Do Raves and Drag Go Together? We Polled Bushwig's Most Fabulous Queens

"I think drag is really fun to appreciate even when you are not rolling."
September 15, 2015, 2:12pm

While occasional deluges of rain kept some of the faint-of-heart at home, hundreds of brave drag queens descended on the Onderdonk House in Ridgewood, Queens for the fourth edition of New York's annual drag fest, Bushwig. Founded in 2012 by local queens Horrorchata and Babes Trust, Bushwig is a platform for the city's thriving gay scene to come together and celebrate the art of drag.

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The faint-of-heart wouldn't have lasted long anyway, with headlining acts like gay punk band Bottoms, Long Island chillwave group Mr. Twin Sister, and weirdo rapper Chae Buttuh complemented by provocative drag performances. One queen screamed Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" into a microphone. Another doused herself with lube. A bearded trio bathed themselves in instant lemonade. One emotionless performer lip-synced "All Tomorrow's Parties" while slowly popping heart-shaped balloons.

Gay culture has always gone hand-in-hand with dance music, so we took this opportunity to ask some of Bushwig's gaudiest, bawdiest, and most glittering drag queens about their relationships with raving.

1. Lady Quesadilla

Volunteer coordinator for Bushwig. "I always try to incorporate food into my performance. My tagline is 'I'm here to feed the hungry children of Brooklyn.'"

THUMP: Do you think rave culture and queens go together?
Lady Quesadilla: Of course! Yeah definitely! It's just another environment of nightlife. Drag queens, we're everywhere. You can find us at a quincenera, a bar, a dive bar, or a rave.

2. Daphne Sumtimez

Performer. "Just a faery little colorful creature. I just like having fun."

Do you think rave culture and queens go together?
Drag has a very wide spectrum of performance. Certain types of drag go along with raves. There's some drag that's like cabaret style, and there are other types of drag that absolutely encourage partying and going hard. So I think it really just depends on the performer, but I think they definitely have overlap.

3. Kimberly Clark

Drag queen from Queens. "I've been called a drag-thesis instead of a drag queen, and I appreciate that title. I feel like a lot of my schtick and my gig is a commentary on a lot of other shit. Tonight I sang an Alanis Morissette song on a stool."

Do you think rave culture and queens go together?
I used to be a raver back in the late 90s. That was a blast. Then I tried to go to a nightclub when I wasn't on ecstasy and it was pretty lame. So, in that sense, they are very different, because I think drag is really fun to appreciate even when you are not rolling. The long-term duration of a rave is kind of counter-intuitive to drag because, listen, we can't be in this mug for that long, so that's a little tricky. Are you guys throwing a rave, what's happening? Where's the rave, is the question.

4. Munroe Lilly

Burlesque dancer and first-time Bushwig attendee. "I love coming here and seeing all the creativity, the drag, the relaxed energy, and all the love."

Do you think rave culture and queens go together?
Definitely. Especially the Brooklyn drag scene, because, as you can see here, it's all about people coming together, the music, all different kinds of drag and artistry mashing together. So it definitely goes together.

5. Amber Alert

"I work at a photo studio and a paparazzi agency during the day, and then I do this for fun."

Do you think rave culture and queens go together?
Yes and no. I would say, honestly, more no. Because at a rave, the look is so secondary. The look needs to be practical because you have to rave in it. Whereas drag can be totally impractical and it doesn't matter. It's contrived and it's beautiful and it's a mess all at the same time.

6. Ragamuffin

"I'm originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Music city."

Do you think rave culture and queens go together?
I think queens and everything go together. We are like gatekeepers of culture and general debauchery. I think there's room for everyone in that space, no matter how you identify, or what culture you connect with. We are for the people.