The LGBTQ+ Pride Parades have been canceled, the gay bars are still closed, and social distancing is still keeping many of us mostly at home. HBO recently announced its first “Digital Pride” festival that spans two weekends and includes performances by Janelle Monáe, Kim Petras, and several beloved drag queens. While this is exciting, we’re still craving the feminine stylings of some of our favorite drag performers this Pride Month.
Luckily, many queens have embraced social media’s ability to connect them with their fans throughout the coronavirus epidemic. After governors began announcing lockdowns, live performers who rely on gigs to survive had to quickly adapt to the new reality. Digital Drag, as a concept, has now been fully realized with queens like Biqtch Puddiń attracting an average of 40,000 live viewers for weekly digital drag shows on Twitch. While we might miss out on seeing some of our favorite queens at Pride Parades this year, you can still find them thriving online. Expect to see the voguing, the shablams, the shade, and the tea from these 7 drag queens.
Miss Toto is a Chicago-based queen who has the unique ability to turn a trending topic on Twitter into a drag concept, look, and performance in a matter of hours. For instance, Netflix’s viral hit Tiger King came out on March 20th and it broke the internet. Just a few days after its release, Miss Toto posted an image of herself with a drag interpretation.
Miss Toto is the drag personae of Rock Evans, a fitness instructor and activist who has been using his many talents to raise money for the Black Lives Matter Movement. You can find this phenomenal queen on Instagram and Twitter where she updates fans with news of various Twitch streams (there are many, so be sure to check it out) and live performances.
The aforementioned Biqtch Puddiń appeared on the drag competition series, The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula (which you can find streaming on Netflix), and earned the title of “America’s Next Drag Supermonster.” Her drag is infused with goth, grunge, and punk. She’s wonderfully strange.
Biqtch Puddiń is now commanding thousands of viewers for various fundraisers and weekly digital drag shows on Twitch. You can also find this queen on Instagram and it’s the place to get announcements about upcoming Pride events featuring Ms. Puddiń.
On Sunday, June 14th, Drag Queens organized a protest in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood (the city’s biggest gayborhood) demanding justice, reform, and accountability. The message of the protest was, Black Lives Matter with emphasis on a Black Trans Lives as Trans people of color are disproportionately victims of violence.
In attendance at the Drag March for Change in Chicago, The Vixen delivered a rousing cry to action. Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race should recognize this queen as a contestant from season 10 of the reality series. Miss Toto was also in attendance and helped lead the protest.
The Vixen has always incorporated her activism into her drag performances. She hosts a running drag show in Chicago (in normal times) called, Black Girl Magic which features some of the world’s most incredible African American drag queens. This year, she’ll be performing at the Virtual Chicago Pride Fest on June 20th and 21st. She also frequently updates fans about her live streams and performances on Instagram.
Legendary, San Francisco-based queen, Peaches Christ will be hosting and DJ-ing a Drag Alive! Show in support of Bay Area performers and The Stud Bar on June 20th. Peaches is well-known as a live performer, but she’s also an accomplished filmmaker who has made a number of cult films that are fabulously subversive. Ms. Christ is not as active online as some queens on this list, but you can find plenty of announcements for upcoming events on her Instagram.
Not all of us enjoy being on time or even the “live streaming experience.” If that applies to you, check out some newly released “House Shows” from Drag Race alum BenDeLaCreme. In collaboration with The AV Club, DeLaCreme performs three mini-shows with highlights including a song entitled “Uranus,” multiple costume changes, and a flashy dance sequence.
DeLaCreme agreed to do the shows if the AV Club shared three causes this drag queen wants to raise money for: The Equal Justice Initiative, the Trans Justice Funding Project, and the Black AIDS Institute. The queen asks if you enjoy any of her shows, to please donate. All three of the shows are available now!
Jaida Essence Hall
While we’re talking Drag Race, there’s a pretty big event planned for June 20th at 8PM EDT that features a lot of drag queens from the show. One such queen is this season’s winner of Drag Race, Jaida Essence Hall. She’ll be joined by previous winner Yvie Oddly, and runners up Naomi Smalls, Kim Chi, and many more favorites for Werq the World: Pride Castle. A live digital event that will benefit The National Black Justice Coalition.
Jaida Essence Hall is one stunning queen and we’re excited about her recent win on the reality TV competition. We expect the show to be a blast! Also, follow this drag queen on social! She goes live on Instagram often and it’s never disappointing.
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Sickening, New York City queen, Shequida Hall performed live weekly shows in NYC before the pandemic, but now she releases the show digitally for your enjoyment! Shequida is a Julliard trained opera singer who might look familiar to you because she was a contestant on America’s Got Talent. She can sing, she looks like a WO-man, she can dance, she can act, and she will make you laugh your butt off. Shequida can do it all.
While you might not get to see her at Pride this year or hear her glass-shattering voice in Hell’s Kitchen this year, but new digital shows drop every Thursday and they are always an absolute blast.
There you go! Pride Parades and Marches might be canceled this year, but the drag queens and all of their fabulousness are still here for you to enjoy. If you’ve never been to a live drag show, let these queens open the doors to a wonderful world of glitz, glamour, and a whole lot of gaiety.