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We asked NYC drag queens to tell us some of the most outrageous things they've seen on the job

We asked NYC drag queens to tell us some of the most outrageous things they've seen on the job
Illustration: James Clapham

Any NYC drag queen worth her weight in gold platforms has certainly seen some shit go down at a gig. Before Brooklyn celebrates its drag scene at the anything-goes Bushwig festival on September 23 and 24, we asked some of our favorite drag artists to share some truly sickening memories from over the years. 

Joey Arias

Photograph: Courtesy Heath McBride

"In the late ’70s I was working at Fiorucci on 59th Street, between Park Avenue and Lexington. In walks this queen with her male friend. She wants to get an outfit for Studio 54, so I show her some pieces. She is trying to pass as a straight woman—hardly, but I'm going along to make that sale. I show her the dressing cube and she goes in and says she wants another outfit, so I run for another and when I get back, lo and behold, she's in the dressing room giving her friend a blowjob! I stopped them and she was shocked about getting caught, but as we were talking I saw the beauty mark on her eyebrow moving around. It was crabs! We had to toss the clothes away. Just another day working at Fiorucci!"

Marti Gould Cummings

“I was performing in the Village, and during the show I saw that in a booth someone was getting a blowjob while I was belting out Liza Minnelli.”

Terra Hyman

“I once had a queen attempt to do a reveal in which she was wearing a butt plug, and it fell out right when she did the reveal. Not knowing what to do and not wanting the audience and judges to see, she threw it at me since I was to the side of the stage in the DJ booth. Not thinking, I caught it and freaked out! So she’s doing her number, and I’m off to the side screaming and wiping my hands on the DJ booth!”

Lagoona Bloo

Photograph: Courtesy Travis Magee; Photograph: Courtesy Travis McGee

“I had only just begun playing with makeup and dabbling in rhinestones when I signed up for [the] Lady Liberty [pageant]. When I got there, I noticed a queen—Blake Deadly—in full beat but with boy hair and just a fur coat on. They start her track, [Beyoncé’s] ‘Pretty Hurts,’ and she drops the fur coat and stands completely naked. She turns around, dick out, starts to lip-synch and proceeds to put on all her drag—from taping her tuck to slaying in full geesh. It was incredible!”


“When I was first exposed to live drag, I was in Oklahoma City. A few colleagues and I went to a local show, and toward the end of the night an absolutely gorgeous heavy-set queen of color murdered her number. The crowd was going wild for this bitch. Then, right when we thought she was about to collect her dollars and exit the stage, she lay on her back and spread her legs into a split with her ass in the air. The song picked up again, and she started laying dollar bills onto her asshole and farting them into the air. On beat! I was so amazed and disgusted and gagged and enamored.”