If RuPaul has it his way, we’ll be getting concurrent seasons of All Stars and Drag Race every year until global warming kills us all. On Thursday, midway through the current season of All Stars, the cast for season 11 of RuPaul's Drag Race was announced, weirdly in the middle of the day and with a low-budget special that was so bad that season 10 queen Aquaria took to Twitter to drag the whole thing. The cast is a diverse crop of promising new queens, some of whom quit six-figure jobs to pursue drag. Start your engines, blah blah blah.
But — and some of you may find this hard to believe — drag doesn’t only happen on TV. In bars, clubs, and performance venues around the world, local queens are serving sickening shows. To quote Trixie Mattel, “Saying you love drag but you only watch Drag Race is like saying you love music but you only watch American Idol.” On Instagram, influencer/drag queen hybrids consistently gag us with their looks (and FaceTune skills). While we’re of course excited to root for our favorite queens on TV, it’s also important to support queens who aren’t given that platform. That in mind, here are 15 queens you absolutely must start following.
We fell in love with Victoria after watching her internationally lauded performance wherein she doesn't sing, she doesn't dance, she doesn't do a reveal, she doesn't even lip sync. All she does is make a cold cheese sandwich. Yet, it remains to be one of the most compelling drag performances we've seen in quite a while. Follow Victoria Sin.
The way San Francisco’s premiere cisgender female drag queen paints is nothing short of supernatural. Scrolling through her Instagram feed is like a trip down the rabbit hole. Follow Creme Fatale.
Banjee meets beauty in absolutely unpredictable Brooklyn queen. Her makeup looks are some of the most creative and polished you've ever seen for a 21-year-old, but the lip syncs she archives on her Instagram stories will send you, mama. Follow Harajuku.
West Dakota doesn’t just gag the girls in Brooklyn with her wildly captivating shows, she also creates all of her own looks. Did she stone those tights? Yes, she did. Follow West Dakota.
First to know is that her drag is art, kids. Art! Put this Instagram in the MoMA. But that aside, her honesty and openness about transitioning on her Instagram is the representation drag needs right now. Follow Imp Kid.
Reigning meme queen has turned Big Mouth’s Hormone Monstress and Bird Box into sickening drag numbers, and rules the Miami drag scene. And she’s pretty sexy out of drag, too. Follow Miss Toto.
This UK queen is always beat and snatched for the goddesses, plus her nights out on the club are so fun to watch on her Stories. Not to mention, she is so hot out of drag, y'all. Follow Sminty Drop.
This genderfucking Brooklyn club kid is known for sexy monthly party Straight Acting and recently took home the Best Dressed trophy at New York City’s Glam Awards. Follow Rify Royalty.
A cornerstone of the underground drag scene in Brooklyn, this queen is all about body. When she’s not busy throwing parties at the borough’s hottest gay bars, you can find her reading stories to children in drag. Follow Merrie Cherry.
This cosplay queen went viral for her iconic Lady Voldemort performance to Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman,” which was co-signed by none other than queen Ari herself. Follow Florida Man.
This trans showgirl is a staple of New York City’s DIY queer nightlife scene, mother of the now defunct Casa Diva and a legendary performer. Incarnate was been crowned Miss Bushwig in 2017 and performed at last year’s Wigstock revival. Follow Charlene Incarnate.