Local Queens Break Guinness World Record For “Largest Drag Queen Stage Show”

All 82 drag queens after the finale number Friday night at the Trocadero. | Photo by Alexander John

All 82 drag queens after the finale number Friday night at the Trocadero. | Photo by Alexander John

Eighty-two drag performers in enough wigs, lashes and fake boobs to circle the planet eight times gathered at the Trocadero last night to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Drag Queen Show. And they did it! The current record stands at 55, which was achieved this July at Axis Nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. But our gals blew that one out of the water.

Organizer Brittany Lynn says getting that many drag queens together was no easy feat. She started with over 100, but that number whittled down throughout the rehearsal process. “I got some of the craziest excuses,” she tells me. “Two queens called the night of the show to say they were in South Philly and couldn’t make it because it would take them two hours to walk to the Troc.”

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Philly Drag Queens Will Return to 2015 Mummers Parade

Miss Fancy Brigade pauses near Broad and Washington. Photo courtesy of Wang Newton.

Miss Fancy Brigade pauses near Broad and Washington. Photo courtesy of Wang Newton.

For the third year, Philly drag queens will return to the New Year’s Day Mummer’s Parade. The Mummers LGBT Liaison Committee announced today that the Miss Fancy Brigade, led by Philly drag queen Brittany Lynn, will once again kick-off the parade, leading subsequent brigades along the new route. Instead of beginning in South Philly, the parade will kick off at City Hall, with judging taking place at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. From there, the brigades will march south along Broad Street to end at Washington Avenue.

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Q&HEYYY: Pissi Myles On Harassing People at Wawa, Drag Race Dreams, and the Two Things That’ll Make Her Cut a Bitch

Pissi_madMy name is …  Pissi Myles! My name came about when my boyfriend and I were fighting about Christmas music. After the fight had gone on for about five minutes, I yelled, “You’re gonna turn me into Pissi Myles in a minute!” I, of course meant to say Missi Pyle, but it was golden. We both agreed it was my new name.

I started doing drag, because … I needed an excuse to make off-color jokes and sing Judy Garland songs.

Who’s your drag momma? Youtube.

If I was a Real Housedrag of Philadelphia, my one-line catch phrase would be … “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, hate me because your husband thinks I’m beautiful!”

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GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets to See Bianca Del Rio in “Rolodex of Hate”

Photos by Magnus Hastings

Photos by Magnus Hastings

If you watched Bianca Del Rio last season on RuPaul’s Drag Race, you could see that the queen—known for her sharp tongue and reads that would put Barnes and Noble to shame—is as kind as they come. She emanates warmth, she helps young queens in need, and she’s respectful. Case in point? She rang me five minutes before our scheduled phone interview this week. Early?! A drag queen?! Unheard of!

But it seems like that gentleness kind of stops when she struts out on stage, eye lashes batting, hand on hip. There she’s fiery. She’ll cut a bitch. She’ll probably even offend a few Asians. That’s her schtick, and frankly, that’s why we love her. We marvel at her quick wit, and wonder how in the hell she’s so spot-on every time. Perhaps she’ll divulge a few pointers when she brings her latest traveling show, “Rolodex of Hate,” to Philly’s TLA on December 10th.

She explains the show as being “a one-hour standup comedy special where I discuss situations and parts of my life that brought me to where I am today. I discuss who I am as a person, and how I became this little nugget of hate.”

Here are a few other things we chatted about (if you’re here solely for the ticket giveaway, scroll all the way to the bottom):

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Philly Drag Queens Attempt to Break World Records at The Trocadero

brittany lynn

We all know Brittany Lynn as “Philly’s hardest working drag queen,” but she’s also one of our most ambitious. She lugs that tall hair and those long legs from here to Atlantic City and back again performing, filming episodes of her gossip show, and, in my opinion, always pushing the envelope to bring a spotlight to the city’s drag community. Case in point: Did you see the drag queens leading the historically hetero Mummers Day Parade last year? She did that.

Her latest feat is to break multiple world records at The Trocadero in Night of 100 Qweens. At press time, she’s assembled 104 drag queens to hit the stage at The Troc in the attempt to surpass the Guinness World Records title holder in “Largest Drag Queen Show” (current record is 39), and two other non-Guinness records “Most Drag Queens Performing at the Same Time,” and, why not, “World’s Largest Drag Queen Selfie.”

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Q&HEYYY: Bev On the Art of Tucking, Her Homegirl Jesus and, Her Dream Philly Drag Queen Girl Group

Photo by David Ayllon

Photo by David Ayllon

My name is … Bev: Philadelphia’s Premiere Christian Drag Queen. Bev was the “mommest” name I could think of.

Jesus … is my homegirl, my baby daddy, the reason for the season, and a biscuit who will on occasion sop you up if you let him.

Drag is … embracing your creativity, and the ability to get away with murder.

Tucking is … just a good set of Spanx and three pairs of tights.

Before I go on stage … I try to get feel for the attitude of the audience—and have a cocktail to loosen up.

If I could start over with a new drag name it would be … Sarah Belle Palsey.

If I could only do one song for the rest of my life … it would be my “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia/Julia Sugarbaker” mix.

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Ladies and Gentlemen … Martha Graham Cracker!

Photograph by Chris Crisman

“Sometimes I feel like Martha’s more well-known than I am — she’s eclipsed me.” Photograph by Chris Crisman

Hard to say what Martha Graham Cracker noticed a few seconds ago as she left the band and the stage and slinked through the crowd. Hard to say why she picked out from the 100 people packed into this blackened room a certain middle-aged white guy in a white button-up shirt, but right now Martha has her legs wrapped around this guy’s neck.

The guy is standing next to a rectangular bar at the back of L’Étage, a nightclub and cabaret off South Street. Martha’s sitting on the bar and leaning back into the bartenders’ space, legs up in the air so that her calves are balanced on the guy’s shoulders, wireless microphone in her right hand. She’s singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” — like, really singing it, powerfully, seriously, an emotionally naked song about desperation and fear, singing it in her strong, lovely voice, a spotlight piercing the dark and illuminating her face.

And part of the comedy here, part of the reason that all 100 people are laughing and clapping in surprise and delight, is that Martha’s not even looking at the guy who is struggling between her legs. Smiling but struggling as a friend or partner films it on her smartphone. Almost certainly a new experience for the guy, being this close to a drag queen, much less a drag queen like Martha: six-foot-two and hairy-chested, hairy-armed, hairy-legged; not a man trying to pass as a woman but a defiantly unmown lawn of a man in a blond pixie wig and a blue dress and six-inch heels that are now crossed behind the dude’s neck in a hammerlock as Martha’s guitarist and bassist and keyboardist and drummer play the Whitney Houston song and Martha sings:
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Opinion: Hey, Gayborhood Drag Queens, It’s Time To Up Your Game

shutterstock_164806013

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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