Birds of Paradise: Bushwig Drag Festival

Text by Hilary Lamb + Photos by Alexandra Uzik

The first annual Bushwig had everything a drag show should have: charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. I arrived in native dress, an outfit styled by my friend at She is as daring as she is colorful, and I ended up riding my bike through Bushwick in galaxy tights, leopard boots, sequined cape, and blue wig. But don’t worry, I fit right in among the birds of paradise in the backyard of Secret Project Robot.

Cher Noble, in scarlet plumage, performed “Model for Me” by Jer Ber Jones on the Secret Project Robot outdoor stage.

Many of the queens showed off their designing skills, with handmade gowns, wigs, and headdresses. Darrell Thorne of Costume Makeup performance rocked a headdress of plastic cutlery.

Drew Bolton fashioned a wig of epic proportions.

Untitled’s dress was made of silk flowers and hot glue. “Take a whiff, ladies,” she batted her glittered eyelashes and laughed.

What drag show would be complete without “serving it” on the catwalk? Seven volunteers from the audience were chosen to strut their stuff for the grand prize: a dildo and anal beads. After much spectacle and huzzah, Connie Flagtwat of Oklahoma emerged victorious, with dubious surprise evident in her wild features.

I must say that the Bushwick Daily Best Performance Award must go to Hamm Samwich the rapper queen, who wrote and performed her own rap—good rap. Her original song was called “Eat the Pussy,” and she had the crowd right in her bedangled fingers, cackling as she grooved on stage.

We chugged beers, ate veggie burgers, and let our freak flags fly, Bushwick style. Boys were dressed as girls, girls dressed as boys, and girls dressed as boys pretending to be girls.

There were feathers and flames, ribbons and glitter, so much glitter; breast plates and tucks, weave and cheekbones, oh were there cheekbones!




















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