A magical place where you can escape the pressures of reality and meet the most fabulous queens really exists. To some, it’s known as DragCon; to others, it’s drag Disneyland.
“Imagine Disneyland, but with less children. And the children that are there, are in wigs and lashes,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 7 alum (and “All Stars” season 3 winner) Trixie Mattel says of the annual convention hitting New York City this weekend.
The Comic Con replica for those who prefer a death drop to a death star returns to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center after making its NYC debut last year. Raking in 40,000 fierce attendees in 2017, the event with a fairy-tale vibe is only continuing to expand in popularity. This year’s Con tacks on a third day of panel chats, shopping booths and after parties.
“Every time we do DragCon, we nearly double in attendance. That means everyone that comes, comes back and brings a friend,” Trixie says.
Originating in Los Angeles, California, the 2018 event attracted a record crowd of 50,000, according to DragCon organizers. As a loyal attendee at every Con since its 2015 inception, Trixie isn’t surprised by its uphill climb.
“It’s a room full of people yas queening each other and that positivity is contagious,” she explains. “In this political climate, come in these four walls and have the most fabulous day with your friends.”
Intrigued? You should be, hunny. Trixie shared her checklist for how to shashay your way through the weekend.
Spend some one-on-one time with your favorite queen
DragCon manages to get the scene’s hottest competitors under one roof, from NYC’s own “Drag Race” season 10 winner Aquaria to season 8’s Bob the Drag Queen. Even RuPaul herself is included on a talent list of nearly 100 names.
Sure, you could (and should) purchase a ticket to see your favorite queen perform at a local club, but the convention is your rare opportunity to chat them up and even get in a photo op.
“Working at a club you’re half drunk, people are yelling and there’s loud music. At DragCon, I’m fully drunk and there’s yelling and loud music,” Trixie says. “DragCon is like being in the eye of a hurricane of people who love drag.”
Attend the Trixie & Katya reunion (obviously)
On a list of dozens of intimate panel chats and events — including a performance by the cast of Broadway’s “Frozen” and a preview of Netflix’s “Dancing Queen” doc — the Viceland “Trixie & Katya Show” reunion is highly anticipated. Set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m., the live taping reunites Trixie with her co-star, who announced her hiatus from drag in January.
“We will throw ourselves to the wolves and we will weave straw into comedic gold right in front of people live!” Trixie says, teasing her panel. “This is our third panel with an audience and when there’s an audience, it becomes the third character in the room. When Katya and I film it we film it in a quiet room with no laughter. It’s a lot more fun to film in front of people.”
Katya has stayed out of the spotlight after being vocal about substance abuse problems. Whether or not she’ll announce her return to the series at DragCon is yet to be known.
“I don’t know what I’m allowed to say but without teasing too much, there’s definitely been a demand for Trixie and Katya back together and we approve it,” Trixie says. Bob the Drag Queen, who’s also attending DragCon, has been filling in for Katya during the show’s tapings.
It’s OK to talk to strangers, kids
“You have to listen to me. I know it sounds intimidating, but DragCon is the place to talk to strangers because you’re basically meeting the coolest, friendliest people who are enthusiastic about comedy, drag and music. You can walk up to a stranger at DragCon and have a lot in common — People talking to strangers in New York, can you believe it?” There you have it.
Buy a locally made bath bomb. You’ll thank Trixie later.
More than 300 vendors and exhibitors will set up booths on the convention floor. According to Trixie, it’s the place to buy the best lashes, wigs, makeup and bath products, and meet the crafters who made them.
“Obviously famous drag queens are the face of DragCon, but it’s also a celebration of all independent product developers,” she says. “You might meet someone who makes great bath bombs, and you’ll get to meet them and shake their hand.”
IF YOU GO: DragCon NYC runs Friday (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Tickets, ranging from $20 to $70, are still available at rupaulsdragcon.com.