In today’s society, it’s starting to become more acceptable for men to dress as women, and women to dress as men. If you object, get with the times. It’s happening. There are some men that dress better than and look better in makeup than some women and even a few you can’t even tell are really men unless you check… well, you know. And drag isn’t limited to just men, either. There are even drag queens who are transgender women (including one stunning queen on this list), and others who are biological females. Drag don’t discriminate!
What’s interesting about the drag community is that there are people that do it just because they can. They put on the wigs, tights, and crazy makeup as just a relief in the form of art. During the day, a man can be an office manager working 9 to 5, at night he turns into a fierce queen singing and dancing in drag. Then they go back to their normal lives the next day, with or without their friends and family knowing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing drag and to a lot of people it’s enjoyable. What can we say? Fun can come in many different ways.
With its growing popularity, there’s even a show dedicated to drag queens to help express their freedom and to show how gorgeous they can be. RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of the most interesting, nonconforming television shows to air to date. So with that being said, and in honor of LGBT Pride Month, here’s a list of 15 drag queens that you can’t help but to look at because well, they’re pretty hot, if I do say so myself.
15. Violet Chachki
Violet Chachki, real name Jason Dardo, is a 25-year-old drag performer from Atlanta, Georgia. She doesn’t mind being called by either he or she because she identifies as gender fluid, but in this case we’ll call her she because she is gorgeous. She appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race in season seven and went on to win the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. Her original drag name was Blair, but she changed it after seeing Jennifer Tilly’s devious and mischievous character Violet in the film Bound. Her last name comes from the Yiddish word tchotchke, which translate to a trinket that’s beautiful to look at. She had a hard time with the other girls on the show because of her snobbish attitude, but in the end it didn’t matter because she took home the title and the grand prize of $100,000. Haters are going to hate. Collect them stones, girl!
14. Raja Gemini
Raja Gemini, real name Sutan Amrull, is a 43-year-old Asian-American makeup artist and drag performer from Baldwin Park, California. She got into drag at the age of 16. Raja was the head makeup artist on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model from cycle four through twelve. She appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race during season three and ended up winning the title and the then $75,000 prize. So far, she’s the only Asian American to win the show. Raja was one of the “Heathers” on the show. The name comes from the movie Heathers about a group of popular girls. The Heathers on the show were described as a group of queens who were very well put together. There was controversy surrounding Raja winning because of her known prior relationship to RuPaul because of her previous work as a makeup artist. Oh, did we mention she’s also Adam Lambert’s makeup artist? What a resume.
13. Miss Fame
Miss Fame, real name Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen, is a 32-year-old model, makeup artist, and drag performer from Templeton, California. She started out as a model in California, and once she started to gain attention and a following, she took the advice of photographer Mike Ruiz and moved to New York. She has appeared in several magazines and was the first drag artist to be featured in an editorial in Elle Magazine. What an accomplishment! She was the spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was the first drag artist to walk the red carpet. Werk Miss Fame! She was also featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race during season seven but was eliminated in the ninth episode. Her initial name Fame Fatale came to her after reading the book The Secret, which focuses on greatness and success. She eventually changed it to simply Miss Fame. Miss Fame grew up on a chicken farm and chickens are her favorite animals. Random Fame fact of the day!
12. Kylee Khan
Our next drag queen, Kylee Khan (or Knowles) didn’t appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race. I know, a first. She doesn’t have much of a biography online, but she is just too gorgeous not to make the list. Her Facebook page shows that she’s from Lancaster, Pennsylvania but currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her work consists of different parties and promotions hosting and showing face at different drag and LGBT events, recently performing in Orlando, Florida in the area where the Pulse Nightclub shooting happened one year ago. She didn’t perform at Pulse, but still stated that the energy around the Orlando vicinity was strong, warm and powerful.
Though she hasn’t made the biggest name for herself yet, her fan base is loyal and increasing. She started out as a drag queen, but is currently transitioning. Everyone has to start somewhere. Slay Kylee, girl!
11. Courtney Act
And we’re back to RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants. Our next queen is Courtney Act, whose real name is Shane Jenek. Courtney is a 35-year-old singer and drag performer from Sydney, Australia. Her name is a play on the words “caught in the act” with an Australian accent. That’s pretty clever, actually. Surprisingly, or not if you knew her, her first television act wasn’t on RuPaul’s show. Her first appearance on the small screen was on Australian Idol in 2003. She went in to audition as Shane but didn’t succeed, so she went back as Courtney and ended up being a semi-finalist. She ended up releasing a single that ended up #79 on the ARIA charts. She finished runner-up on RuPaul’s Drag Race in season six and has lately been a correspondent for Australian news website Junkee. Courtney identifies as gender fluid and is also a vegan.
10. Farrah Moan
Farrah Moan (ha!), born Cameron Clayton, is a 23-year-old Internet personality, model, and drag performer from Houston, Texas. He first received recognition from back in the ancient MySpace days as Cameron Ugh. Cameron started drag by running away as a teenager with a stripper friend to Austin, Texas. He placed runner-up in “Austin’s Next Drag Superstar” and Farrah’s drag career took off from there. Farrah appeared on season nine, the most recent season, of RuPaul’s Drag Race and was eliminated on the eighth episode. She lost the Michelle Visage roast challenge during the episode because she was “too harsh” and “not funny.” It was revealed that at the beginning of filming for the show, Farrah was homeless and sleeping over at a friend’s. Her name is a play on the word “pheromone” if you didn’t get it already. It is also inspired by Farrah Fawcett’s first name and she jokes that the last name comes from being a whore.
9. Cynthia Lee Fontaine
Cynthia Lee Fontaine, real name Carlos Hernandez, is a 36-year-old drag performer and cancer survivor from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She’s on this list for being beautiful on the inside and out. She appeared on seasons eight and nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She was eliminated on both, but received Miss Congeniality for season eight. Cynthia actually helped Farrah Moan get early gigs in her drag career after Farrah moved to Austin, Texas where Cynthia currently resides. Cynthia has been known to have a super positive and kind attitude and is also highly involved in her community.
It was revealed that Cynthia was diagnosed with stage one liver cancer after filming season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She stated in an interview that during her two weeks on the show she was experiencing cancer-like symptoms and that she also lost 47 pounds. Thankfully, she recovered from the cancer. #BeatCancersButt
8. April Carrión
April Carrión, real name Jason Carrión, is a 28-year-old drag performer from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. April is absolutely GORGEOUS. Her first drag appearance was called “Queen of the Night” and here she won her first title. Her accomplishments also include Miss Krash 2011, the drag version of Miss Universe in Puerto Rico. She appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race in season six but was eliminated after only four episodes. April appeared in the Puerto Rican documentary Mala Mala, which focused on the transgender and drag community in Puerto Rico. Her drag name comes from the month she was born and her actual last name. She chose to keep her last name to stay true to herself and to make her family proud. She stated that her biggest fan is her boyfriend and her biggest role model is Puerto Rican drag legend Nina Flowers.
7. Katya Zamolodchikova
Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (that’s a mouthful) is the full name of Katya Zamolodchikova, the drag persona of 35-year-old Brian McCook from Boston, Massachusetts. Katya’s name is of Russian descent, but Brian is actually not Russian at all. He stated the last name came from his favorite gymnast Elena Zamolodchikova, and the Russian aspect of his name came from a college professor who “never left the house without a face full of makeup.” As Katya, she auditioned for RuPaul’s Drag Race four times before finally landing a spot in season seven. She was known for her humor and personality, and her exit from the show was known to be controversial. She was eliminated in episode 11, but went on to win Miss Congeniality by fans. Katya was also featured on RuPaul’s All Star 2, but was also eliminated. She and fellow Drag Race star Trixie Mattel host a web series UNHhhh on YouTube.
6. Tyra Sanchez
Tyra Symoné Sanchez, real name James Ross IV, is a 29-year-old drag performer and Beyoncé drag impersonator from Gainesville, Florida. She was the season two winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Before the show, she admitted that she was homeless for a while and had to conquer personal challenges before she would even audition. Tyra’s first name comes from her niece’s name, which means God of Battle. The middle name comes from actress Raven Symoné, and the last name is from her drag mother Angelica Sanchez. James has a son, and co-parents with his mother. There is also a documentary about his relationship with his son while being a drag queen. Tyra and fellow Drag Race contestant Tatianna are currently involved in a social media beef, leaking each other’s phone numbers. Catfight!
Valentina, real name James Leyva, is a 26-year-old drag performer from Los Angeles, California. She appeared on season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race, finishing in seventh place. Her elimination was also deemed controversial, so much so that her fans started to send death threats to other members of the cast Nina Bo’nina Brown, the queen that was saved instead of her, and Alexis Michelle, the queen they thought should’ve been eliminated instead. Unlike a lot of the other contestants on the show, Valentina had only been a professional drag performer for 10 months prior to the filming of season nine. She stated that her drag name came from a Mexican hot sauce, and admitted on the show that she suffered from an eating disorder. Her elimination came after she didn’t remember the words to the song she had to lip sync to save her from the bottom two. She stated that she felt embarrassed because RuPaul actually stopped the song when she noticed that Valentina tried to hide her lips with a mask. “It’s a lip sync, what part of that do you not understand?”
4. Naysha Lopez
Naysha Lopez, real name Fabian Rodriguez, is a 31-year-old drag performer from Chicago, Illinois. She appeared on season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she was the first one to be eliminated. Ouch. She came back to appear on episode three, one of the only contestants to return on the same season she was eliminated from, but then was eliminated again in episode four. Double ouch. But before she appeared on Drag Race, Naysha had a huge accomplishment under her belt. She had previously won Miss Continental 2013. That pageant began in response to Miss Gay America not allowing transgender contestants, so it was like the next big thing and also a dream of Naysha’s to win. She stated that she tried out for Drag Race more than once, and that another drag queen Jade Sotomayor ruined one of her opportunities to be on the show before she was finally casted.
3. Willam Belli
Willam Belli, who performs under his real name, is a 34-year-old drag performer, model, and actor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You may know him from his role on Nip/Tuck as transgender woman Cherry Peck. He’s acted on a few other shows including My Name is Earl, Cold Case, and Boston Public. Willam was asked to audition for season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race and was cast in November of 2011 as one of the contestants. He was later disqualified from the show, the first queen to ever be disqualified. It was reported that he was disqualified for receiving conjugal visits from his husband, which was a contract violation because the queens weren’t allowed to reveal their involvement in the show until the cast was announced. It was also reported that Willam violated multiple rules to be kicked off the show because he was cast in a theater production called The Jersey Shoresical. That’s showbiz!
2. Derrick Barry
Derrick Barry, who also goes by his real name, is a 33-year-old drag performer and Britney Spears impersonator from Las Vegas, Nevada. Derrick remembers dressing up as Britney the second time for Halloween, where he shocked the actual Britney Spears on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Derrick has not only appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but also on America’s Got Talent as Britney Spears. Though one of the judges (cough Piers Morgan) didn’t find his talent worth it, he received high praises from Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff even questioned his sexuality for a moment. How hot is that!? Derrick is remembered for being the 100th queen to enter RuPaul’s Werk Room and ended up being eliminated in episode eight of season eight. She has also appeared on Toddlers and Tiaras as a judge of the Mr. and Ms. Nevada pageant.
“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!” The queen of drag queens, the legendary, Emmy Award winning RuPaul Andre Charles, everyone! This list wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for Mr. RuPaul himself. He has done so much in the entertainment world, it would take days to list all of his accomplishments. From radio host to television host to model and songwriter, RuPaul has done it all and has no intention of slowing down. Outside of drag, he is handsome and in drag she is one of the most beautiful, inspiring drag queens we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. In 2008, RuPaul created his show and gave drag queens the chance to compete to be America’s Next Drag Superstar. The show has launched several drag careers through its winners and losers alike. You can’t spell drag queen without RuPaul. Figuratively, not literally, of course.