‘Without queens, life would be a drag.’ New York rallies to support Drag Story Hour

Four people posing for the camera inside a cocktail lounge.

Last Sunday, drag queens Virginia West and Anisa Love hosted a drag fundraiser in Ohio to support LGBTQ+ homeless youth. It was interrupted – but not deterred – by neo-nazis wearing ski masks.

In a viral video, Nina West, sporting a leather catsuit, stood atop a chair and raised her fist in the air, slaying hate and intimidation with queer joy. 

New Yorkers don’t need grim reminders on social media to know the importance of rallying behind drag queens; the city has long stood for the principle that tolerating any form of hate anywhere perpetuates prejudice and discrimination everywhere. 

LGBTQ+ socialites and allies came together a few days prior in opposition to bans on Drag Queer Story Hour and in support of PFLAG, hosted at Hutong NYC by Serif Space and Manhattan Portage.

Drag queens pose with a man on the red carpet of the event.

No other place in the world knows quite how to march and party in solidarity like New York City. The evening featured some of the nightlife’s most celebrated queer personalities and drag queens; GayCities caught up with some of them and asked what inspires them to show up for drag queens and preserve their rights to their art. 

Drag queen holding a microphone speaks to to the crowd.

Get in, losers; we’re fighting for the freedom of speech!

“Drag is the purest form of self-acceptance, and to me, there’s nothing more beautiful than someone knowing their worth. Now THAT’S beautiful!” – Geneva Carr

“Let’s be clear: Without queens, life would be a DRAG.” – Naeem Delbridge

Woman speaking to the crowd.

 “We use drag to express the different ways we feel. It’s a human right. It’s freedom.” – The Dragon Sisters

“I don’t think this generation knows the struggle we went through to get the rights they take for granted. We had to fight and will continue to fight. That’s why I created this event.’ – Scott Buccheit

A picture of the crowd listening to speakers at the event.

“Queer people are under attack, and it’s our allies’ duty to use your privilege to help protect and uplift queer people in every space you inhabit. PFlag is a fantastic representation of that allyship.” – Junior Mintt

“Please know that without our gay community, such as myself, the world would be Hella Boring!” -Victoria Brito

A man smiles as he waits for the bartender.

“Drag Queens are at every show, front row! From Milan to Paris to New York. The brands want us there, but they need to stand up for us now! We’re in ads for them, we performed at their parties, and now it’s time for them to step up.” – CT Hedden 

“They wanted us to cut our budget for Drag Queen Story Hour. The bigots lost; our latest budget for Drag Queen Story Hour is bigger than it’s ever been!” – Councilman Erik Bottcher

A nonbinary DJ smiling for the camera.

“I love performing for people who haven’t seen me before because you have to win them over. You know what I mean? I personally love that so much. It just lets me know that I can still do what I do.” -Kevin Aviance

“When queer people are talking, shut up and listen.” – George Wayne

All photos are courtesy of Caroline Fiss.

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