Eight Drag Performers To Pay Attention To This Halloween

Using the mediums of clothing and makeup to enact artistic transformations of living poetry, drama, and a celebration of the horrific, drag is an art form for people of all genders and sexualities. I recognize that this list can only be so long and be so inclusive, so it is by no means exhaustive. I am a big fan of drag and the artistic depictions of the supernatural, so these drag performers I've included are the perfect marriage of the spheres I wish to involve myself in. Since it is almost Halloween, I decided to promote a few of my favorite drag artists that partake in unconventional and "spooky" drag for my pleasure and for your own. Make sure to check out their Instagram pages for a full view of their work!

  1. If you need an artist that can transform themselves into a literal abstract painting, look no further than Andro Gin. Their name is such an amazing pun, and their drag is up there with some of the best. The self-described “cartoon villain” uses so much paint for their looks and it is truly to die for. Their looks are characterized by haunting depictions of a hellish cartoon come to life with well-placed black lines to replace traditional contour, a move used to give them a more adult clown look — this is very much a compliment, not a cold take. Andro Gin is a walking MOMA, an actual deity from the heavens sent to us by the greatest queer artists of all time. God, the things I would do to see Andro Gin perform live...

  2. 2. Yovska

    God, where do I start with Yovska... This drag monster is phenomenal at what they do, and it even scares and creeps the living daylight out of me. I swear, Yovska could take something as innocent as a daisy and turn it into an anthropomorphic demon out of a child’s nightmares, yet add a bit of color-pop cheer to the gig. As someone of Mexican heritage, I related to Yovska’s story as a Mexican immigrant: one of xenophobia and despair and feeling alone, yet finding beautifully weird art to partake in as a form of self and cultural acceptance. I consider myself to be quite an imaginative person, but then I remember Yovska’s work and how fascinating it is.

  3. This is a bit of cheating, but the Boulet Brothers are iconic in the unconventional drag scene so I had to include the pair. I believe the story goes that Swanthula and Dracmorda Boulet met in a fetish-themed bar of sorts and hit it off, taking part in the underground fetish realm of drag before moving to Southern California to continue that legacy. There, they began a drag show, not televised yet, called the Boulet Brother’s Dragula, a place for weirdos of all genders and sexualities to feel comfortable with their favorite art form. Also! The Boulet Brothers are a couple, so it makes their story and rise to drag fame even better.

  4. This drag queen is probably the youngest performer on this list. Kalila's confidence and ability to proudly express herself through drag at her age fascinates me. Kalila is clearly inspired by the horror genre of art, specifically horror movies and horror culture, and it comes through wonderfully. The drag daughter of queen Yvie Oddly, I believe Kalila lives up to her royal mother’s name and does her best as a young drag queen to change the face of drag for the better.

  5. If I could choose to be one of the performers on this list, I would most likely be Hollow Eve — just because I identify with their work and politics so much. A self-described “post binary drag socialist with a penchant for anarchy,” Hollow Eve embodies the energy of a social justice advocate to a T, and their drag plays on that energy. A bit of a warning, their work involves a lot of body piercings and heavy emphasis on the distortion of their face to play on the destruction of the gender binary. I loved their time on the Boulet Brother’s Dragula and the exposure they received helped me come into my own as a queer and non-binary person whilst also pushing for the acceptance of unconventional and plus-sized drag.

  6. Creme Fatale isn’t a “spooky queen” like many of the others on this list, but I had to include her for the fantastically detailed Halloween-themed looks she turns out every year. This queen belongs to the campy kawaii aesthetic of drag, embracing the cutsie looks from a glam killer’s dreams, and she pulls it off. Creme’s looks emphasize her large eyes, but it’s the overall looks she creates that are the crème de la crème of her drag. She proves that women have and deserve a place in the drag community, no matter how extravagant, cartoonish, or “pedestrian” it may be; in Creme’s case, her extravagance is her strength.

  7. 7. Saint

    Saint was a contestant on the third season of the Boulet Brother's Dragula. Though she was eliminated from the competition early on, she returned to participate — and win! — the Boulet Brother's Dragula: Resurrection. Black performers are often ignored in the world of drag, having their work dominated by that of white queens, although drag has a prominent place in the Black and Latinx ballroom scene. Saint is one of my favorite queens, her glamour complimenting the horror and blood her work features. Her looks are very much “red velvet couture meets the dead at night.”

  8. Shigo is the definition of "unconventional" drag. They play on the conventional beauty associated with mainstream drag and put a colorful, distorted and "high-brow" twist. (Literally, their brows are thin and arched high.) I’ll usually catch them on the Beauty Wow channel on Snapchat, and every time I see their work, I’m filled with such good gay energy and inspiration to continue my work as a queer poet, so thank you, Shigo Ladurée. This French/Spanish queen's drag screams "sexy Halloween high-fashion rainbow villain," so be on the lookout for this spooky entertainer's future work.

Drag is not and should not be limited to a specific kind of gender expression and aesthetic. It is an art form for the committed, imaginative and silenced voices that contribute so much to the (underground) queer scene. Whilst most drag artists fit a mold of conventional glamour and performance before anything else, unconventional drag artists push the fantastic to the galactic extremes. Please support your local weird drag artists!