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queens of summer

Hot fun in the summer time! We gathered some of our new favorite delicious and delightful NYC drag divas to model the latest in bodacious beachwear. Say hello to a cavalcade of painted ladies who show that you can stay cool in the heat without sacrificing one ounce of high-fashion nightclub glamour!

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Daphne J Sumtimez

How did you come up with your name?
Daphne is a nymph in Greco-Roman mythology. She's, like, really pretty but she hates love and resents what being so pretty forces her into, so she turns into a tree. It's a myth about beauty and gender normativity. "Sumtimez" is a nod to sum fun timez with dissociative personality disorder.

Who are your idols?

Cher, Joan Rivers, my sisters, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Karen Walker, Amanda Palmer, Bj├┤rk. Oh! And Vivian the Shadow Siren from Paper Mario.

What were you like as a teenager?
I was a popular kid and a bully. And real smart. I was pretty much perfect.  Dunno what happened.

Do you have a day job or another job besides performing?

I do! I'm a rich white woman's personal assistant.

What's the biggest mistake that new drag queens make?
Don't care so much about being good! I have ruined so many great nights and great shows by getting caught up in whether or not the crowd was living for me. Who gives a fuck? If you're not having fun, nobody is going to have fun watching you. Just do the drag that you feel good doing and the recognition comes. Also, always douche. Always.

Bottom photo: Daphne's jumpsuit by Ritual Vintage.


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queensofsummer11.jpgMacy Rodman

How did you come up with your name?
I didn't, my mom did. It's the feminine of Mason (my brother) and she slept with Dennis Rodman. Plus if you look up my skirt, you May See Rod, Man.

What drew you to the scene in NYC?

I've always wanted to live here, but when I moved here there wasn't really anything going on I could totally relate to. I started performing wherever I could and eventually met a bunch of awesome like-minded people and we've now carved out a weird little niche for ourselves and I couldn't be happier.

Where/when can people catch you performing?
I have a party called "BathSalts" every Monday at Don Pedro in Bushwick, and every second and fourth Thursday at TNT in Williamsburg for "Oxy8000."

Who are your idols?
Amy Winehouse, Courtney Stodden, Alexis Neiers, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Lara Croft, Barbara Walters, and John Wayne Gacy.

What do you think about the Brooklyn drag scene's newfound attention?

I love it! New little drag babies popping up warms my heart, and seeing my friends get better and encourage each other is a huge thrill.

Where are you from? What were you like as a teenager?
Juneau, AK. I spent half my teens as a motivated scholar and the other half as a lost little emo dumbass who gave her parents heart palpitations regularly.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started as a drag performer?

The importance of full coverage foundation. Cover Girl ain't gonna cover it, girl, you need to be on that Ben Nye/Kryolan tip to take the man outta your face.

What's the biggest compliment you've ever gotten on your drag look?
"You look exactly like Amanda Bynes."

Macy's bikini top by Ritual Vintage.

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queensofsummer09.jpgThorgy Thor

How did you come up with your name?
Thorgy is my real name, (sort of). Thor is my actual middle name, and my last name starts with a G: Thor-G. I thought it was different and quirky and it stuck. 

What drew you to the drag scene in NYC?
Oh lord, I couldn't help it!  I'm a Long Island cat, born and raised. I used to cut school when I was way too young and take the LIRR into the city and go to queer clothing shops and stare at gorgeous people. Performance has always come naturally to me. I'm a ham for the stage and when you pair that with my insomnia, it's a recipe for nightlife entertainment! 

When did you know you wanted to be a drag performer?
I've always loved fashion and stage craft and performance art for as long as I can remember.  When I was little, I wanted to be a garbage man because they get to ride on the back of those trucks all day. But, as I got older, I was drawn to music and stage direction. Then I wanted to be a stylist for a long time. But I feel all of these elements come together in drag performance art. I mean, where else can you get paid to dress like a giant piece of broccoli and sing Barbra Streisand hits live? 

Where/when can people catch you performing?
I'm at the Ritz for Saliva every Tuesday night starting at 11 p.m. -- it's "drag art in the heart of NYC!"  I'm also at Lucky Cheng's right in Times Square three days a week.  You can catch me on stage at Queen the second Thursday of each month at Industry Bar. And I co-host a wonderful live auction of over 40 items called "Alotta Stuff!!!" the last Thursday of each month at Metropolitan bar in Brooklyn.  

Who are your idols?

Gilda Radner.  I love her humor and her seamless craft for the stage.  

What do you think about the Brooklyn drag scene's newfound attention?
There are many new dragsters emerging recently -- probably five more this second as I type!   I've been working in Brooklyn as a nightlife entertainer for about four or five years now. Only now is drag becoming cool everywhere, so it's only natural that New york is pulling in all kinds of creative people. I think it's awesome. What is difficult, from my perspective, is staying relevant and interesting in this industry. Any given night has 40 queens hosting shows at 40 different bars. It gets to be a bit overwhelming sometimes. I have to take a second to regroup and create a new look to remind myself why I love working in this industry so much. 

Do you have a day job or another job besides performing?
Did I mention I'm also a professional violinist, violist and cellist? I've been playing violin/viola since I was small and got a scholarship to study in college. I graduated from Purchase Conservatory. I now find most of my work as a cellist, surprisingly, but I teach private lessons to students on each instrument and play for professional orchestras and opera companies year-round. I've also had some great opportunities recording albums with some wonderful artists.

What's the biggest mistake that new drag performers make?
Showing up with a bad attitude. In New York, you never know who you will run into. I always remember queens with a great attitude, but I also remember when I meet a queen with a sour one. What's that quote? "Be nice to people on your way to the top, because you'll meet them on the way down."

Top photo: Thorgy's swimsuit by Ritual Vintage; vest by Harriets by Hekima, available at Better Than Jam.
Bottom photo: Thorgy's vest by Encore.
 
queensofsummer04.jpgMiz Jade

What drew you to the drag scene in NYC?
I actually performed a bunch of times and won a few competitions before I started taking drag seriously. It wasn't until someone I was dating made me choose between performing and being with him that I realized how much I loved being a performance artist. Giving that up was definitely not an option. Besides, who wouldn't want someone as fabulous as Jade? So he had to go, honey boo boo!

Where/when can people catch you performing?
In Brooklyn, I perform at a show called Locally Grown at a bar called Tandem on the second Tuesday of each month). I also perform at Trifecta at Sugarland, which is currently being revamped, so look out, and The Raptured After Party, a 'floating' monthly event, currently at the House of Yes. Outside of Brooklyn, I perform with Haus of Sweat (a 90's fly girl/party starters) at Mission, presented by Cherie Lily and Dan Darlington. Mission is usually the second or third Sunday of the month at Santos Party House, but this summer we are doing it as a pool party at The Pines Pavilion on Fire Island. Haus of Sweat was also just requested to be monthly performers and party starters at Do The Right Thing, an awesome '90s hip hop party at The Ritz, presented by Cazwell and Peppermint. I myself am working on getting a weekly event somewhere in the tri-state area, so stay tuned!

Where are you from? What were you like as a teenager?
I was born and raised in Yonkers, New York, home of DMX, the LOX, D-Block, Mary J Blige, Jadakiss... and Steven Tyler. As a teenager, I was trouble. Like most teenagers I went through a lot of extreme stages: I had no respect for adults (I still have issues with authority figures), I struggled with my sexual orientation, my religious beliefs and accepting who I am as well as accepting where I have come from. It's all part of the journey.

Do you have a day job or another job besides performing?
First and foremost, I'm a professionally trained dancer. I dance with DiMauro Dance Company and Crooked Mouth, and I also teach at dance studios across the tri-state area. As an off-shoot, I am also a dance-fitness instructor. Additionally, I'm a dog walker and I sell eco-friendly home, beauty, and nutritional products through my company Shades of Green.   I'm a Jane of all trades, and try to satisfy all the passions in my life, from my love of animals to my passion for dance and fitness.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
That it's OK to eat food while in drag. Or at least I think it is -- a girl's gotta keep her figure somehow!

Miz Jade's swimsuit by Rags-A-GoGo.

queensofsummer05.jpgqueensofsummer10.jpgMisty Meaner

How did you come up with your name?
I started off as Misty Newaters, then met a queen named "Teena Bortion." I died, and knew I needed a name that was memorable and catchy. I also wanted to be feared and respected, so Misty Meaner was a perfect fit.

What drew you to the drag scene in NYC?
I started doing drag on Fire Island because I grew up 10 minutes from the ferry. After doing it a few summers in a row, going back to the L.I. gay nightlife scene was like slow torture. So one summer I saved up and used all my Fire Island contacts to get and keep me out here.

Where/when can people catch you performing?
Every Wednesday, Mocha Lite and I do Mermaids Only (#mermaidsonly) at Bartini Ultra Lounge. Every Thursday, I do an impersonation of Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous with M'Lady Uppercrust in Ab Fab: Schmoozin' and Boozin' from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Boots and Saddles. Also the first and third Thursday of every month I host Beer Pong at Phoenix Bar NYC after 11 p.m. Fridays, I do Boots and Saddles again at 9 p.m. in Meaner Meaner Meaner :The Meanest Show in the West Village. You can also catch us bouncing around Hosting Tuesdays at WestGay at Westway, Fire Island and the Ritz on Saturdays, and just about everywhere you don't want to see me.

Who are your idols?
A lot of my idols are women that got everything because of how beautiful they were -- Anna Nicole, Pam Anderson, Karen Walker and Janice Dickinson. Also, I have always, and will always, love Christina Aguilera. She's my pop queen.

What's the biggest mistake that new drag performers make?
Everything and everything! The biggest mistake is when these girls think because they have one nice photo taken they're untouchable, perfect and nothing about them needs to change. But you grow and change constantly and you should always try to be getting better at what you do. I wish when I started I had someone like me willing to reach out a helping hand and teach me things. I have a lot of daughters and sisters who I share all my tips with.

What's the biggest compliment you've ever gotten on your drag look?
This will go down in history as my best compliment: Someone recently ran up to me on Fire Island and said one simple sentence that I'll never forget: "OMG! You look Asian!" My heart melted. That's the greatest compliment I've ever gotten.

Top photo: Misty Meaner's ring on left by Adornia.


queensofsummer07.jpgCher Noble

How did you come up with your name?
I have always been obsessed with the Chernobyl disaster and one day I just realized what a great drag name it would be. Not only does it include the definitive queen words, "Cher" and "Noble," but it is also has nuclear and mutant connotations.

What drew you to the scene in NYC?
I moved to New York for the diversity of the city. There's a little bit of everything here. Bushwig was the thing that really cemented my interest, though. I love the idea of so many performers coming together to give one great show.

Where/when can people catch you performing?

In Brooklyn you can find me every month at my show with Hamm Samwich called Marry/Fuck/Kill or at Trey LaTrash's Dizzyland. I also host Susanne Bartsch's On Top at Le Bain in Manhattan.

Where are you from? What were you like as a teenager?
I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa but I became the person I am today in Ames, Iowa. I was a pretty geeky teenager. I went to a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show every week with my best friend and loved playing video games. Not much has changed since then.

What's the biggest mistake that new drag queens make?
Generally, I think if you aren't changing the shape of your face, you're just the same person wearing makeup, but I also think drag is an art form with no right or wrong answer.

Cher Noble's swimsuit by Malin Landaeus.

queensofsummer08.jpgHorrorchata

What drew you to the scene in NYC?
I wanted a bigger and brighter life.

When did you know you wanted to be a drag performer?
I started gender bending when I came out eight years ago

As the founder of Bushwick's first drag festival, BUSHWIG, what do you think about the Brooklyn drag scene's newfound attention?
The kids are hungry, so I wanna feed them!

Where are you from? What were you like as a teenager?
I'm a Texas girl. I was a goth/punk/emo/hardcore kid.

Do you have a day job or another job besides performing?
I tend bar and DJ monthly parties in Brooklyn.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started as a drag performer?

When I look back at my makeup six years ago ... OMG, I was so bootleg.

What's the biggest compliment you've ever gotten on your look?
One time my mom called me and said, "Hijo, you look like Selena. " I cried. I love my mom!


queensofsummer12.jpgStevie Zar

What drew you to the scene in NYC?
I moved to New York City with work as a dancer and just craved opportunities to perform more. I was going to drag shows hosted by a group of transplant dance majors like myself that went by the name Backspace. The group transforms typical bar drag into a performance experience that can easily sit comfortably in a downtown New York dance theatre. I immediately saw this as an opportunity.

When did you know you wanted to be a drag performer?
I always thought it was a cool thing, but never for me. My last year in school, when I was getting ready to move to New York and taking an LGBT studies course, I was watching a lot of old drag mainly from the '80s in New York and I started to formulate how it could work if I did it. I started going out in the nightlife scene. I wanted to perform more so I did a pageant hosted by Backspace and I was in the game. It has became a great multidisciplinary art venture that I don't feel anywhere close to being done with yet.

How long does it take you to get ready?
I always give myself three hours from the second I start shaving my face, until I walk out the door. Ideally I like to take my time, but sometimes you have to cut that time in half.

Where are you from? What were you like as a teenager?
Milwaukee. I was awkward as most teenagers are. I was on varsity swimming, student council, was drum major, band, choir, theater, all of that, but pretty much hated school. I had a great little group of adventurous friends.

Do you have a day job or another job besides performing?
Sometimes dance rehearsals are my day job, but I work a lot at a boutique in the East Village which thankfully supplements living here.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started as a drag performer?
I wish I would have just realized how many hoops I'd have to constantly jump through. Nightlife can get complicated for no necessary reason and you just have to be resilient, because the situation is less than ideal more often than not.

Stevie's suit by Collections.

Behind the scenes at the photo shoot!



Photographed at Chelsea Daylight Studio
Styling and prop styling by Sarah Lathrop
Photographer's assistant: Isabel Alcantara

Produced by Elizabeth Thompson
Behind-the-scenes video by Dre Chez

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