Photography by JUCO | Retouching by Anna Glen at Wet Noodle
The Moment: June 28, 1969: The Stonewall riots begin.
Lady Bunny (center) has been entertaining drunk people for decades, and this year saw her DJing all over the globe and staging her "one-and-a-half woman" show, Clowns Syndrome. But this queen (alter ego of Jon Marc Ingle) is also politically astute. Of the rebels at the 1969 Stonewall uprising, she says, "These misfits were so openly gay that remaining in the closet wasn't an option. They had the balls to stand up to harassment." (So does Bunny -- they are just carefully tucked away.) Meanwhile, drag king Murray Hill (right) toured the country this year with burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese, and rehearsed for his Australian debut at the Sydney Opera House. But he still cites Bunny as a huge influence. "When I first moved to New York," says the 20-plus-year cabaret vet, "I saw Wigstock and was blown away. What a broad!" And Joey Arias (left), part of New York's performance art scene since the 1980s, has also racked up countless cabaret acts and appeared in films like To Wong Foo...This year, when Facebook enforced the use of "real names," Arias voiced outrage. "When a corporation tells you that you can't use your stage name," he says, "that's the new Stonewall."
Photographed at the Stonewall Inn, New York on July 21, 2014