Much like start times of the drag shows we promote every day, the 2021 tHOTlist is late. We’re sorry about that: between personal issues, Covid, and having an unusually difficult time working out what we were going to include on this extra long list, it was kind of inevitable. The fact that it’s late makes it look a little stranger and less “accurate” then we would’ve liked: for instance, we didn’t include “HUSH” because it was too new at the time we started composing this, but we recently updated several entries with references to their new HUSH shows (I mean, like, several… 90 bitches work there now, and that’s just drag queens). So I guess, like every year, you’re just gonna have to take this all with a big fat subjective grain of salt.
Anyway… 2021, huh? it was a great year for nightlife because venues who were long-struggling through 2020 lockdown finally got to reopen, and we wound up losing much fewer bars than we feared (with even a hope that some still closed may soon return). It was a bad year because those same reopened venues owed a year of back rent, and many of the performers and clientele we came to know and love relocated to cities where they could work. It was a great year because some important new venues opened, while others became more successful and queer-oriented than they were pre-lockdown, and so many great new performers and individuals surfaced. It was bad year because…
Aw fuck it, we can do this all day. Good and bad things happened in 2021 like any year, and 2022 will be the same, and the year after that. As for the tHOTlist, in what will likely be her last dance before retirement, we have returned to our “status quo” that we were forced to improv away form in 2020 due to the fact there was no nightlife to discuss. Gone for the most part here are the digital show stars — sorry gworls, you are doing amazing work, but this list is about nightlife. Back are venues, both old and new. I’ve added an extra 45 people this year because I had to, but I was still forced to leave a ton of folks off that I wanted to highlight and that sucks. But in the end, it doesn’t really affect anyone’s lives either way so we’ll all get over it!
Thanks for an interesting year to write about, nightlife people. And thanks to all our readers who enjoy this site and what we do here. It’s all for you! I don’t think I’ll be doing this again because it is so… much, and I hope I did an extra good job this time around.
And without further ado, let’s quantify people’s worth and see how many times we use the word “iconic!”