The enchanting crooner who made her name with a popular monthly cabaret at Rockbar after winning a singing competition there, Jæ has been signed this year to Tranz Trenders, a POC run indie label featuring trans artists. October saw the release of the catchy single “Splash,” care of Jæ and her label mates Heather Hills, Lady Londyn, Jupiter Gray and DJ Blxck Cxsper–a watershed moment for trans musicians everywhere.
266. Sparkle Monster
A musician and playwright at heart, Sparkle kept herself busy and the rest of us entertained with one of Facebook’s most consistent live singing livestream shows.
265. Vegas Valentine
The goth flavored, choreography loving pop musician released Nocturne: Endless Night in February, a collection of remixes and extras related to his 2019 LP Nocturne. Then in October, Vegas and his sexy dance troupe took us to Evil Church for his first ever music video, “Power X Pride.”
A finalist for Logan Stone’s “Mx. Quarantine” digital pageant, this young queen named after a tribe of angels has been turning out some beautifully devilish drag looks; her Instagram gallery can pass for the Shudder streaming menu screen. Besides the pageant, Seraphim (a former “Iconic” contestant) took part in several large virtual shows this lockdown.
263. Heather Wood
NYC’s foremost Trekkie queen (well, that would be a close battle with Jackie Cox at any rate), Heather and queer geek group The Lambda Quadrant hosted a popular weekly Picard viewing party at Industry pre-lockdown. Digitally, she’s been participating in more Trekkie themed events on TLQ’s Twitch page, including a major digital Star Trek panel event “Holocon” in December.
262. Angelica Sundae
A popular Brooklyn performer who hosted karaoke at The Vault and “Where’s Judy?” at Venus in Furs, the dazzlingly demonic Angelica’s 2020 digital appearances include virtual editions of the variety showcase Snack Theater (originally held in Chelsea Music Hall), which she co-produces with Rara Darling. Recently, Angelica started hosting bingo at Brooklyn venue Farewell.
261. Felix III
An avant garde fashion designer (see his line of poncho / varsity jacket hybrid pieces) and singer / songwriter with a hauntingly vampiric drawl, Felix made for an interesting Insta host in the early quarantine months. His soft mannerisms and cartoonish surroundings turned out the best possible version of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood is Actually Twin Peaks. The artist retired the “Felix And The Future” namesake via a farewell YouTube concert in September, and we can look forward to new music from his current persona “Felix III” in 2021.
260. Kanga Roo
Ruby Roo’s new drag daughter is known for her deft Dolly Parton illusions, and Kanga already has a lot going on besides: she’s our premiere “Miss Gay Beer,” and she’s appearing in two weekly shows at Brooklyn’s Now & Then (including one she co-hosts with Acacia Forgot, the country Western-themed “Buck Off”).
259. Nick Gaga
One of 2020’s greatest cruelties is that lockdown prevented us from seeing Russian-born beauty Nick flaunting her flawless representations of Lady Gaga’s Chromatica looks and moves as the singles were dropping. Oh well, at least we got the next best thing on her vivid Instagram. Plus, she is often the sorceress behind the camera in projects coming out of the Haus of Assassins where she resides–did you see that Oscar-worthy Led Zeppelin Covid video she filmed with sis Boudoir? Most recently, Nick went back to hosting at The Ritz as soon as limited indoor seating returned.
258. Egyptt LaBeija
The legendary drag performer and trans advocate had as strong a 2020 as anyone, with a number of virtual appearances (some with her fellow royals of the Imperial Court of New York) and a weekly dinner show at Bedford Manor.
257. Adriana Trenta
Adriana was a busy queen pre-Covid with a weekly show at REBAR Chelsea, a podcast, and other stuff in the works. But lockdown quarantined her in a No Drag Zone, and we didn’t really see her perform again until her autumn return with guns blazing to NYC via a digital Halloween show she headlined. At least she came back just in time for her hero Ariana Grande’s new music drop!
256. Hedda Lettuce
Do not adjust your devices… all the green on your screens in 2020 was likely Hedda, one of New York’s most famous and beloved pre-Drag Race queens that still makes neon waves the world over. Opting out of a Fire Island residency this year (although folks in P-Town and Puerto Vallarta likely got their fix), Hedda mostly worked from home via livestream to a large and consistently entertained homebound audience.
255. Shuga Cain
NYC misses one of our favorite good time gal show hostesses, who’s been busy touring the world since her turn on Drag Race Season 11. In fact, she got stuck in Mexico for a spell during the early months of lockdown. Fortunately Shug’s back, and in September dropped a fun old school house-inspired single “Sweet Love.” The track’s music video featured a crew of local nightlifers making it all work behind the scenes, including Honey Davenport (Assistant Director), Preston Burford (VFX Director), Aj Mattioli (Gaffer), Jasmine Rice LaBeija (Hair & Makeup), Detoxx Busti-ae (Hair & Makeup) and Kay Day (BTS).
254. Lady LaBelle & Syn
Long Island queens were arguably a little better off than than their city counterparts for at least the first half of lockdown, given that the LI venues they normally perform in already had outdoor capacity and food service (two musts to stay open at limited capacity in New York State). The old school Broadway Babe LaBelle and the cosmetically colorful stunner Syn made for much welcome entertainment east of NYC at spots like One Eye Jacks, and in some virtual shows as well.
253. Miss Guy
A singer / songwriter who once fronted the seminal NYC punk band Toilet Boys and a world-renown rock DJ to boot, Miss Guy deserves two or three whole chapters in the History of NYC Nightlife 101 textbook. Also known as a photographer in the scene, he has 2020 buzz thanks to a “Virtual Portrait” series of gorgeously grainy black and white shots via webcam portraying fellow legends of New York nightlife legacy, who are now scattered cross the country. With all the subjects looking like they’ve been caught posing for hidden NannyCam surveillance, there are potent elements of both humanity and mystery in the images that make the subjects all the more compelling.
252. Kyle Motsinger
A ginger darling of the bear scene, recording artist Kyle is known for theatrical lyrics as well as using lavish costumes and props in his live sets. In 2020 he released Any Way I Want It To, a 14 track album which includes last year’s single “Love On Each Other” and several new songs like “No Shame” (a body positivity anthem) and “The Upside Down” (a love letter to Stranger Things‘ Sheriff Hopper).
251. Max Rodriguez & Ian Ford
These two longtime fan favorite music men went digital this year. VJ Max’s legendary “Musical Mondays” was the ticket at Splash and later Atlas Social Club, and during lockdown it went to Twitch (quite recently it’s resurfaced as a live night, care of Industry Bar). Ian, proprietor of Caffeine Underground and longtime DJ of circuit parties, goth dirges and bar nights (like at the recently-shuttered Vodka Soda Bottoms Up), also brought weekly live dance parties to Twitch and MixCloud.