Somehow I still felt underdressed while wearing a baby pink collar with a oversized matching plastic safety pin dangling from it, but tonight was not a normal night out. I was headed to Queens of the Crypt, a one-off party at Secret Project Robot the Saturday of Rupaul’s first NYC edition of Drag Con.
The lineup featured out-of-towners Meatball and Vander Von Odd, famous for their appearance in the LA-based reality competition Dragula. The show’s emphasis on referencing sci-fi and horror tropes as well as its disregard for simply being pretty made its contestants a perfect fit for Bushwick Drag. MC and BK royalty Merrie Cherry and fellow queen/DJ Horrorchatta said they wanted to have an event the weekend of Rupaul’s Drag Con that showed the “different” side of drag, and they enlisted fellow freaky torchbearer Tyler Ashley to host. House of Aja members Kandy Muse and Momo Shade and my pal Mini Horrorwitz were also scheduled to give shows. I knew the crowd at Secret Project Robot was going to be chock full of queer scenesters, and I worried my look wasn’t creepy enough to impress.
Once I arrived, I found my gal pal waiting by the bar in pink flamingo earrings and we headed to the backyard to check the scene. We walked past A+ host and organizer Emi Grate holding court and found a seat by the outside bar. I quickly spied my friends and we set up shop, taking photos of the crushed cigarette on the bottom of Mini Horrorwitz’s heel as she pantomimed picking her nose. I needn’t have felt nervous about my look.
Everyone’s (or at least my) favorite 1940s corpse Severely Mame was tottering around wearing makeup a little messier than normal thanks to an unplanned post-drag con nap, and she commented how cute she thought my choker was. At parties like these, even Brooklyn feels as small as a college campus, especially when you have to wave at a past fuckbuddy as you walk onto the dance floor.
The lovable messiness of a college party was there was well. Even though she wasn’t officially hosting or performing, trans showgirl Charlene Incarnate couldn’t help herself from climbing on stage and pulling up her dress to show off her jockstrap-clad ass as she twerked to Horrorchatta’s DJ set. A self-proclaimed stoned Merrie Cherrie hosted a booty bouncing contest and inadvertently flashed her own ass when her skirt fell off. Butts continued to be a theme of the night. When me and a friend took a break in between shows outside to gossip about roommates, Meatball’s giant butt hovered right by my face as she posed for photos. “You think it’s real?” my friend asked, looking at the shapley slope that was about 3 times larger than his head. “Definitely padding,” I replied.
What wasn’t fake was the talent onstage. Meatball performed an increasingly fast-tempoed “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” with pauses for coke bumps and Whitney Houston’s monologue about crack, oozing charisma and charm. West Dakota replaced scheduled queen Momo Shade, and anyone’s sadness at the lineup change morphed to happiness as she performed the nonsensical song “Crazy Frog.” Dakota pulling demonesque faces and bugging her eyes out with every “ring-bing-bing-bing-bing bing” is the essence of what I love about Brooklyn Drag: beautiful, bizarre, and captivating.
Mini Horrorwitz took the Italian disco group Black Box’s love song “Ride on Time” and recast it as a hilarious ode to the pizza delivery man, climaxing by lip syncing with her mouth full and handing Merrie Cherry and extra slice. Hannah Lou, Merrie Cherry’s drag daughter and a talented DJ in her own right, took the stage to soundtrack the rest of the night and proceeded to make the crowd lose it.
Feeling myself after a couple of tequila shots, I dropped it real low to Beyonce’s song “Formation” and was rewarded with the sensation of my pants splitting down the rear. The theme of butts continued! Time to go right? As I slid my way through the crowd, I got distracted by frequent door girl and karaoke host Paradise, who assured me that the slit down my pants was a cute way to show off my underwear. Convinced, I joined her in dancing as she pulled up her shirt to let her titties bounce freely. This is what I came to Bushwick for, to dance in a room of queerdos and not feel ashamed of a hole in my pants. When I finally left for home, I thought that a pair of pants was a fine price to pay for a night like that!
Featured image courtesy of Matty Horrorchata.