For the second year of RuPaul’s DragCon in NYC, a third date was added for fans to come and shop the marketplace and meet a few queens. Of course, I used this as an opportunity to take the day off work, sleep in and get ready for the fabulous weekend!
Friday, September 28th, 2018
The marketplace opened up on Friday afternoon and I gathered with my fellow DragRace & Drag Queen fans to see what queens we could meet and which ones would be selling the best merchandise. Although I missed my friend, Lae D. Boi, walking the runway (only VIP passes were allowed in), I would run into them later at Acid Betty’s booth.
I did make it in to see the North Shore High Talent Competition, judged by none other than Taylor Louderman & Grey Henson from Mean Girls on Broadway! Contestants performed to Regina’s “World Burn” from the show with all sorts of tricks and costumes. I don’t remember who won the contest, but it was a fun and entertaining show!
Then I lucked out, because Kalorie Karbdashian Williams was at her booth and I was wearing my custom Bow & Drape “Carb Dashian” t-shirt! She immediately wanted to take a photo with me and I wound up on her Instagram story! Some of the other queens already had long lines to meet them and for photo ops, while others like Alyssa Edwards and Detox had booths setup, they would only be there on Saturday and Sunday.
After walking through more of the marketplace, buying a fan that looked like a giant doughnut with sprinkles and posing for some photos (although my eyes were closed in some of them), I finally caught up with Lae D. Boi and took some pics.
I also found the Boy Butter booth, which has become a running gag with my friends. When Drag Race first started and was on Logo, there were tons of Boy Butter ads. Now, as the show has become more mainstream and on VH1, the commercials are full of Summer’s Eve and prescriptions for endometriosis. I gladly posed with the giant butter churn for a photo op!
All in all, the first “preview” day was a success, but I was anxious to get to some of the panels and listen to the queen’s stories about being on the show and life afterwards.
Saturday, September 29th, 2018
I got up semi-early on Saturday, so I could make it to Trixie & Katya’s panel; only to arrive at the Javits Center to find out the line was already full! (How, you might ask? Well, the VIP passes guaranteed you entry into any panel, so us “General Passes” never even had a chance.) Oh well.
I opted to attend the Broadway panel (natch) with Alexis Michelle and the cast of Frozen; John Riddle, Greg Hildreth, Patti Murin and Caissie Levy. While I learned a bit about Disney’s casting choices (gotta love the colorblind casting process), I was most amused when John showed the crowd his red high heels that he wore to the panel! (Maybe he can go onto Kinky Boots next?)
After a quick stop to RuPaul’s booth, where I picked up a RuPaul peanut butter chocolate bar, more enamel pins and some things for my friend, Joe; it was off to the “Queens Who Were Gone Too Soon” panel. This one was moderated by Jayne Mansfield and featured Yuhua Hamasaki, Kalorie Karbdashian Williams and Vanessa “Miss Vanjie” Mateo. Yuhua came out with her hair covering her face, like the creepy girl from The Ring, and kept talking about she was the “winner” of season 10, because she never got kicked off the show, but was the chair in the workroom, etc. The joke got stale, fast. I forgot what a deep voice that Vanjie had, but her stories about saying her name three times, while walking backwards made the audience erupt in laughter.
Afterwards, I thought I might as well go to Yuhua’s booth to try and meet her; and I actually beat her to her booth. Well, I got a photo, but she was surprisingly unfriendly and gave the same “I’m still the winner” schtick that she did at the panel. She didn’t even sign my photo. Disappointing.
As I was debating on going to another panel or heading home, I turned a corner and ran into two of my college friends from Nebraska! They were only in NYC for the weekend (they live in San Francisco) and were seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway before heading to London. NYC really is smaller than you think; or just the Drag Race fan // gay boy // fag hag intersection is that specific.
While there was a third day of DragCon, I ended opting out, since there wasn’t one panel that I really HAD to attend and because the Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market was also on Sunday! Due to the United Nations gathering the previous weekend, BCEFA was forced to reschedule the Flea Market to the same weekend as DragCon; so I made sure to get my fill on Friday and Saturday.
Sure, I had a little bit of FOMO, but the merchandise that I got at the Flea Market and the celebrities I got to see made up for that easily!