On Point With: Someone From Berlin

DJ and producer Raf Kuhn has been blessing us with dance-centric nightlife in NYC and Fire Island (ShareGurl! Rebecca! Spray! Pines Party!) for a minute now. As Someone From Berlin, he combines his experience with the best local DJ and hosting talent to deliver the uber-popular “UltraMaroon,” which is giving us all the wonderful Pride colors this month.


Thotyssey: Hello SfB, I understand you’re in Israel now! How is it, and what are you up to there?

Someone From Berlin: Well, both my parents immigrated to New York from Israel in the 60s, and I grew up flying back and forth once or twice a year. I try to come back once a year, since I have some good friends who live in the country… and I usually time it around when they celebrate Pride. So we’ve had a busy weekend. And there was even an unexpected Deborah Cox performance!

Amazing! And you’ve got a lot in store for NYC Pride when you return. I’m guessing Queer Israel sounds a lot different than Queer New York, as far as the dance floor goes.

I’d describe it as “chaotic good.” The energy here during Pride is great and the parties run on and on, if that’s what you’re looking for. There are a few options / alternatives as far as sound, but yes… the main event here is Offer Nissim in an outdoor park venue (that’s where Deborah showed up). I think something pretty great about where New York is going is the variety of programming, specifically during Pride, that other cities just can’t match. I’m of course extremely excited to be bringing a bit of content myself with our first UltraMaroon Pride party.

Did you grow up around music?

Yes… but 100,000% classical. Both my parents played the piano, and my dad the cello. They tried to get me to play the violin, cello and piano but nothing really stuck. When I went to college I actually got into theater direction, so I think my DJing came out of having an ear for music and a love for creating spaces and experiences that make participants feel something collectively. I didn’t start branching away from classical and discovering pop until middle school; my first albums were CrazySexyCool by TLC and Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette.

When did you start DJing… and how did your DJ name come about?

So I’m one of the gays behind ShareGurl on Fire Island, which was an app turned hospitality company that ultimately rebranded and ran the Hotel in the Pines. One of the things we decided to do as a marketing tactic was throw small daytime parties almost every week, because to us the pool party is the heartbeat of the Island experience. My business partner bought a set of decks, and I decided I needed to know how to use everything… so I downloaded the mp3 of “Acapella” by Kelis and started fucking around with the CDJs.

Turns out my roommate at the time, Scott Martin, was a DJ… and once I started figuring out what I liked and didn’t like, we realized that our sounds were compatible. We became a pair of sorts, playing back to back under the name “Rebecca” (don’t ask… but we have some photos in wigs) all over Fire Island and periodically in the city. We started UltraMaroon together in 2018 as a project to create a space for house music, cocktails and community in NYC, and our small party was doing fine with some die hard regulars sticking around.

The pandemic changed a lot: I decided to adopt a pseudonym rather than DJ under my name to create some separation between the projects in my life… and Scott moved to LA. I picked Someone From Berlin in a moment of silliness. I’m not from Berlin. It’s a bit of a “who’s on first” joke.

UltraMaroon has really evolved into a fan favorite party at the Blue Midtown. Before we mention the upcoming events that won’t be there, how might you describe that vibe… and in general, what a night at UltraMaroon sounds like?

We created UltraMaroon as a music-first space for the community to convene. So one thing you’ll notice if you’re observant is that the team (hosts and staff) makes a point of welcoming everyone, thanking people for coming, and checking to make sure people are having a good time. What difference does that make? I think it’s pretty clear that when you walk through that weird Jewish Steakhouse bar area and down the stairs, you immediately see people smiling, chatting and dancing. We have everyone from femme genderqueer in women’s bathing suits to muscle boys who like to show off their tits…and everyone mixes together with ease. The party is also designed so that there’s something for everyone: the first 90 minutes is a happy hour vibe, usually with an up and coming DJ. The second 90 minute block is the first “turn up” where people can get their dance fix, and still decide to exit without ruining their Monday.

The rest of the night is for the troopers, and honestly it’s become a really magical dance floor. The highest praise we’ve gotten from some community elders is that the crowd and the vibe remind them of peak clubbing in the 90s, when people would just get lost in the music and the crowd. Honestly it’s really become something special, and there’s no way we could’ve done it without the unique combo of personalities across the staff, performers and hosts; everyone believes in the project, and that’s the secret sauce.

On Pride Thursday, UltraMaroon is bringing the party to a different environment… the DL Rooftop! DJs Morabito, Steven Redant (aka BlueAnt), Lupe Fuentes and Joe D’Espinosa will be taking turns in the booth. What can the children expect?

Well firstly, it’ll be more than just those wonderful DJs (and me, of course) — we are also inviting back some of our openers from this past season to play pop-up sets. We’re talking something like nine performers in total across the three sound areas. You might say “isn’t that a bit excessive?” And…yes it is! But isn’t excess the point!? We wanted to create a Pride event for us, by us, and celebrate what we have created together over the course of our third season. What better way than to try and bring back as many hosts and performers as we could? We have great presales, so I think our regulars will be joining in the fun, too. It’s gonna be a good night!

Looking ahead to July, you’ll be at The Pines Club on Fire Island on the 2nd (Saturday) for a To Wong Foo-themed benefit party called “Red & Wild,” along with DJs Steven Redant and Lupe Fuentes. What might be in store for us then?

I spent a few years producing “Spray Fire Island,” an August beach party in the Pines that ran from 2015 to 2019, and over time I developed a really solid friendship and working relationship with both Steven and Lupe. I’m really pleased to be able to reconvene the team, and even more excited to collaborate with long time friend Guy Smith to bring a new spin to his 20-year running “IndepenDance” party.

This year, we decide to go quite silly with a thematic celebration of To Wong Foo. We’ll be taking inspiration from the film for our décor and performances, pairing it with quality music (since that’s the core of the UltraMaroon brand) and layering Guy and Free Radical Design Group’s amazing production skills. We are also thankful to have the support of Kevin Cuenca from Froot Falls for this one, and will be donating our net proceeds to a set of queer nonprofits on and off the island, including AthleteAlly.

And then on July 23 you’ll be back on FI for one of the summer’s most epic queer benefit events.. the Pines Party! We can catch you with DJs Rimarkable and Joe D’espinosa spinning the Saturday pool party.

That’s right! This will be our third year producing MANEA, the pool party portion of Pines Party, and I’m so pleased to be bringing Rimarkable back after her amazing performance in April at UltraMaroon. I think it’s also important to make sure people know that even though tickets are expensive, the party is accessible to anyone who wants to be there…as long as you participate a bit! We need volunteers to help us build the party and staff the bar. So if any of your readers want to be there but are having sticker shock, head over to [the Pines Party volunteer registry] and make sure to note that you wanna hang with us at the MANEA pool party!

Anything else to tell us?

I’d just say…head over to [UltraMaroon’s site], check out what we’re up to, and come play along! If you like our vibes, also check out my SoundCloud where there are live recorded sets from past events and a few edits that I put together and drop periodically.

Excellent! Okay, to wrap this up: what’s your best advice for a baby DJ who wants to break into NYC queer nightlife today?

…I’ve been noodling about this for a minute, actually! One of the things we’ve tried to do is give newer DJs a platform to play freely on the early side of our parties, and it’s great to see them continue to be booked and blessed!

I’d say: (1) Show up to parties you like on the regular, and don’t be afraid to say you’re looking for opportunities to play; (2) download your music, don’t use streaming services; (3) DJ sober — remember that you’re working! A few drinks is fine, but don’t be twisted on the decks; (4) get your reps in. And (5) “blessed and booked” is ideal, but don’t overextend yourself to the point where you’re overbooked… because it’s hard to DJ sober if that’s your schedule!

Words of wisdom all around! Happy Pride, Raf!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Someone From Berlin’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud. Also, check out UltraMaroon’s website.

On Point Archives

Wednesday (6.15.2022)

WEDNESDAY (6.15.2022) Your daily guide to New York nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE / SOHO

EAST VILLAGE / LES

TRIBECA / LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | tHOTlist 2021

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Fly Tatem

Known for his intricate body ink and sexy moves, tattoo artist and gogo god Fly Tatem has been on the top of his game far longer than most. And this week, he’s helping Thotyssey and Wilsonmodels launch one of the most exciting new events of the season!


Thotyssey: Hi Fly! I understand you had a busy weekend!

Fly Tatem: Yeah, more like a busy couple weeks! I really need to take a whole day off.

No doubt! Dancing is fun and sexy and all, but those are long hours and there’s a lot of moving that needs to be done.

I really do love dancing; I always say it’s more of a hobby for me than work. Plus, it’s the best when it comes to getting your cardio in! But yeah, it can take some getting used to with the hours, and jumping around to dance different spots and nights.

Among other qualities, you’re known and admired for your heavily tattooed look.

Haha! Yeah, I guess you could say a lot of people remember that about me… whether I end up meeting them in person or not.

And you’re also a certified tattoo artist yourself. I’m guessing you must’ve put a ton of effort into designing your own tattoos, and then finding the right fellow artist to apply them!

I started getting tattooed fresh outta private school at 18 years old, and I’ve been tattooing as an artist for almost seven years now. I’ve had mostly coworkers and my mentor tattoo me, but I have actually tattooed a lot of my own tattoos on myself. I’ve done most all my legs, my face and the sides of my torso. Hurts less when you do them yourself, I feel! Most people will say, “you must love pain!” I give them the are you crazy look, and tell them it’s really the end result that is what I love. The pain’s just a necessary evil to get to that result… such is life!

Where are you from originally, and how did you get into gogo dancing?

I always tell people I’m from Pennsyltuckey, also known as Pennsylvania to most. I’m originally from Reading, PA which is 45 minutes west of Philly. So this was where I spent a majority of my years as a “gayby” (my late teens and early 20s) until I made the best decision of my life to move to New York!

So there was this gay bar / club in Allentown 45 minutes from where I lived called the Stonewall (not to be confused with the Stonewall Inn of the West Village; I’m pretty sure the name of the place was made as more of a tribute to the Stonewall riots). I went out to go dancing and drinking with my ex and some friends, and I’d seen or heard (I really can’t recall) that they were looking for some guys to join a gogo group to dance at the club, and go around to a few other bars in Pennsylvania in the Poconos area. At this time I had a lot less tattoos — maybe an arm sleeve and some on my chest — but I remember them thinking that I had a lot compared to most.

Anyway, they did a little interview on the spot and had me do a trial run the next week, and basically I’ve been dancing in the gay nightlife on and off ever since for the past 16 years or so. Which is unbelievable, I know since I’m only 25… lol!

Longevity in your business is rare and very respected. What’s the key to staying in the game, do you think?

Besides all the bukakke facials? JK (kinda)! But honestly, what I’ve found has worked for me most is: networking — getting to know the players in the trade and nightlife scene. Also, having a likeable personality; minding your p’s and q’s (manners and courtesy) when in these establishments while working and not working is also a big determination of whether someone will want to hire you, or have you back to their establishment, or recommend you to others. And also, just showing everyone respect and kindness will really help you go far. I have also found that dancers that are more personable with the patrons and know how to interact with them will make the bargoers’ experience better, and make places want to have you back because this will make you an asset to their business.

And of course, being able to swing those hips to the beat helps a lot! Most people think that you have to have this rockin’ bod to be a dancer. I mean, that can be the case for some of these parties and events that happen. But nowadays, I’ve noticed there are many more different types of gogo dancers and many more different body types out there in the trade… which I think is great! I applaud anyone with the confidence to dance around in next to nothing in front of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people a week. It’s not always the easiest thing to do and can be unnerving, especially when you’re not feeling on your A-game that day. I am happy to see that our community seems to becoming more body positive in that way somewhat.

Agreed! Do you have a “wildest moment ever” gogo boy story, either involving yourself or something you’ve witnessed?

I’m so bad with thinkin’ of these on the spot, being that my memory is something of someone with early onset dementia. But I remember there were these two gogo dancers that were partners at the time, and they were both dancing this event. The one, first of all, was not only holding a butt plug in his ass walking around in the club (which at the time I thought was brazen), but he was also dancing with the thing in and not having it fall out (which I thought was even more amazing, and that this guy must be a kegels coach or something).

So anyways, this butt plug was one that had a remote that a person could control it with from far away, and his partner had the remote. And any time the dancer with the plug in would get up in front of everyone to dance, he would turn that thing on and put it on high! And if you could only see the dancer’s face and mannerisms when that thing was on and vibrating… well, clearly it’s something that stuck in my mind!

Being a gogo, you tend to witness a lot of things most of the time more sober than the event attendees. Because although we are allowed to drink at most places you dance at, for many it is a job… and getting totally blitzed isn’t something that is really done if you dance more on a regular.

So, Jeff Eason of Wilsonmodels and Thotyssey are collaborating on our very first event together: this Wednesday, in a new Brooklyn venue called No Aloha! The hot Luis Fernando will be DJing; Neon Calypso, Chaka Khanvict and Danity Powers will be the resident queens… and you’ll be dancing! This is gonna be epic, right!?

You already know! I’ve come to know Jeff throughout the years, and for anyone that knows Jeff he is always at all the happening events throughout NYC, taking amazing shots of the people and happenings of that event; he has shot a lot of really big names in the community throughout the years. And anyone that knows Jeff also knows that he’s a total sweetheart, and is always such a pleasure to see and chat with whenever the opportunity arises.

So when he mentioned he was going to start this party in conjunction with you, whom I already knew runs a popular magazine and blog in the community… I was all about joining in. Jeff didn’t even have to tell me anymore! Then I came to find out I’ll be working alongside Neon Calypso, Chaka Khanvict and Danity D. Powers, and that made me that much more excited to be a part of this epic event that’s happening this coming Wednesday! It’ll definitely be a good time, and a great way to get everyone ready and in the spirits for all the great Pride events that will come to follow.

We can’t wait! Where else can the children find you this month?

So my schedule can fluctuate, but I will mainly be dancing on Fridays at Hush. I also do a tattoo pop-up shop for the House of X in the LES, typically on Saturdays… and I just started doing the same at [X’s sister venue] House of Yes this past week. You can also catch me on occasion dancing in Fire Island for the iconic Friday Night Underwear Party! You can always find the most up to date info on my whereabouts on my IG, and while your at it take a peep at my tattoo business’ IG. I do actually do private tattoo sessions still, in between all the dancing and club work! I have tons of projects in the works, so would love to be able to share that with anyone and everyone!

Which leads us to our final question: what’s your favorite tattoo on you!?

The bullseye around my …can you say hole on here? LOL, totally kidding, no tattoo around the rim quite yet! But it’s hard to say a particular one is a favorite… kinda like children, I guess. But I’ve always loved my neck and face tattoos — to me it’s really a declaration, and symbolizes to me that I’ve made it in the industry. At least, to the point where I am successful and secure enough that I am able to have those types of tattoos and not worry about being hired for a job, or having them hinder me in any way in the future. Plus, it’s the best free advertising!

Indeed! See you Wednesday, Fly!

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Fly Tatem’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Instagram (also his tattoo business’ IG) and Twitter.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (6.14.2022)

TUESDAY (6.14.2022) Your daily guide to NYC nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN



MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

On Point With: Tank

This tri-tittied alt theater queen and their bizarro troupe have made Brooklyn’s Satellite Arts Club a hub for delightfully queerdo drag productions. Make way for Tank!


Thotyssey: Hello Tank, thanks for chatting with us today! Happy Pride Month… How’s it all treating you so far?

Tank: Well, I just got a new prescription for anti-psychotics… so it’s treating me deliciously!

Excellent timing! I imagine that Pride season can be particularly emotionally and psychologically taxing, what with all the gigs and crowds and activity, etc.

It’s crazy to me how much has already happened this Pride Month, and we’re not even halfway into it!

Ain’t that the truth! It also seems like every three blocks of the outer boroughs, Jersey, LI and Westchester are having their own neighborhood Prides, lol. It’s great for the community, but hopefully it won’t lead to Pride Overload.

Oh, I don’t think that’s possible! I think a lot of people are finding fun and inventive ways to celebrate it this year.

That’s true… and there’s no lack of need for joy this year!

So where are you from originally, and what were your early interests regarding art and performance, etc.?

I’m from Boulder, Colorado originally, and am pretty much a poster child for the “theatre kid to drag queen” pipeline. I grew up working in musical theatre before moving to New York to go to school for directing.

When did Tank get born?

About two and a half years ago! “Tank” is actually my government last name… outside of drag I still work in theatre, and I use the same name for both worlds! I started drag around October of 2019 with the Brooklyn-based performance art collective I now co-direct called I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?! I had just moved back to the city after living in Chicago for a few years, and one of my best friends had started producing shows in Bushwick… so they just invited me to create something. The theme was vaguely “cursed images.”

When I hear “I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?!” I can’t help but think of Valerie Cherish / Aunt Sassy’s catchphrase in The Comeback, lol!

it’s funny you mention that… The Comeback is exactly where we got our name! “I Don’t Wanna See That?!!?!” is a collective of artists from various mediums who create work that is beautifully cringey. It started as a variety show based around “cursed images,” and now we produce several different shows a month ranging from drag shows to comedy to live music to fully staged and scripted theatrical pieces.

You all do most of your shows at Satellite Art Club. What’s that venue like?

Satellite Art Club is a performance art bar run by Joe Latimore and Brian Whiteley! It’s a space run by artists for artists. There’s giant dangling disco ball testicles, a monthly rotating art installation, and a basement performance area that looks exactly what you’d imagine a DIY Brooklyn basement to look like. I love it; it’s literally my second home.

You’ve also been hosting a weekly Friday Drag Race All Stars viewing party there! The season’s been pretty popular with fans so far, what are your thoughts? And whose team are you on?

As a sleepy bitch with red hair and a theatre degree, I feel uniquely represented by Jinkx Monsoon. I’ve also been loving this season overall! It feels like it’s truly just about celebrating queer excellence!

IDWST has an interesting project coming up: The Mannequin Play, which will be at Satellite on June 17 and 19th, and The Brick Theater on June 18th! What can you tell us about this production?

So, The Mannequin Play is a folk-rap musical that follows a community of three mannequins located at a Rainbow Shops in Bushwick. When the store closes, these mannequins are separated from each other and must find a way to reconnect! Its been collaboratively written by the entire cast of drag performers and performance artists in the city!

This sounds entirely like a must-see experience!

Oh it will be! The cast is so incredible, and I’m just so pumped to share it!

And it’s gonna be in two theaters across three days!

We were initially offered a single performance day at the Brick, and I wanted to make sure there was a few more opportunities to experience the piece… so I booked us a few shows at Satellite, too!

Anything else coming up for you?

Hard to believe there’s still more of June after this, but it keeps going! I’ll be hosting a Pride brunch at Aura Coffee in Brooklyn on June 25th. And then in July we’ll be having an “I Don’t Wanna See That: Live,” which is a variety show of performances you maybe don’t wanna see… but you definitely can’t look away from!

I’m running to my calendar! By the way… you often appear with three boobs! How did that become a reality!?

I was hoping to talk about this! I get a lot of questions about my three boobs, and I want to clear some things up! It’s a truly rare medical condition where my heart is just soooo big that I had to grow a third boob to hold it all! But don’t worry… aside from that, I’m just like other girls!

[Photo: @pixeljournalism]

No doubt! Okay, lastly: what’s been your favorite thing about drag… and what’s your least favorite?

So far, my favorite thing about drag has to be the shoes — I truly can’t stop buying them. It’s compulsive. Also, it being this communal healing ritual. But mostly shoes.

My least favorite? Sweating so hard underneath my breastplate, it makes a belt of sweat in most of my garments.

Happy Pride, Tank!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Tank’s upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram.

On Point Archives

Monday (6.13.2022)

MONDAY (6.13.2022) Your daily guide to New York City nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA



WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE / SOHO

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo

Her run on “Rupaul’s Drag Race” did not fit that show’s model for success from her very first episode, when a quirky outro during her early elimination on Season 10 led to the remaining queens and judges discussing her the rest of the season. Then she returned to the franchise with much more success and airtime in Season 11, and became both a “lip sync assassin” and an all-time iconic fan favorite thanks to her very original personality, relatable humor, crazy-deep voice and sexy looks in and out of drag. Now with high profile NYC Pride appearances underway and a new streaming show all her own, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo is carving out a space all her own in the fame game and one thing is already certain… no one will be forgetting her name anytime soon!


Thotyssey: Hello, Miss Vanjie! Thanks so much for finding time to speak to us today! May we ask: what’s the most recent Amazing Vanjie Experience you’ve had?

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo: Oh, you know… took a quick trip to the Pyramids of Cairo, Egypt for a little tomb raiding and relaxation! As Ms. Nicki Minaj once said: Lara Been Croft!

You’re one of Drag Race’s most beloved alums — not just because you’re such a fun performer, but also you’re just such an engaging personality. We can listen to you talk in your distinctive way and tell stories for days! Have you ever considered doing a TED Talk, or something?

Biiiitchhh, a TED Talk?! Well, if someone gave me a mic at one of those gigs it’d definitely be about how to be your best hoe self. I’ve also thought about doing some ASMR, but I’d probably blow our yo’ eardrums or something, lol.

[Photo: Marco Ovando]

I was just watching a clip of you recounting a spectacularly bad date you had on Fuse’s True Dating Stories aired earlier this year. Wild!

It was definitely a moment! But you live and you learn, then when you get back into the swing of things you gotta take them lessons and apply it to the next boy that comes into your life. Wish me luck!

Maybe that clip inspired the creation of Vanjie: 24 Hours of Love, which recently premiered on WoW Presents Plus. It follows a Bachelorette sort of format where you’re in a big cute house with 18 hot dudes who are all vying to be your One and Only! What was the whole experience like for youhow hands on were you with everything, and did you find true love!?

Watch out Ru, I’m coming for your gig! Kidding! Since the show just premiered, I do have to keep mum on some things… but I will say that I never imagined I’d be in the position of choosing my pick of the litter out of all them boys. When I was watching all them shows like Flavor of Love, I Love New York, etc… the thought of me being the Flava Flav or Miss Tiffany Pollard is crazy! But damn, I guess I’m part of the club now.

Looking back at your very unique run on the two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race: does that all feel like a thousand years ago, or just yesterday?

To be honest, it feels like a blur, and we have Ms. Corona to thank for that. But once the world opened up little by little, I made it a point to throw myself into a hustle and do everything that was offered, and to try out some new things! Bringing Vanjie: 24 Hours of Love to life was the result of that hustle!

My favorite Drag Race runway look of yours was that red lacy gown with the giant scales headpiece. Have you worn that in shows and appearances since Drag Race?

What’s crazy is that I premiered that lewk at a live show before it was seen on Season 11! During one of those DragCons, there was a First Eliminated Queens pageant… and all the kids got to see that sneak peak of my head of scales! Lemme know if you wanna borrow her!

You’re also part of the RuPaul’s Drag Race Live: Las Vegas revue. Many of your runway looks and moves on the Drag Race TV show were signs that you’d be an amazing showgirl. But is that grind really a carry? Are all the girls in that live show sisters, or is it kind of a “clock in, clock out” work situation?

Vegas is one of the best gigs to have in the Drag Race world. Consistent gigs in our line of work is hard to find, and it’s nice to have a breather from the non-stop travelling we do when we go on tour. Plus, I get to see my kitties everyday before I go to work… and I can’t say the same thing about touring!

You’ve been to New York a bunch of times now! Do you have any favorite queens here?

The one. The only. SHEQUIDA! Enough said…

On June 17, you’ll be part of Ladyfag’s Pride festival “Ladyland” at The Brooklyn Mirage. That always features huge acts and surprises, and promises a good time. Are you psyched… and what can you spoil for us, lol?

Let’s just say that I’m gonna be making the rounds with all of the artists at the gig… you’re gonna see me everywhere that night! Catch me on stage when the clock strikes midnight!

Then on Pride Saturday June 25, Voss Events presents “The Fantastic Six” at HK Hall, which you will be hosting! The show will also star the Drag Race Season 14’s top queens Angeria Paris VanMichaels, Bosco, Daya Betty, Jorgeous, Lady Camden and Willow Pill! Have you gotten to work or kiki with any of these girls yet?

I just finished Werq The World’s European leg with both Lady Camden and Jorgeous! They’re both so sweet, and brought their A-game to the tour. It was nice to see two new queens in the same position I was a few years ago, with the same energy I had when I first joined Werq The World. They’re warmed up, so you know they’re gonna kill it at the Pride show on June 25th! I may also have a little surprise for the kids that evening… let’s just say there’s a special guest that no one will be expecting to see me on stage with…

Is there anything else coming up for you that you wanna mention?

Not only do I have my show coming out every Thursday on WoW Presents Plus, but I have another show coming out on June 29th with Paramount Plus for All-Star Shore! It’s gonna be a “Summer of Vanjie,” y’all!

And finally… was Gia Gunn right about there not being glamor at this year’s DragCon, lol?

Wasn’t there… so don’t look at me, Mary!


[Photo: @drag.n.drop]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Vanessa Vanjie Mateo’s upcoming area appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify and TikTok.

On Point Archives

This Week in Thotyssey Events!

Besides listing everyone’s events and interviewing folks in the scene, Thotyssey also produces acclaimed events of her own! You can find us in two places this week:

  • Tuesday, 6/14. It’s a Pride Week installment of our game night LEVEL UP at Atlas Social Club, featuring gamesmaster Shane Cherry! It’s a laid back affair featuring board games, card games, strategy games and the very popular Super Smash Bros weekly tournament! The games begin at 8.
  • Wednesday, 6/15. Thotyssey is joining forces with Wilsonmodels photographer extraordinaire Jeff Eason to present a new party in a new venue on Brooklyn, No Aloha! “Yaz Pride” is gonna be epic, with beats by the borough’s newest iconic DJ Luis Fernando and shows by a major star of New York and Boston drag, Neon Calypso! Two other amazing queens Chaka Khanvict and Danity Powers will also be turning numbers, and the drop dead sexy Fly Tatum will be shaking his tatted goods all up in your face. Cum make history with us!

Big events coming up next week, too. Stay tuned!

Sunday (6.12.2022)

SUNDAY (6.12.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE



TRIBECA / LITTLE ITALY / LOWER MANHATTAN

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Saturday (6.11.2022)

SATURDAY (6.11.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

Friday (6.10.2022)

FRIDAY (6.10.2022) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride Events 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: DJ ARRA

This gorgeous new queen of the DJ booth is spinning in New York’s hottest spaces this summer… so go get your ARRA on!


Thotyssey: Hello DJ ARRA, thanks so much for chatting with us today. Happy June and Happy Pride Month! How are you enjoying it all so far?

DJ ARRA: I’m ecstatic! This month is so special to our people to celebrate ourselves and the amazing people around us. Not to mention, it’s a time where we have the world looking in and seeing us shine in our own light. That being said, it can be stressful… especially when you’re balancing family and friends alongside back-to-back bookings! Still, I’m exceedingly grateful for every opportunity.

Yes, this is truly Grind Month, and you were already booked and blessed as it is! Do you ever have a moment where you blank and are like “wait, where am I going tonight again, what am I doing, where am I?”

Omg, yes! Let’s just say, I’ve developed a very intimate relationship with my calendar. It can feel like a whirlwind sometimes. I’ve learned to keep my laptop by my side, because I will leave one venue and be downloading new music in the Uber on the way to the next. It’s very much giving “no sleep, bus, club, another club,” and I couldn’t be happier about it, lol!


How long have you been a DJ now, and a New Yorker?

So, I’ve lived in New York for, I think, five years. I’ve honestly lost track, which is kind of embarrassing… but time has definitely passed me by in a blink. My first official gig DJ’ing was with Ty Sunderland for his boat series last summer. He gave me the most amazing opportunity to play “Gayflower: The Chromatica Cruise,” which seemed fitting being that it was a Gaga theme, lol. I remember spending weeks and weeks preparing for that set; I’m actually laughing right now, thinking about how nervous I was versus how much experience I’ve gained over only one year.

Well done! Where was your original hometown?

I grew up 45 minutes outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. That was where I first got my introduction to gay nightlife and where I first got a job working the door at a club named Legends. I’d been living on campus at William Peace University, after being accepted into their musical theater program. Unfortunately, that was short lived— I started being pulled into another direction, and found that wasn’t where I belonged at the time.

A Raleigh native… just like another recent interviewee of ours, Dawn! So, music was always a part of your life?

Music has always been my first love. I would write songs and think of music video concepts constantly, and I really still do all of that… but it’s kind of my alt girl persona, lol. My friends are always asking me about these two songs that I’ve been sitting on for a while, wondering when I will (if ever) release them. Maybe I’m just not ready for that step yet! It’s definitely still on the table.

[Photo: Gustavo Toledo]


Is there an origin to the name “ARRA?”

The truth is really nonsensical. When I was coming to terms with being trans and what all that entails, I would try on a few different names and nothing ever stuck. I know a lot of trans women take their dead names and transform them into what feels right for them, but that never felt true for me. I couldn’t really see myself or who I was becoming at the time; I would close my eyes, and I saw nothing. But I felt this overwhelming feminine presence, or “aura,” and I knew “she” was always there. The spelling was the artist in me putting a spin on it to feel more original, but that might just be the Aquarius energy in me bleeding out.

I love that! So these days you’re spinning big club nights, intimate bar parties and everything in between. Do you have a favorite vibe, as far as spaces go?

The bigger, the better! If I can capture a larger audience and run with it, that’s my favorite space. I love being anywhere that has a packed out dance floor. There’s really no feeling like it! I really thrive in a pop or disco environment. It’s like I get the chance to see the music through the eyes of the artist. It’s all about the fantasy.

There’s a growing scene of trans femme rave nightlife that we can see right here in NYC (largely in Ridgewood), but for the most part DJs in queer bars and clubs are still often shirtless muscled cis guys. You’re well-known and busy all over town, but did you ever feel discrimination for not being that “expected” cis type when you started as a DJ?

I think it’s valid to say that masculinity occupies most queer spaces, as it does in every aspect of life. You didn’t hear this from me, but DJ’ing is very much a boys’ game! You really have to be prepared to fight and prove your worth… and even then, you will be met with resistance. It’s not easy, especially when there isn’t a ton of representation. There are so many growing trans DJs and artists that I hope receive the same opportunities as me within these spaces, because they are more than deserving.

You are in regular DJ rotation at HK’s newest hot spot sister bars, The Q and Hush! At Hush, we can basically find you every Saturday for “SHUSH” along with DJ Nandi.

I can honestly say that holding that weekly spot has given me a strong sense of pride. We just talked about the difficulties of being a trans DJ in these uber-masculine spaces, but I stand to say that it’s possible… and clearly profitable. SHUSH has been a unique experience because it is a predominantly masc environment, but I keep the energy high and the dance floor full while the boys line up for the dark room!

This Saturday, you’re actually pulling double duty with SHUSH as well as the second floor at the Q! How’s that gonna work!?

My head will be spinning, that I know for sure. Sometimes, you have to try to do the impossible… and that’s what I plan to achieve this weekend! I will be opening with a short set at The Q, and switching out just before my set at Hush. Everything has to work out just right for it to run smoothly, but I’ve got all my bases covered. And the truth about it is: you just have to communicate honestly and clearly with all parties involved. Lucky for me, they’re only about two blocks apart!

Then on Sunday (June 12), you’ll be at Brooklyn’s 3 Dollar Bill for “Spritz,” featuring Rosé!

“Spritz” is a party that 3 Dollar Bill approached me to produce. That’s been the most pressure of all I’ve done this far, but I’m confident that it will be a success!

And later at 3DB on June 18th, it’s “Doll!” that Bobby LeMaire is producing which will celebrate trans Pride!

“Doll!” is an exciting opportunity for so many trans women to come together and celebrate ourselves. I’m looking forward to it, because it will bring so many of us together to connect or reconnect with other women who’ve shared our experience, and shine a light on an often hidden part of our community.

Another trans femme-driven party you often DJ is “Paul’s Dolls” at Paul’s Casablanca on Wednesdays!

That’s another party I’m proud to have been a part of almost every week since its conception. [Host and producer] Linux had the idea to hire the dolls, and only the dolls. We started at Paul’s Baby Grand, but grew to the point where we needed a larger venue… and have been at Casablanca ever since. I prioritize these environments — not only because I’m trans, but because they’re always the most entertaining.

All amazing! And looking ahead, you’ll be back at the Q for Pride Thursday’s party, “ErotiQa!” Is there anything else coming up for you?

June 23rd, I’m doing a set at The Civilian Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen — 6pm-10pm — before my set at the Q! I’m not sure if that’s been announced yet, but it is confirmed! Other than that, I think that about covers everything!

Excellent! Okay, last question: what’s your favorite track to play right now?

“Deeper and Deeper,” by Madonna! Something is laced in that song that I cannot get enough of right now. It makes me feel a form of liberation!

It’s a true anthem! Thanks ARRA, and have a great Pride!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for DJ ARRA’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.

On Point Archives

Thursday (6.9.2022)

THURSDAY (6.9.2022) Your daily guide to New York queer nightlife events.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE / LES

LOWER MANHATTAN / CHINATOWN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONF ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

ONLINE CONTENT


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

X-Rayed Sex: “Sex Is A Celebration”

By LeNair Xavier

Thotyssey presents a column by LeNair Xavier, a writer/poet who has worked in many levels of the sex industry, and has a lot to say about the social politics of sex, porn and sexual etiquette.


I have long said that sex is both a physical and spiritual connection. Well, the same duality can be said as to how sex is also a physical and spiritual celebration. At least in my eyes.

If growing up in a religious household did any good for me, it made me also want sex to not only want sex to be a physical celebration, but also a spiritual one. It is why I never say a fuck is “just a fuck.” For that is being dismissive of a human being. So I did the work on myself to make that happen. I hope many LGBTQ+ people start doing the same.

For now, I see every sexual encounter as me telling my sex partner “You belong.” Every sex encounter is also several flips of the bird. For it is flipping the bird to how many times religion in my upbringing tried to tell me that being any degree of gay is wrong. It is flipping the bird to the past supervisor who harassed me and the boss who allowed it when I first entered the workforce. It is flipping the bird to those (straight and gay) who act like Pride marches are too sexualized with their nudity. In their short-sightedness, they ignore the fact that nudity does not always equal sex. In can instead be a sign of the body-positivity. Body-positivity needed to counter the body-shaming many of us endure when we come out as LGBTQ+. All because of how we are not using our genitalia for hetero-normative sex and procreation. And if it’s not that shaming, then it is to counter shame from within our own community as to how we may not be the gay media-endorsed false supremacy in regards to age, height, weight, and skin color with a closer proximity to whiteness.

The sex I have is not to silence such voices in my head. I have gotten so far pass what a number of such people have said to me that I can hardly recall any exact words. What I am saying here is that in moments of reflection in the afterglow of sex and beyond, images of such people can surface. Remembering not the words, but having emotional memory that they did say something intended to make me feel like I did not belong. And when their faces appear, I mentally give them a big old-fashioned “Fuck you!”

With that reflection of their rhetoric, I will admit that their negativity is a driving force in my being a sex educator. Especially for gay males.

So many of us growing up in similar scenarios is what makes many of us be unable to have a sexual encounter free of substances, and that includes poppers. For many, sex itself is not the only high. The anticipation and trust of a sex partner is not the anal relaxer that it should be. Enter the substances, which I believe are to either block out those negative voices in their mind and/or be a means to hear the voices, but make the body focus on sex enough to not react to those voices. Because sometimes, whispers in the back of your mind can make your body react like they are earthquake-causing screams.

I fought hard before and continue to fight today to overcome all of this.

And in that overcoming, I wrote this poem “Fuck To Celebrate” to address the physical celebration of sex. I hope that you agree.


LeNair Xavier can be found frequently at the Cock, and at various other exhibitionist-friendly venues. He can be followed on FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram. He guest blogs occasionally for Kiroo.com.

X-Rayed Sex Archives

Wednesday (6.8.2022)

WEDNESDAY (6.8.2022) Your daily guide to New York nightlife.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE / SOHO

EAST VILLAGE / LES

TRIBECA / LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | tHOTlist 2021

GET YOUR EXCLUSIVE THOTYSSEY GEAR HERE!

On Point With: Dawn

Emerging from bedroom drag to become one of Brooklyn’s most creative queens on the scene today… we all must rise for Dawn! [Cover photo: Sass]

Thotyssey: Happy Pride Month, Dawn! We’ve got Brooklyn Pride right around the corner, and NYC Pride in just a few weeks. Are you ready for all this?

Dawn: Y’know what? I think am! I was just in North Carolina visiting family for, like, two weeks in May… so I’m feeling extra rested and sun-kissed, and honestly just ready to be a menace in the streets this month.

Your drag looks tend to be very involved and intricate… do you worry about sweating all that off in the upcoming summer heat?

Oh God, absolutely! Luckily I’m not a big sweater, but because of that I more so worry about full on heat stroke because I do so much. So yeah, definitely looking into ways to pare down my wardrobe but maintain the aesthetic for the next few months!

Carry on! Your IG pictography is haunting and fabulous… what inspires your looks, generally?

I love and hate this question… because everything and nothing inspires me, lol! I wish I could say I have this bountiful knowledge of fashion and trends over the past 40 years and I have these designers that I look to… but I don’t. And genuinely most of my inspiration comes from when I’m just existing, and I’m like “oh, that would be fun!” So my drag is just a realized version of what’s going on in my mind at any given moment! It’s very personal for me. But if I had to say one material thing that inspired me, it would be other drag artists (and strange, deep water fish).

[Photo: Anthony Leo]

So this is a good time for back tracking: you’re a North Carolina native?

Yesss! Raleigh born and raised! North Carolina is a fun sort of place where there are about four cities with three things to do in each of them, so living there for 23 years… you get a bit bored.

Were you always into some form of art while growing up?

I think I got my first sketchbook when I was 8 or 9, and filled it with (awful) drawings of Princess Peach and Daisy, and various Disney princesses. I also used to play dress up with my neighbor, and we would put on cute Limited Too outfits and my hair in pigtails, and pretend to be high school drama queens on her trampoline outside. Since then I’ve gone on to get a degree with a minor in Art/Design, and be a fully fledged drag queen. So all this to say, I’ve been doing this for a minute!

How and when did you become Dawn, and a New Yorker?

I’ll set the scene: it’s 2017. I just finished watching Sasha Velour obliterate Shea Coulee on national television. I’ve only been out of the closet for six months, and I find a single eyeliner pen of my mother’s in my bathroom, and I go. To. Town. Every aspect of the drag face, with just that one shitty little eyeliner pen. And no, it didn’t look good… but yes, I stared at myself for at least an hour before washing it off. after that, I spent three years being what one would call a “bedroom queen,” because I had way too much social anxiety to actually go out in drag and not a lick of something to wear, for that matter.

Cut to March 2020. I had plans to do my first open set at the local gay club, Legends… and Covid hit, so I wasn’t able to. All that free time locked inside, paired with breaking up with my partner of two years and being forced to move back in with my mom, is when “Dawn” technically was birthed.

My mom taught me to sew, and after that I basically just jumped into anything I could. I guess the pandemic washed me of all shame, because I just didn’t have that anxiety around performing any more. [I did] digital drag shows and open sets when the world opened back up, and then I moved to New York the first week of July In 2021. And since then, it has been an absolute roller coaster.

How might you describe the types of numbers you’re doing these days… are they informed by your looks, or vice versa, or not at all?

I love that you ask this, because I’ve actually been doing a lot of thinking about this lately! I’ve spent a lot of time honing my aesthetic, and then building performances around that. But these days, I’ve been trying to conceptualize performance more so than looks. I’m trying to be a well-rounded bitch! That being said, I do love a look… so it will always be a mix of both.

You were a strong contender in host Zavaleta’s first ever cycle of C’mon Everybody’sBitch Fest” drag competition, which featured some across-the-board epic Brooklyn talent. How did you enjoy that whole experience?

Oh goodness, Bitch Fest was a trip. I read Jay Kay’s interview here, and I think they said the same thing. But Zava is genuinely one of the best people I’ve met since I moved here (but don’t tell her that). Bitch Fest and her invitation to be in it has opened so many doors for me and my drag career.

That being said, that competition was hard as hell… and I think it brought me closer to burnout than I’ve ever been. But I wouldn’t trade it — I learned so much about myself and my artistry, and also how to take care of my mind and body through strenuous situations. I’ve also been hearing some murmurings that Zava may be inviting some previous competitors back for another shot at the finale next month, so keep your eyes peeled on that. I heart Bitch Fest!

[Photo: Anthony Leo]

A fun development from that competition has been “Dum Dums,” a themed monthly drag show at The Rosemont you co-host with Jay!

Getting to be friends with and do this show with Jay is definitely a highlight of Bitch Fest. I remember one day off hand they were like, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we did a show together called Dum Dums and we just do dumb shit every week?” And I was like, “Yeah slay,” not really thinking much of it. I got a text from them a few days later that it had been booked at Rosie for every other Tuesday, and we have lived up to the mission!

I love our silly little show and so far — it has been amazing! My birthday show back in April was packed — and included one Adore Delano in the audience, which made me absolutely froth at the mouth. We have guests and themes lined up for the next few months, and there will be no short supply of looks, giggles and utter tomfoolery every other Tuesday at the Rosemont. Our next show is on June 14th… and instead of celebrating Pride, we’re celebrating Shame! Dum Dums: Shame! Come out!

This Thursday (June 9th), you’ll be back at C’mon joining Rify Royalty, Janelle No. 5, Honey Davenport, MissMa’amShe, Blue and DJ Macy Rodman for a ballad revue called “In Her Feels!”

I am so excited for this one! I haven’t performed at C’mon Everybody in a hot minute and I am an emotional bitch, so I’m pulling out all the stops. I’ve never worked with Rify or Janelle, but to be booked by those titans of NYC drag is so exciting. Getting that random DM from Janelle on my way to Trader Joes asking me to be in the show was definitely a fun moment for me. It’s a night of ballads, so I think I’m most excited to see what Blue does. I know that bitch loves to just get naked and be a whore, so I’m curious what emotional spin she’ll do on it. As for me, you’ll have to come out and see what I get up to (partially because I haven’t fully decided, lol)!

You’ll be part of another of Janelle’s events next Friday (June 17), this time at 3 Dollar Bill! The lineup for “Fantasy‘ is pretty fierce, including none other than Drag Race All-Star Rajah O’Hara!

Yes, my 3DB debut! Listen… if you want fantasy, a bitch will give you fantasy. I’m also super excited to meet Rajah; I was a huge fan of hers back on Season 11, and obviously again on her All Stars run. I think her aesthetic is so clear, not to mention the way she busts down the stage. It’s gonna be sick.

Anything else to add?

My Instagram is where I’m always promoting my events, and of course posting looks! If you ever want to know where I’m performing next, it’s in the “Where I’ll be” highlight! Other than that, I just want to give a shout out to my mom: Hi Lori. I love you! Tell the cat I say “Hey.”

Hi Mom and Cat! In closing: what’s the best thing about drag for you, and what’s the worst?

Ooh! Okay, okay… so best has gotta be that first night out in a new outfit you spent weeks on. It’s so fun every time, and seeing the process come together is immaculate. Worst is my reluctance to go out without a corset… because those fuckers hurt, and I refuse to not wear one, lol!

The beautiful suffering! Thanks Dawn, Happy Pride!


[Photo: Bryan Clavel]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Dawn’s upcoming appearances, and follow her Instagram.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (6.7.2022)

TUESDAY (6.7.2022) Your daily guide to NYC nightlife programming.


UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GAMES | GEEKY | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Full Calendar | Pride 2022

On Point With: Jamie CD

Relatively new to the scene, the athletic fashionista Jamie CD is already making huge waves in NYC drag.


Thotyssey: Hello Jamie, thanks for chatting with us today! I understanding you were doing a gig last night, how did it go?

Jamie CD: Hi Thotyssey! Yes, I had a gig last night and it went very well… thanks for asking!

Have you had a chance to watch the recent Drag Race drop?

I haven’t had a chance yet! I probably won’t be able to watch until tomorrow. I’m running around New York right now doing fittings. Don’t spill the tea, lol! [But this season has] been such a breath of fresh air. Truly. Everyone is shining so bright, and the talent is just unreal. I love it!

Backstory time! Where is your original hometown, and how did you discover the world of drag?

I’m from Buffalo, NY… grew up pretty normal in the suburbs there. I remember watching Raja’s season on Drag Race in college, and I was intrigued. She was the most fierce queen! But I didn’t fully picture myself ever becoming a drag queen. I didn’t think it was something I could even do. But here we are now, lol!

I think my true interest in drag started when I watched my first full season of Drag Race: Season 10! Aquaria was the ultimate queen for me then!

I’m going to guess that “CD” is not short for Compact Disc.

The CD stands for Crossdresser. I’m here reppin’ all the CD’s out there who may not have the confidence to step out into the world and be themselves.

Please tell us a bit about the sort of looks you like to rock, and the types of numbers you like to do these days.

I like to show a lot of skin! Sexy, fierce, cunty… that’s my vibe. I consider myself a fashion queen. I’ve been working in fashion since I moved to NY in 2013, so it reflects in my drag. I do numbers that enhance that sexiness; anything Pussycat Dolls is the vibe. I like to keep it fresh too, with new music / numbers constantly. It also helps that I was a gymnast for 17 years, and I can flip around in heels. That’s a major crowd pleaser!

It sure is! I saw you guest perform for Bootsie LeFaris‘ show at Pieces a few months ago, alongside Ruby Fox. You slayed!

Thank you so much! I love those two so much. Ruby is my sister.


You also turn looks and numbers at The Box, which is a super exclusive nightlife experience. Oh, the stories you must have!

Yes! I have stories to last a lifetime, let me tell you. The Box is like a whole other world.

You also co-host a show called “Dumb Slut” with Madame Vivien V every Saturday at The Q!

I do. It’s my first weekly show, and I’m so excited about it. It’s been going great! The show is unlike any other: you get full choreographed numbers, interactive games with the audience, special guest performances, and much more. The Q has a great space with lots of production involved; we knew it was the perfect space for us. My favorite game we play is “I’m A Dumb Slut Because…” where we have the audience members tell their sluttiest story to the crowd. It’s a gag, honestly; some of these stories have my jaw dropped, lol. We are there every Saturday, 8 to 10pm on the top floor!

Amazing! And on June 12 (Brooklyn Pride Week), you’ll be at 3 Dollar Bill for “Spritz” with your sis Ruby Fox, Bobby LeMaire and the amazing Rosé!

Yes I’m so excited! I love all three of them so much. I haven’t seen Rosé in a minute, so it will be nice to catch up and twirl around with her. I hope I get to see you there!

Then on NYC Pride Thursday (June 23), you’ll be back at 3DB with your Dumb Slut sis Viv for her party “Clench” alongside recent Drag Race Miss Congeniality Kornbread!

I’m so excited to meet Miss Kornbread; it’s going to be a really good time.

You’re also gonna be on the Tito’s Vodka float for Asbury Park Pride this Sunday, which will have happened by the time this gets published.

I’m going to do their float for NYC Pride Parade as well. Also, on June 14th I’m working with Fresh Beauty and the Hetrick-Martin Institute hosting a “Career Day” for HMI’s LGBTQIA+ youth! Very excited about that. I’m also working the Dolce Aesthetics Pride event on the 15th with Jackie Cox at Tito Murphy’s.

All amazing! Okay, to close: what is your favorite thing about drag… and what’s your least favorite?

My favorite thing about drag is performing for an audience; it truly gives me energy to thrive and express myself how I want. My least favorite thing about drag is buying all that makeup, girl! It gets expensive! But but at the end of the day it’s worth it.

Happy Pride, Jamie!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Jamie CD’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.

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Monday (6.6.2022)

MONDAY (6.6.2022) Your daily guide to New York City nightlife programming.


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Bar Babe of the Month: Ian at C’mon Everybody & Good Judy

Shake it like a Polaroid with Brooklyn bar babe and disco darling Ian! [Cover photo: Rude Polaroids]


Bar(s) that I work at: C’mon Everybody and Good Judy!

How long I’ve worked there: Since the summer of last year.

What are my shifts: Friday upstairs at Judy, Saturdays and some Sundays at C’mon. I also usually work our Block Party at Good Judy — I think the next one is on Brooklyn Pride, so come and see me!

What makes this bar great: The talent that comes through is just out of control. For the most part, I work the bar in the performance spaces at both spots, and I’m just so lucky that I get to watch these absolutely inspired drag artists and musicians and burlesque performers and DJs every time I go to work. AND the cocktails are great? Truly there’s not many places in New York that do it so right.

Best drink I make: My Manhattans and Sazeracs have gotten me very far.

I love it when customers: Read the room. If it gets slammed and you switch gears from cocktails to mixed drinks or beer because you can see bar staff getting spread thin, you are beloved of us all.

I hate it when customers: Do calculus to make sure they don’t tip a cent more than they think they need to when there’s a nice, shiny 20% box ready to be checked on their receipt.

Craziest thing I’ve seen here: We had an especially big turnout for one of our late parties at C’mon, and someone took off their boots and sat them beside the bar to go dance barefoot. Think of the broken glass! Think of the hygiene! People stayed inside just long enough to completely forget how to act.

Other places I’ve worked: Young Ethel’s in Park Slope. I was also a ranger at the High Line some years ago, which was a fabulous job. I’m an erstwhile dancer / choreographer. I worked in abortion rights advocacy for a time. My resume is nothing if not eclectic.

My hometown: Norfolk, Virginia

Stuff I do when I’m not bartending: I’m a Polaroid photographer! Nothing captures how I see things quite like them. I love working with them. I have this gorgeous SX-70 that I take almost everywhere with me. I sell my prints and originals, so if you’re in the market for some cute art, check me out! I do everything from pretty flowers to sexy gay things, so there’s something for everybody.

Single or Taken: Single

Who/what turns me on: Intelligence, especially about something you love. If dinosaurs are your absolute favorite thing and you know everything about them, I’m going to want to hear it. Also if you can hold your own arguing with my Gemini ass about something, that’s so hot.

Favorite music: Disco! I’m listening to this thing called “The Pine Walk Collection” on Mixcloud right now — apparently someone bought a house in Fire Island, and the previous owner left behind hundreds of cassette tapes that were the recorded mixes of all these parties out there from the late 70s to the early 90s. The new owners are having them digitized and release a new one every week. It’s gorgeous and fun and haunting, and I highly recommend it.

Favorite movie or TV show: Auntie Mame

Favorite drag queen: Too many to pick a favorite, and too dangerous a task to consider.

My drag name would be: Donna Mitzvah

Favorite gogo boy: The one in my heart.

Favorite DJ: We’re up to our asses in great DJs at C’mon and Good Judy, but Knox once blended a remix of “9 to 5” and “Get Low” together, and I just think that’s really something special. James turns the party every single time; and Sean has a finger on the pulse of what makes the kids go wild unlike pretty much anyone I know. And if you find yourself in Manhattan and go to a Mattachine at Julius’ on a night with Angela, Amber, and John DJing, that’s the New York that made me.

Other stuff you need to know about me: I love cooking and antiquing, I can fold a fitted sheet, and when I grow up I’m gonna be an astronaut!

Follow me on: Instagram

Tip me at: @/$ianstearns


Bar Babe Archives