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D'Arcy Drollinger
Photo by Michael Smith

D'Arcy Drollinger

D'Arcy Drollinger

D'Arcy Drollinger

Meet one of the artists, disruptors, educators, groundbreakers, innovators, and storytellers who all helped make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ people.

In 2023 drag performer D’Arcy Drollinger made history when she became the first drag laureate of San Francisco and began serving as an ambassador for the city’s LGBTQ+, arts, nightlife, and entertainment communities. But Drollinger didn’t just make history in California; she is also the first drag laureate in the world.

The significance of this honor is not lost on Drollinger, who owns San Francisco’s Oasis, the largest drag-owned club in the United States. “It has become increasingly dangerous to do drag,” says Drollinger. “You now not only have to work your ass off as a performer, but all the while you find yourself looking over your shoulder.”

Aside from safety, one of the biggest obstacles Drollinger faces is being taken seriously as a drag artist. “Once people realize that drag is at the center of what you are creating, it is most often immediately regarded as disposable entertainment and not taken seriously,” says Drollinger. “It has taken me years of hard work, and even needing to create our own space to do the work, for people to appreciate what we are doing as real art and a legitimate means of entertainment.”

When Drollinger is not performing her duties as drag laureate, you can find her involved in a number of creative endeavors. This year she opened a film production studio in San Francisco focused on LGBTQ+ independent filmmaking. In 2023 she also finished principal photography for her second feature film, Lady Champagne, which features over 60 drag performers.

“If we can walk through the world on a daily basis just a little more fabulously, we inspire others to be more fabulous,” says Drollinger. “And when everyone is a little more fabulous, there is that much less room in their hearts and minds for anger, violence, and prejudice.” @darcydrollinger


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