While women are generally the gender that gets to do their hair, makeup, and nails, some men take pleasure in dressing up as a woman – or, as it’s popularly said, dressing in drag. With the world becoming a more and more inclusive place, the drag queen community is louder and stronger than ever, which we should all be thankful about since the drag community is amazing. There is even a reality show with the sole purpose of finding America’s Next Drag Superstar, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Yes, the community is more visible than ever, and also hotter than ever. It may sound crazy to say, but some of these drag queens are hotter than your girlfriend. Yep, we totally said it.
While we’re saying that these drag queens are hotter than your girlfriend, we’re not actually saying that these drag queens want to be women. In fact, not all drag queens are even gay. Sure, most drag queens are gay, but some are 100% straight. That being said, not all drag queens want to be women either. They just enjoy the process of dressing in drag. It’s an art form that is about transformation and entertainment. Oh, and it’s totally fun. I mean, think about how much fun Halloween is for you. That’s the appeal of dressing in drag too.
Below are 15 drag queens who are so smokin’ that they’re, well, hotter than your girlfriend. (No offense to the girlfriends out there!)
Tatianna is the stage name of Joey Santolini. She appeared on season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While eliminated from the show, she was one of the breakout stars of that season, and appeared on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars.
Santolini was kicked out of high school his senior year. He went on to earn a GED and a cosmetology license, which obviously helps with his transformation into the beautiful Tatianna. His look is exotic, as he comes from a diverse family. He is Italian and African American, but also has cousins who are Vietnamese.
Oh, and not only is he totally smokin’ as Tatianna, but he’s also cool as hell. He cites his favorite films to be teen horror movies from the ‘90s and early ‘00s – so, basically a Scream marathon. Who would turn that down?
14. Courtney Act
Courtney Act is the stage name of Shane Jenek. Like many of the other queens on this list, Act appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She did very well during her time on the show, ending as the runner up of season six. However, that is the not the first reality television show on which she appeared. Act also competed on the first season of Australian Idol, on which she was a semi-finalist. She went on to release a solo single called “Rub Me Wrong” in 2004. Act’s brush fame doesn’t end there. She performed with Miley Cyrus at the 2015 VMAs. Yes, Courtney Act performed at the VMAs, along with a gaggle of other famous queens. That is huge.
13. Naysha Lopez
Naysha Lopez is the stage name of Fabian Rodriguez. She competed on season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While she was eliminated very early in the season, she has remained upbeat about the experience. In an interview with Huffington Post, Lopez stated, “I really was devastated and I relived it yesterday and it was quite surreal. But you have to understand that, for me, I’m a very positive person. I don’t have any regrets – I’m the type of person that can learn from anything and everything that I do. And I can honestly tell you that I learned so much and I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I got being on this show and being able to be a part of a great sisterhood.”
Pearl is the stage name of Matthew James Lent. She appeared in the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and finished as a joint runner up.
Having grown up in St. Petersburg, Florida, Lent spent much of his time with “rich old ladies with big diamond rings and furs.” This experience deeply influenced him, which is evident in his drag persona. He’s described Pearl as a “stepford wife robot bitch,” and while we can’t be 100% what that actually means, it’s pretty awesome.
After Pearly gained popularity, Lent moved to Brooklyn. Since then, Pearl released an album in which she doesn’t sing. Yes, none of her vocals are on the album, but she did produce the entire thing. The album found great success, reaching #11 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Album chart.
11. Willam Belli
Willam Belli doesn’t use a stage name. He was born Willam Belli and that’s his stage persona too. He’s famous for being the only queen to ever be disqualified on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Belli was in violation his contract by meeting his husband at a hotel room during the shooting of the show. Since the cast had yet to be announced, contestants were not allowed to reveal that they were part of the show, but Belli had clearly told his husband. Despite being disqualified, Belli’s wildly popular in the drag community, with 556K followers on Instagram alone.
Belli also appeared on shows like Nip/Tuck and Sex and the City, as well as feature films like American Wedding and Because I Said So. He was also featured in Rihanna’s “S&M” music video. Long story short: he’s wildly successful and that’s pretty awesome.
10. April Carrion
April Carrión is the stage name of Jason Carrión. She appeared in season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Even though she is by far one of the most beautiful drag queens on this list, she was eliminated in episode 4.
Carrión is an art student, who has studied fashion, design, sculpture and photography. This interest in art is what piqued Carrión’s interest in drag. He’s stated, “I’ve always surrounded myself in an artistic ambience… and drag queens caught my attention because they transcend a gender. And I took it as an inspiration to do art projects like photography, sculpture and even my thesis statement, and one day I decided to take it a little further and experience life as a drag queen myself.”
Unlike many of the other queens on this list, Aquaria has not been on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She has a great deal of fans on the Internet, who are all rooting for her to make a debut on the popular reality television show. Seriously, there are even Reddit threads of people talking about why she hasn’t been on the show yet. That’s how popular she is!
While she is wildly creative and artistic, she may not have made her debut because she’s too young. It’s been speculated that she’s only 20 years old and the minimum age to be on the show is 21. Whatever the reason, Aquaria seems poised to make her RuPaul debut at some point, right?
8. Miss Fame
Miss Fame is the stage name of Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen. She appeared on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While Miss Fame was a fan favorite and considered to be a front-runner, she eventually lost in a lip sync against Pearl (#12 on this list). Following her elimination, Miss Fame released a single entitled “Rubber Doll.”
Miss Fame has quite the following on Instagram, with 638K followers. The social media account features photos from very high-fashion shoots. She is currently represented by IMG Models Paris and works as a spokesperson for L’Oréal. Recently, makeup companies have been trying to be more inclusive to everyone who uses their products. In 2016, CoverGirl hired James Charles to be the first ever male spokesperson for the makeup company. This year, Maybelline followed that up by hiring Manny Gutierrez to be the face of their new mascara. Yay for inclusiveness!
7. Derrick Barry
Derrick Barry is not only a drag queen, but also a Britney Spears impersonator. You have to admit that Derrick Barry can really rock that Britney Spears look. He even appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and spoke to Britney Spears herself. Two Britneys in one room, guys!
Derrick rose to fame when he appeared on America’s Got Talent for his Britney impersonation. From there, Derrick moved to Las Vegas, where he began performing on the strip. In his time performing, he’s appeared on the cover of almost every Las Vegas publication.
Derrick also appeared in season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race, because apparently every drag queen who is anyone appears on that show. While Derrick was eliminated from the show, he seems to be making a comfortable living doing his Britney impersonation.
6. Manila Luzon
Manila Luzon is the stage name of Karl Westerberg. Manila competed in the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and finished as the runner up. Manila’s time on Drag Race wasn’t her only time on television. She also appeared as a professor on RuPaul’s Drag U and a mentor on MTV’s Made. In both appearances, she instructed people on how to drag.
Manila gets her drag name from the Philippines’ capital city (Manila) and the Philippines largest island (Luzon), bringing them together as Manila Luzon. Her drag name is a nod to her mother, who was born in the Philippines.
For a long time, Westerberg had lived in NYC with his boyfriend, Antoine Ashley, who appeared as Sahara Davenport on the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Unfortunately, Ashley passed away in 2012. Manila has since moved to LA and released a song in Ashley’s memory.
Valentina has already been announced as one of the 13 contestants who will be competing on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While we don’t want to call her a front-runner before the season even premieres, she did only have to audition once. If she got on the show after only one audition, it may be a sign that she’ll go pretty far in the competition.
Valentina is from Los Angeles, California and got her drag name from… wait for it… the Mexican hot sauce Valentina! Yes, she took her drag name from hot sauce. Can we expect her to have a saucy personality? Well, we’ll have to wait for the ninth season to premiere in Spring 2017 to find out.
4. Violet Chachki
Violet Chachki is the stage name of Paul Jason Dardo. Violet competed on the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and ended up winning the title “America’s Next Drag Superstar” on the final episode. As the winner, Violet received $100,000. Slay, Violet!
Violet’s original drag name was Blair, but she changed it to Violet after watching Jennifer Tilly in 1996’s Bound. Tilly plays a money-hungry, sexy lesbian, who wears Christian Louboutins and carries Chanel bags. If you’re going to base your drag name off of a movie character, that character seems like an A+ choice.
This year, Dita Von Teese, legendary burlesque star, announced that Violet was cast in her show called The Art of the Teese. So, it seems like we’re bound to be hearing more about Violet in the future.
While BibleGirl666 is an internet celebrity, she has yet to make her RuPaul Drag Race debut. And, in case you were wondering, the very unique stage name comes from an old screen name that she had in the 7th grade.
Of her drag inspiration, BibleGirl has said, “I grew up being heavily into MySpace. I wanted to base BibleGirl off of the 16 and Pregnant MySpace famous, hot mess white girls that drank too much that I had seen in the media growing up. They’re so the opposite of me.”
I mean, if you’re going to do drag, you might as well make the persona the opposite of you, right? BibleGirl also credits Britney Spears circa 2007 as inspiration, but that totally makes sense based off the previous quote. Who was more “hot mess white girl” than Britney Spears in 2007?
2. Farrah Moan
Farrah Moan has been confirmed as one of the drag queens on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It is set to premiere in the Spring of 2017, so we’ll obviously find out much more about Farrah Moan then. What we do know about Farrah now is that she’s absolutely gorgeous and that she makes appearances all over the country. She’s recently popped up in Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and San Diego. While she may be everywhere now, she is originally from Austin, Texas.
She has described her drag persona as “definitely fishy, flirty, and fun. She’s a total party girl – she always gets me in trouble. But anyone who meets her learns she’s genuine, sweet, and down to earth as well, and she’ll always try to make you laugh.”
Obviously RuPaul, guys. We’ve only been talking about his reality television show for, like, this whole article.
RuPaul is perhaps the most famous drag queen in the world. He settled in New York City in the early ‘90s and became a popular member of the nightclub scene. He soon found international success with his single “Supermodel (You Better Work)” in 1993. In 1996, he became a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics. While makeup companies are starting to be more inclusive now, this was major in 1996! RuPaul went on to host talk shows, host radio shows, release several albums, and write two books.
RuPaul is a popular figure in the LGBT community and has even received a GLAAD Media Award for his work in promoting equality. He is also well known for his indifference in gender specific pronouns, meaning he doesn’t care if you call him a he or a she. In his autobiography, he famously wrote, “You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.”
For RuPaul’s work to bring drag queens into the spotlight, he may be the most beautiful of any drag queen on this list.