Ask any New York City drag queen what makes them stand out and they’ll tell you it’s the grit, drive and nerve it takes to own a city stage. RuPaul’s annual DragCon is set to put the spotlight on such commanding talent with a panel dedicated to all things NYC drag, amNewYork exclusively reveals.
The "Queens of New York" event, set for Saturday, will bring together five city-based queens for a discussion moderated by Logo’s NewNowNext columnist Michael Musto.
"Expect a lot of pride in our artistry … have you heard we are from New York?" says NYC’s Dusty Ray Bottoms, who placed 11th on season 10 of "RuPaul’s Drag Race."
The panel lineup includes Bottoms, rising Greenwich Village queen Flotilla DeBarge, Brini Maxwell of "The Brini Maxwell Show," Brooklyn’s Merrie Cherry and activist Marti Gould Cummings, who’s running for City Council.
The queens are expected to touch on a variety of topics, including how they got their start in the drag world, found their aesthetic and more.
Bottoms — who began a career in drag nearly a decade after moving to the city from Kentucky — says the local scene "has taught me how to work hard for what I want … also, to work hard for what you have."
Whether they slip into makeup, wig and dress in the back of an Uber, or hop on the subway in full drag, getting to the show is only half the struggle for a local queen.
"After traveling and getting to see how the world does drag versus NYC, it was very eye-opening," Bottoms says. "A New York City queen might only give you one look during her show, but in that time during her show she has spent two hours on stage alone, singing, lip-syncing and dancing — not to mention the most important part, being able to work the room on the mic."
Bottoms continues: "There are a million here dreaming and fighting for their own show. You have to be more than just a drag queen."
The "Queens of New York" panel is one of more than 50 discussions and performances slated for the third annual DragCon NYC. The convention takes over Javits Center Friday through Sunday and is expected to attract more than 40,000 drag fanatics.
DragCon is "the most drag queens and fans of drag you will ever have in one place, all celebrating the art of drag," Bottoms explains. "It is so important to me to be here for the young Dusty that needed this community at an age I couldn’t have it. I need to be here for these young ones to show them how beautiful our world is."
IF YOU GO: Entry to the "Queens of New York" panel is included with your Saturday ticket. Saturday and Sunday tickets ($40 each) are still available for purchase at eventbrite.com.