DRAGS is a photo series documenting drag queens and drag kings from New York City, shot by photographer Gregory Kramer. Presented in the style of classic fashion portraiture, the collection features legends – and up-and-coming legends – in glamorous black and white, full-length studio portraits. The Ali Forney Center, a New York-based not-for-profit, will be the recipient of Mr. Kramers’s profits from sales of the book.
Billy Eichner x Glam Up the Midterms: panel with Alaska 5000 and Peppermint, activations on the floor
On Saturday, May 12th, comedian and actor Billy Eichner will be joined by drag queen superstars Alaska 5000 and Peppermint for a panel in conjunction with the “Glam Up The Midterms” campaign, a program launched by Eichner and Funny or Die earlier this year dedicated to energizing young people to vote during the November 2018 midterm elections. In addition, HeadCount will have a voter registration booth on site at the convention throughout the weekend.
Billy Eichner x DragCon Panel Description:
BILLY EICHNER WANTS YOU…TO GLAM UP THE MIDTERMS! Billy Eichner, Alaska, and Peppermint join forces to bring you all the T you need for the 2018 midterm elections. This is the most important event of the year, so don’t f%ck it up! Because voting is whaaaaat?!? FUNDAMENTAL!
In 2007, there was buzz around the drag community that RuPaul was shooting some kind of show in her garage for drag queens. I remember queens like Jewels talking about it after a Sunday Brunch drag show in Long Beach at Hamburger Mary’s (although it wasn’t called that at the time it was Mick & Mack’s). I remember thinking… “her garage?”
Fast forward to 2018 and the 10th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race hosted by Emmy Award Winning RuPaul Charles, there is no doubt the Race has risen like a Phoenix or a penis (let’s get real, who knows about any other Phoenix than Season 3’s Phoenix O’Hara – who didn’t rise too far in the competition, unfortunately). But never would anyone have thought the Drag would have so greatly influenced mainstream media.
The problem with this influence is the responsibility that comes with it. A group who had previously been so looked over as “too-feminine”, “wannabe girls”, and even “trannies” had been given a stage much larger than they were used to being on. They were put in front of potentially billions of people. Anyone with access to a TV and eventually an internet connection could see what they said and did. Those who identified with their favorite queens were living on every word. “Throwing shade” “reading” “cutting a bitch’s wigs” while in a competition was the light they were seen in.
But what about the parts of drag that we don’t see? The charitable events drag queens attend and throw to raise money for kids, or those with HIV/AIDS, or any other great cause. The shows they put on at clubs that are near empty, but they’re up in that gig with the hopes of their event getting some exposure and gaining momentum. The hours they spend to get ready to make tips, or if they’re lucky $50 – $100 bucks. The messages of love, persistence, and inspiration they convey to their audience is ever present.
RuPaul calls Drag Race the “Olympics of drag” and tells the girls they need to bring their all when they’re on that show. The thing is, some of these girls have been grinding and pushing and going through the struggle for years and years.
The girls who haven’t been on that show or even other competitive drag shows like Dragula, don’t have the luxury of booking managers, recognition, thousands of followers on social media, and whatever else we deem as “success” in drag. In my opinion, they’ve been running a triathlon, an iron-man even, without so much as a medal at the end of the race. The Olympian has been going long before their appearance on the show.
While Drag Race, Dragula and shows like them, give the queens selected for the shows “success”, their responsibility to their audience and fans is an example of kindness, love, and caring for each other. The title gained as a “star of the show” is not a relief of responsibilities as a leader of the community. These queens must be mindful young people are watching, seeing mentors, role-models, and aspirations to be similar. The influence of Drag is awesome, let’s ensure the influence includes inclusivity, support, and encouragement. Remember where we come from.
Ours is a community that has been (and still is) judged, condemned, spat on, beat up, and even bombed all for loving who we love. There are enough external forces attempting to tear us down. Value each other. Value life. Value that people are struggling with things we cannot imagine struggling with. Be grateful for what you do have and be encouraging because when one of us is successful, we’re all successful.
Know that your success is our success, your voice is our voice, if you’re saying bad things, we’re saying bad things. If you’re threatening someone’s life over their opinion about your favorite drag queen, we’re threatening someone’s life. It’s not fair that we’re all judged by the actions of a few, but let’s make those actions positive ones. If we unite, be positive, and agree to disagree when we differ, we’ll be a beacon.
So much to talk about!!! What is not being talked about is how badly people are talking about queens… At DQG we promote positivity and promotion of queens. In no way are we trying to speak negatively about who won, we’re always happy to see someone happy and successful. We would just like to keep everyone mindful that it remains just as important as it’s always has been to be kind to these queens who have allowed you to see them, the good, the bad & the ugly.
So, no matter what you feel about the winner of any drag competition, remember, they’re entertaining us and bringing drag to the mainstream. While not everyone is feeling great about some of the things going on in the community, we are a community. Together we’re better than when we are internally tumultuous.
Enjoy the continued entertainment these queens bring us and try to see it within the context of entertainment. Remember the words US of former first lady, Michelle Obama, “when they go low, we go high.” Hate breeds hate, so try to spin it positively if you can. And if you don’t have something nice to say… as usual, “shhhhhh”.
We love you! Take good care of each other, we’ll be back watching next week with a new group of girls we don’t know as well as Eureka (except for those of us who are friends with anyone else). Don’t forget to support your local drag queens and go to those shows… you know you’ll be missing out otherwise.
Happy New Year and thank you for being so forgiving for the long absence. It’s been quite the journey and there have been so many things going on. But Drag Queens Galore wouldn’t be the same without some comments about all that’s going on in Drag both on and off the air.
Of course, there’s the second season of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula finale. The wonderful monsters of the club set out on their second season (this time with a bigger budget and some TV folks backing them). This meant the sound issues of the first season were no longer around and the prize money was not crowd funded. But The Boulet Brothers ensured they pushed the envelope on those elimination changes and the entire season has been one exciting surprise after another. Stunning and gross (in the best way possible) is the best way to describe this season’s queens and the show.
The third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars is coming. With the cast reveal we had some more controversy. A lot of those, “who cares about season 2” talkers were just coming out of the woodwork when Morgan McMichaels was cast. On a personal note, having interviewed and spoken with Morgan on several occasions, it’s no wonder they’ve asked her back, that queen has been busy. Whatever the outcome, it will be good to see another addition to the Drag Race vault.
But this year is showing promise that we didn’t see in 2017. Was it everyone that had a tough 2017? The election of so many LGBT political leaders shows promise that felt somehow lost in 2016 with 45’s bizarre election. Let’s make sure we don’t get complacent with the minor success and run them over with our ability to love and work together.
Drag Queens Galore wishes you all a successful 2018 and look forward to providing you with some fantastic content. Hey, don’t forget to follow us on social media…. all of them… Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and of course subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss anything we have to say!
Yesterday’s upsetting trio of tweets by the commander-in-chief has the community in an outrage. The United States has been in a tizzy since the “election heard ’round the world” and it seems like every day there’s something new with the “new guy” to talk about. But the latest upset has reached a new low.
45 stated that “…the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military…” due to some fictional burden he’s determined to exist. Talk about “Fake News” it was revealed that a fraction of a percentage of the military’s budget would go to medical expenses for the trans service people who are bravely serving the country.
It was important to Drag Queens Galore, who has an outstanding and loving following that consists of many beautiful trans family members, that we speak out and let our trans family know that you are loved. It must have been a crazy day for you hearing all of this in the media and the “aim” of his latest hate being aimed at you. If you follow this blog, you know where we stand on 45. But we apologize for him just the same, even though we don’t see him as a representative of how we feel.
You will now see the beauty of the community, who comes together to fight against the world when any of us are “come for” outside of our community. When we come together we’re much stronger. When we stay together we’re indestructible. Yes, we have our internal conflicts, but remember this part, this part when we won’t let anyone hurt us. When US means all of us, no matter what shape, color, background we are.
Love each other, fight for each other, we’re family. Our family is being torn apart by petty arguments about M&Ms when we have to come together and support each other. LOVE is all that matters and that love will fuel the fight against our fiercest enemies. We can defeat hate with love, understanding, compassion, and care. Remember, people fear what they don’t understand, so let’s help them understand. Understand that 15,000 troops are important to the dwindling numbers of military service people, regardless of their gender. They agreed to die for this country. THEY VOLUNTEERED TO DIE FOR THE COUNTRY, we owe them so much more than this betrayal.
To our trans family, we love you, we see you, you are not a burden, your rights matter to us and we will continue to spread our message until our last breath. Thank you to those who have served and volunteered to give your life so we can live in this free world where we still have freedoms we take for granted every day.