The tHOTtlist 2021 # 300-251


300. Amanda Pörq

[Photo: David Serrano]

Cheers to this tasty local comedy queen, who was crowned the new Miss’d America in Atlantic City back in October. Throughout the year Amanda also hosted shows in venues like The Chelsea Bell and Katch Astoria.

299. Privilege

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

Also known as GLAM-nominated photographer Bryan Clavel, newer queen on the scene Privilege is a Latinx trans performer with a unique take on the meaning of their name and a mission to spread love and knowledge with their drag performances. Mostly captivating audiences as a guest performer and competitor now, we see more great things in store for this artist.

298. Michael Block

The Covid lockdown and a personal medical situation kept Michael out of nightlife venues for over a year — he was previously producing the drag competitions “Iconic” and “Dragaret.” But that hardly meant he had nothing to keep him busy–with his GLAM nominated podcast Block Talk, Michael and guests break down and discuss every episode of every season and spin-off of the ever-bloating RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise for your enjoyment… and also so that you don’t have to!

297. Paisley Fields

The local queer country artist did a fair share of touring this year, and collaborated with RuGirl Scarlet Envy on original music and a cabaret show. Paisley also dropped a sexyfun video for their own single “Stay Away From My Man,” featuring star turns from Boomer Banks and Toni Reyes.

296. Jasmin Van Wales 

The local drag and ballroom icon is a frequent entertainer at Leggoh JoVera’s “OTA” showcase and Monster’s disco nights, and she made history once again this summer when she was crowned Fire Island’s first ever “Mx. Juneteenth.”

295. Stella Luna & Kimmy Sumony 

A popular pair of young Jersey queens who also make several appearances in New York together and separately, we envision Stella and Kimmy hosting a popular weekly show somewhere in the near future — maybe when Jersey City’s closed-too-soon Headroom Lounge reopens. In the meantime, Kimmy’s got gigs at the Stress Factory and is competing in the upcoming Miss Paradise pageant, while Stella’s hosted shows at Porta in Jersey City.

294. Baby Love

[Photo: Matt Grubb]

Here’s hoping we see more of Brooklyn queen Mx. Love in 2022! She has such a captivating presence, even amid the large casts of nightlife creatives that she often found herself in care of several ensemble shows in venues like C’mon Everybody and 3 Dollar Bill.

293. Alibi Lounge

Currently NYC’s oldest active POC-owned queer bar (since 2016), proprietor Alexi Minko and his staff fought tooth and nail to keep this vital venue alive during the doldrums of Covid. Their hard work seems to have paid off, much to the benefit of their loyal Harlem clientele. In fact, this year saw the folks at Alibi try their hands at some branded nights, and even a few drag shows care of queens like Janae Saisquoi.

292. Freddie Cosmo

[Photo: @grizzdaking]

The broadcaster’s Redfine Radio show on BBOX and Twitch continues to profile vital queer recording artists in the scene and play their songs, while his own music moves and grooves us in the form of a new release. Also a longtime DJ and event producer, Freddie can now add “author” to his resume thanks to a novel he penned, likely based on his own nightlife experiences.

291. Ginger Ladd 

[Photo: Mister Ladd]

Known for a striking Instagram, vibrant looks and wigs, a very warm presence and a delightful and supportive family, Queen of the Rockaways’ Ginger appeared in a variety of shows across the city including brunches for Drag Diva.

290. Ted Bishop Nieves

A favorite DJ of the bear and circuit scenes and parties like Rebar’s “CALIBR” and Rockbar’s “Purgatory,” Ted also thrived as a digital DJ during Covid lockdown. In fact, a new live monthly event with fellow DJ Bio Zounds emerged from those online kikis when nightlife resumed: “Alma y Tambores” at The Deep End. Shoutout also to his husband and “Purgatory” host Darker Link for helping to deliver those bear leather vibes.

289. Heather Wood 

The city’s resident Star Trek queen and agent of queer geek guild To Proudly Go, Heather hosted viewing parties for Trek franchise shows in Industry and later Barracuda. In autumn, she was joined at Barracuda by co-host Flippe Kikee to screen Discovery.

288. Nandi 

A favorite of Hell’s Kitchen gay bar fans, the sexy DJ Nandi returned from his travels abroad post-lockdown and established residencies in venues like Toolbox and Rise Bar, as well as new hotspots The Q and HUSH.

287. Rude Polaroids & Captain Wonder

Presenting nightlife photos of performers and scenesters with a rich vintage grain and expressive shadows taken on a Polaroid (as in “shake it, shake it”), Ryan Rudewicz’s “Rude Polaroids” are a delight to skim through. Meanwhile, Doctor of Psychology and new dad David Howe has long been known for posting videos of drag performances on Instagram, creating an important record of the art form. Both of these artists / archivists are unconventional yet vital nominees for the Best Photographer GLAM category in 2021.

286. BaeJing

[Photo: Johanna]

With a busy day job in makeup, the best time to see this lovely diva is when she’s DJing “Bad Bitch” every Wednesday at The Ritz starring her drag mother Digna as well as Islaya and Elle No. 5.

285. The Countess Mascara 

Good Morrow, peasants! This brassy, regal comedy queen and celebrated Big Ang impersonator was the perfect fit for hosting weekly drag brunch at Lunella in Little Italy.

284. Cherry Poppins & Elise Navy-Dad

[Photo: David Serrano]

Besides being ideal muses for David Serrano’s Photography, this charming drag pair have hosted various shows together including a monthly at Mom’s Astoria. Separately, Cherry is a hostess at Monster Bar while Elise recently headlined her own Stonewall Invasion.

283. Robyn Edges

Another recent transplant from Boston, the sleek and stylish Robyn has made her mark in various Brooklyn venues like 3 Dollar Bill, The Rosemont and C’mon Everybody. She was also a member of the Drag Diva brunch show cast, and was to our knowledge the first queen to host a show in the mysterious venue below a lingerie shop in Queens, Astoria’s Secret.

282. Michael Miguel 

With his banging Latin-reggaetón-pop single “Chuku Chuku” and its super hot video featuring pornstar and underwear mogul Boomer Banks putting hot dogs to fantastic use, Atlas Social Club bartender Michael is having us lose our breath while making his mark on both Latin and queer music.

281. Angelica Sundae

Specializing in high production numbers that often showcase her alternative style and horror looks as well as live music performances from friends, Angelica produced a number of Brooklyn shows like “Fearmatica” and “Showghouls” during Halloween month, and performed in large scale events like Bushwig and a Littlefield tribute to Portishead.

280. Morocco Kennedy

The stunning, slender model came to us from Texas sporting gender fluid, punk-flavored drag and immediately started producing edgy shows in venues like Club Cumming and The Rosemont. Meanwhile, Morocco also made a name for herself as an old school door personality whom Kenny Kenny would be proud of. While she seems to have gone on drag hiatus during the last months of 2021, Morocco’s efforts still earned her a GLAM nomination for Best Door God / Goddess, and recently a return to drag has been announced.

279. Nancy NoGood & Emi Grate

Together, the gifted pair hosted weekly brunch at Brooklyn eatery Dromedary Bar. As separate creative forces, Nancy produced several of her own showcases and was a Miss Rockbar pageant finalist, while Emi created a pageant to honor her own dragiversary that she aptly named Mx. Emi Grate (won by Sally Mistaken).

278. Victoria Falls

[Photo: Santos Sayago]

Crowned Miss Cherry Grove during the annual Miss Fire Island pageant, the lovely Victoria also spent this summer co-hosting a weekly Broadway themed show with Novaczar at The Ice Palace. She later went on in star in her very own Stonewall Invasion.

277. Mary Mac

Universally acclaimed as Madonna’s touring concert DJ, the iconic Mary Mac kept herself busy and us ecstatic in 2021 spinning various huge lesbian pop-up parties in New York and abroad, as well as Henrietta Hudson’s weekend kikis. She was also in regular rotation at The Q in Hell’s kitchen.

276. Dorothy Bishop 

What an absolute delight to have NYC cabaret’s Lady of a Thousand Impersonations (including Madonna, Cher, Liza, Barbra and especially Stevie Nicks) reprise her beloved monthly Dozen Divas show at The Triad Theatre post-lockdown! And not one to avoid the cutting edge, Dorothy’s also continues her rein as a social media star as well.

275. Cory Alexander 

[Photo: Laur Lončar]

Working with producer SIXFOOT 5, the edgy-yet-ethereal Cory dropped a trio of stunning original singles–including “Run for Your Money,” whose particularly eye-catching video is GLAM-nominated this year. The model-chic performer also headlined his first solo showcase at The Q in October.

274. JizzaBella

Few queens are as busy as Miz Jizz during the Fire Island season; she often functions as bartender, DJ, show queen and hostess of the annual “So You Want a Job?” competition all at Cherry’s on the Bay. This very successful summer was no different, and now in the off-season we can catch this OG comedy glamor girl hosting weekly bingo at Minnie’s Bar in Brooklyn.

273. Zalika Parsons & Vic Sin

One of our favorite furry and unpredictable comedy queens Zalika has returned to giving shows at The House of Yes post-lockdown, while joining forces with draglesque virtuoso Vic Sin to host several months of bingo at The Footlight and later drag brunch at Sel Rrose.

272. Tym Moss 

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

Anyone who knows this talented and sparkly cabaret crooner and activist will tell you that he’s a beacon of light and positivity, and a welcome presence wherever he shows up. Whether he’s singing live at Pangea, hosting a podcast with longtime partner in crime Ike Avelli, starring in a web series with another favorite accomplice Wendy Stuart Kaplan (that show happens to be GLAM nominated this year) or promoting his fun indie film musical Junk, Tym’s always busy with projects that lighten our lives.

271. Princess Bitch

The dancing ganja gurl kept us entertained throughout lockdown with a fun, anything goes web show. More recently she’s performed at Phoenix Bar and Club Cumming, and hosted weekly bingo at Bierocracy in Long Island City.

270. Aria Jae

The hostess of brunch at John Doe NYC and a recent benefit for her sis DJ 2Face at Playhouse, newbie queen Aria raps live original lyrics and turns out hot fashions for live performances. She also uses her other “assets” to maintain a popular OnlyFans page via her alter ego ArrJay.

269. Whendy Whaxwood

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

A winner and finalist of several pageants over the years, the gal with the funny mixes is now a popular bingo queen as well with gigs at Paradise in Asbury Park and The Holler in Brooklyn.

268. Tory Stiletto

The sharply stylish and electrifying DJ has been tearing up dancefloors of all sizes; the Rosemont, The Q, 3 Dollar Bill, Good Room and The Sultan Room are just a few of Stiletto’s victims.

267. The Toolbox

The historic and friendly neighborhood dive in the Upper East Side used Covid downtime for an expansive renovation, which led to more space for drag shows and DJ dance parties upon reopening. Now nearly every night offers up some different entertainment to go with the familial vibe, perhaps most notably Jacklynn Hyde and AndrogyNY’s weekly “Behind Bars” show that made fine use of that gogo cage.

266. Marcel the Artist

Popstar on the rise Marcel wants to bring “the club singer” back to nightlife, a role that was much more common in the decades pre-Drag Race. He’s off to a good start as the co-producer (with Vegas Valentine) and star of the monthly large-cast pop album tribute show “Vinyl Fantasy” at 3 Dollar Bill, and also hosted both a weekly variety show and bi-weekly drag competition at the late XOXO Bar in Hell’s kitchen.

265. The Illustrious Blacks

The on-and-off stage nightlife space alien powerhouse duo have gifted us some truly great neo-disco and funk / soul / pop music of their own creation over the years. This year, Monstah Black and Manchildblack largely focused on keeping the beat of iconic disco greats alive with parties they DJ and produce at venues like C’mon Everybody, The Sultan Room, Good Room and Le Bain. They also gave us some great full on performances at Bushwig and on Little Island this summer.

264. Chola Spears

[Photo: Edie James]

Behold the #FreeBritney movement’s arguably most vocal drag advocate, Chola Spears! And as if that campaign wasn’t time consuming enough, the geek-friendly comic weirdo queen of NYC delivered a fierce, full package that won her the Miss Rockbar crown in November, leading to a weekly show there.

263. Mariyea 

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

The stunning stage actress is a very new convert to drag, and quickly won a legion of fans and admirers thanks to her elaborate Lady Liberty competition numbers that incorporated dance, fashion, drama, multimedia and live music. Her efforts won her a gig co-hosting “Nerve Sundays” at The Q with sisters Tina Twirler and Julie J.

262. Elle No. 5

[Photo: Diva Soria]

The family resemblance is getting stronger by the day with this young dancing fashionista… but when your drag mom is Janelle No. 5, that’s never a bad thing! Catch Elle and Janelle turning it out every Wednesday at the Ritz, along with Islaya and DJ BaeJing.

261. Pixel the Drag Jester 

Incorporating acrobatics, cosplay, circus and burlesque into her drag, the fiercely incomparable Pixel shined as a dancer supporting The Misfit Mime in a memorable showcase on America’s Got Talent this season, while claiming the spotlight weekly as drag brunch hostess at Queen in Brooklyn.

260. The Deep End

Ridgewood, Queens is becoming the new alt-queer hotspot thanks to rave destinations like H0l0, Nowadays and Trans-Pecos… but The Deep End is the OG LGBT hub of the working class town. Devoted fans were happy to see the return of the multicultural dance party “Yalla” and the furry kiki “Bear Milk,” not to mention the venue’s popular weekly karaoke, trivia and game nights. And it’s also pretty damn great that The Deep End management donated their delicious food to first responders and the needy during lockdown.

259. Bobby LeMaire

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

This Jersey Girl serves fiercer-than-you-were-ready-for dance moves and titillating looks that have put her on everyone’s radar despite her relative newness. Bobby also happens to be the winner of Brooklyn’s mega-hot drag pageant, “Trish.”

258. Aria Derci & Pussy Willow

This drag coupling is known largely in the Astoria scene for serving surreal silliness mixed in with a little heady artistry and some old school Broadway flair in their shows. Together they starred as cartoon characters in The Simsinz and hosted a monthly show at Long Island City’s Sanger Hall.

257. X-Emma

Sometimes her drag numbers are funny, sometimes they’re ghoulish and other times they’re potently raw (a Lady Liberty competition number about her transness that involved a pair of garden shears comes to mind). This slender young performer’s fierce numbers take you through basically every emotion except boredom. Newbies don’t often get the “Breakthrough Artist” GLAM nomination, but in X-Emma’s case few deserve it more; we can’t wait to see how she will continue to grow as an artist.

256. The Blair Bitch

After drag performing for a few years in NYC, this queen seemed to recently reignite her repetoire with a refined fashion and purpose. These days you can find this Bitch hosting shows and brunches at Palomas BK.

255. Julie J

[Photo: MTHR TRSA]

Bald, beautiful and entirely compelling, Julie recently emerged through the competition circuit to become a formidable drag presence utilizing fashion, dance, impeccable lip sync and drama. She currently hosts a recurring showcase for POC performers at Brooklyn’s Purgatory called “Sylvester,” as well as a weekly show at The Q co-starring Tina Twirler and Mariyea.

254. Ty’s

The small neighborhood bar on the historic Christopher Street has been serving a clientele of mostly older gay men and bears (although certainly all are welcome) for half a century now, making it one of the oldest queer bars in the city. When you think of all the adversity Ty’s must have faced throughout that time, it’s really no wonder that they were able to survive and thrive post-Covid lockdown. And as per tradition, we must endorse one of our all-time favorite bartenders there or anywhere, Julian, a sexy audiophile who especially shines when he takes charge of “Video Sundays” each week.

253. C’etait BonTemps 

[Photo: MTHR TRSA]

What do you get when you pour drag, burlesque and cosplay into a witch’s cauldron and top it off with a producer’s hat? This fierce artist, of course, who was very busy performing in a variety of mostly Brooklyn-based showcases throughout the year, as well as co-producing theatrical events of his own at The Cell Theatre with Chevy Lace.

252. Greg Scarnici 

[Main photo: Tim Tareco]

The SNL associate producer is busier than most of us for the bulk of the year, but come summertime he always brings the kiki to Fire Island. This summer was one of the Island’s busiest in years, and DJ Greg’s monthly residence “Ice Tea” disco dance party at the Ice Palace, hosted by his public access icon bestie Robin Byrd, was a big hit. Later in December, Scarnici’s Karen-esque bearded drag persona and YouTube star Levonia got a showcase all her own with a Christmas holiday revue at Green Room 42.

251. Miss Bussy

Trade by day and sexy / sassy lady by night, this queen has quickly become a favorite guest performer in drag shows all over the city. And with the weekly “Bussy Bingo” that can currently be found in Brooklyn’s Happyfun Hideaway (with occasional installments at Club Cumming), Miss Bussy is now the main character we deserve.

Continue to # 250 – 201


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