Opinion: Hey, Gayborhood Drag Queens, It’s Time To Up Your Game


Three years ago, if you’d told me that I would spend every weekend being called “Fat Butt” by the local drag queens, I would have said, “Uh, no way. I’m afraid of drag queens.”

It wasn’t the “guy in a dress” thing. It was the clown thing. I’m terrified of them. The bright makeup, the colorful costumes, being able to fit seven or eight of them in a single cab—you know, the typical clown fear. And I had a hard time disassociating the two.

However, in the nearly two years I’ve been hanging out in the Gayborhood, I’ve lost my clown-based fear of queens, only to have it replaced by an appreciation for the art. Lately, though, there’s a boredom creeping in. I’m tired of seeing essentially the same show week after week. Similar costumes. The same songs. Between Top 40 radio and weekly drag shows, I’m getting a double dose of the already-repetitive songs the music industry pushes on us.

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One of Philly’s Most Beloved Visiting Drag Queens, Maddox Madison, Dies After Battle With Skin Cancer

Maddox at Tabu last August. Photo by Garrett Matthew.

Maddox Madison at Tabu last August. Photo by Garrett Matthew.

Maddöx Madison, a drag queen staple of the New York nightlife scene, passed away yesterday after a two-month battle with skin cancer. The performer and makeup connoisseur performed here in Philadelphia frequently. While I didn’t know her very well (when I did meet her, she was so sweet), many queens from Philadelphia did. Here are some of their reactions via social media.

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FAREWELL, FAIR DOLLSTARS: Dollhouse Revue Closes After A Five-Year Run

dollhouse crop

Mimi Imfurst is hanging up her wig…for now.

The legendary Dollhouse Revue, a staple of the Philadelphia drag community, is coming to a close after an over five-year run.

“We’ve enjoyed a very successful long run and I felt as though we had achieved so much and that it was time to move onto creating something new and different,” creator and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mimi Imfurst told me.  “I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done over the last five years and I’m really thankful for that experience.”

The Dollstars are prepping for their last show this Thursday, May 29 at Voyeur Nightclub. The evening will feature over twenty of Philly’s best drag performers, including Porcelain, The Goddess Isis, Ann Artist, Satine Harlow, and more. DJ Carl Michaels will be spinning, and there are $3 drinks until midnight.

“The show is going to feature some favorite performances from years’ past, as well as some new surprises,” said Mimi. “This will be one last chance to see several iconic group numbers created by the Dollstars over the years.”

When I asked Mimi what we could expect from her in the future, she answered pretty plainly: “I have some new things up my sleeve. When the time is right, you’ll be hearing about them.”

Doors open at 10PM; show starts at 11:30PM. $10 Cover. For more information on Voyeur Nightclub, visit their webpage.

GIRL TALK: A Candid Conversation with Courtney Act

Photo of Courtney Act by Magnus Hastings

Photos of by Magnus Hastings

Australian dynamo Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek) comes to Philly this week to perform with fellow Drag Race contestants in the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 Cast Party at Voyeur. I caught up with the living Barbie doll on the phone this week to see how life’s been treating her post-Drag Race, her thoughts on the “she-male” controversy, and why she’s so damn mean to Joslyn Fox.

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Photographer Discovers Rare, Fascinating Photos of 1960s Drag Queens

private party thank you

New York Magazine has a great story this week about a Kansas City artist who stumbled upon a slide carousel of photos from a drag party in the 1960s.

“The first image I looked at was this picture of a man in a kimono that was incredibly colorful — it was just a stunning image to behold,” Heishman told the Cut. “There were family photos, and then I hit this line of images that were all people dressed in drag, predominantly standing in front of this beautiful mosaic outside a bar.” Intrigued, Heishman purchased the slides — for $2. “I didn’t really know what I was purchasing, but I wanted to have time to sit with them a little longer,” he explains.

See more photos after the jump

Martha Graham Cracker to Make Her Southern Debut

martha graham cracker thinkfest

New York City critics — and Bill Murray — raved when Martha Graham Cracker made her Big Apple debut last year at Joe’s Pub, but that was kind of easy. New York loves its drag queens — even the ultra tall, very hairy variety. Martha likes a challenge, and that’s why she’s accepted an offer to head [way] below the Mason Dixon to put on her first-ever show in the South.

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LGBT Black History Month Spotlight:
7 Questions With Drag Artist/Rapper Icon Ebony Fierce

In partnership with Philadelphia Black Gay Pride, every day throughout the month of February we will spotlight an influential black mover and shaker in the city.

Fittingly, we end our monthlong series of highlighting local black, gay icons with a literal Icon: Drag artist and rapper Icon Ebony-Fierce. Ms. Ebony-Fierce has been featured numerous times on G Philly. We love her as a game-changing local drag queen with a, well, fierce, social-political mission to promote individuality and equality. One of her most impressive moves, if you ask us, is organizing the Freak Boutique, a party that benefits a different non-profit each month by generating funds through drink sales. She also hosts the monthly, all-inclusive Neon GNDRFCK Ball for the ”afroFuturist, raver, burner, space gal, queer alien” inside all of us.

7 questions with Icon Ebony-Fierce after the jump

7 Sickening Whitney Houston Drag Performances on the Two-Year Anniversary of the Diva’s Death

whitney houston death anniversary

Two years ago today the world lost a superstar when Whitney Houston died, and the LGBT community lost a veritable gay icon. Today, we pay tribute to the diva the best way we know how: With a roundup of drag queens performing some of her greatest hits. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

I found some gems while gathering the clips, including RuPaul’s Drag Race diva Morgan McMichaels taking on Whitney’s mammoth hit “I Will Always Love you,” Moltyn Decadence’s slaying performance of “I’m Every Woman,” and a vintage local video of Philly’s Mimi Imfurst, Cherry Pop, Brenda Dharling and others doing “The Greatest Love Of All” at the now defunct Q-Lounge.

Check out the videos after the jump

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