Ever since drag queens stood on the frontlines at the Stonewall riots in '69, New York has been home base for gender-bending revolutionaries. From Wigstock founder Lady Bunny to art-punk turned Broadway diva Hedwig, there’s no denying that our drag stars can kick the ass of any other city’s. In that grand tradition, a new breed has risen in Brooklyn in recent years—proudly weird, confrontational and frequently hairy, forsaking the glam looks of their foremothers. Much of the neo-drag action is centered around the House of Bushwig collective, whose multiday festival takes over Secret Project Robot every September. With Brooklyn’s own Pearl starring on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the borough’s drag scene is suddenly in the national spotlight. Below, see photos of some of the scene’s leading ladies: Horrorchata, Untitled Queen, Merrie Cherry, Pearl and “shitty drag queen band” bottoms.
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