RuPaul's DragCon NYC: The 10 Biggest Takeaways From Drag's Big Weekend

Santiago Felipe/Getty Images
RuPaul during the ceremonial ribbon cutting at RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2018 at Javits Center on Sept. 29, 2018 in New York City.  

After a full weekend of sashaying, panels and performances, RuPaul’s DragCon NYC has officially come to a close. The event, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, lasted from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening, with queens and fans from all around the world gathering together to celebrate the art of drag.

As with any other event, the weekend came with a number of highs. From revelations made about RuPaul’s Drag Race during panel discussions, major announcements about returning programs and all-around joyful drag, here are our 10 biggest takeaways from RuPaul’s DragCon NYC.

Trixie and Katya announced a brand new season of their YouTube show “UNHhhh”

The two season 7 stars reunited for the first time in months at DragCon, hosting their own panel in order to talk about everything their fans wanted to hear. But the biggest revelation to come out of their reunion was that their hit YouTube series “UNHhhh” would be returning for a new season. Starting on Oct. 17, new episodes of the show will premiere on WOWPresentsPlus, with censored versions of each episode popping up one week later on YouTube. Fans everywhere rejoiced at the news.

RuPaul got real about the current state of politics with Charles M. Blow

While the vast majority of the weekend was centered around love and the power of drag, RuPaul still felt that it was important to be honest about the way things currently are. In the first of his new series of “RuTalks,” Ru sat down with New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow to talk about Trump, #MeToo and the recent Kavanaugh hearings. Blow offered salient advice to those listening, urging them to vote always, not just in 2018. “You can’t just participate when you’re pissed off,” he said. “We don’t have to go through these cycles of anger every decade.”

Michelle Visage offered up the possibility of new Drag Race spinoffs

During a panel featuring all of the judges from Drag Race, Michelle Visage was asked by a particularly proud parent if she would ever be interested in helping create a version of Drag Race for children. Visage not only said she’d be down for Drag Race Junior, but she even went as far as saying that she wanted to see multiple spinoffs of the show, including versions aimed at casting biological women and trans women.

Swing Left fronted a weekend-long campaign to get young people to vote

With the current difficult political climate, RuPaul’s DragCon made a point to encourage all of its attendees, especially the majority of young people attending, to go vote this November. A large part of that effort was fronted by Swing Left, a political advocacy organization aiming to turn districts where Republican House representatives only won in a slim margin in the last election. From RuPaul giving a speech on the main floor about the importance of voting, to New York drag star Marti Cummings leading an on-floor protest march, Swing Left made sure that their message to take back the house was heard loud and clear.

SNL alum Tina Fey made a surprise appearance with the cast of Mean Girls: The Musical

Some of the cast of the Broadway musical adaptation of Mean Girls made an appearance at the convention, with Grey Henson speaking on a panel about the cultural impact of the film, and joining his co-star Taylor Louderman for a “North Shore Winter Talent Show” on the runway. But what most people didn’t know is who was waiting for them backstage: comedy icon and Mean Girls creator Tina Fey. She even sent out a message to her fans at the event, saying that “you never know who’ll show up at RuPaul’s DragCon, kitty girls.”

The queens of season 10 duked it out during the “Battle on the Runway” after-show

As with any major event, one of the main highlights of DragCon came during one of its after-parties. A number of the queens from season 10, including Aquaria, Eureka O’Hara, Kameron Michaels, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo and more, lip-synced the house down at the Playstation Theater on Saturday night. Some turned stunning looks, some did spot-on impersonations, and some simply showed the audience how a lip sync ought to be done.

Jiggly Caliente premiered her new music video for “All This Body”

During a panel about music and drag, season 4 contestant Jiggly Caliente revealed her brand-new music video for her song “All This Body.” The video shows an emotional Jiggly going to a plastic surgeon for what appears to be a liposuction treatment, before fairy-drag-mothers Alaska Thunderfuck, Ginger Minj and Serena Cha Cha appear to dissuade her. The music video can currently be found on WOWPresentsPlus.

Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns was performed in front of pop icon Janet Jackson

Sasha Velour’s DragCon performance of her smash-hit drag show Nightgowns was already a huge success. In the biggest iteration of her show today, it took place at Terminal 5 in New York City, and attendees left the evening with messages of love and amazement for the queens who performed at the event. But some fans may have left turning their heads, as it was reported that one of the attendees of the drag show was none other than pop music icon Janet Jackson. Ms. Jackson didn’t say anything about attending the event, but it’s safe to say that she was in good hands with Velour and company.

Asia O’Hara led the event’s Sunday service

While drag and religion may seem like they don’t have very much in common, season 10 finalist Asia O’Hara made a strong case as to why the two shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. The Texas-born star joined two pastors in one of the center’s panel rooms to lead DragCon's Sunday service. She even did her own reading of a Bible passage for her audience, which she later shared with her fans on Instagram.

RuPaul sent out a message of love to fans everywhere

As the event came to a close, RuPaul sent out a message of hope and love to all of the fans who had stuck around to watch the live taping of his podcast What’s The Tee? on Sunday evening. Thanking his fans for coming, Ru told his fans to go out and be a beacon of light for those around them. “You are our ministry — so go out and spread the word,” he said. “You love yourself, and in loving yourself, that is your gift to the world. It’s not selfish, it is selfless actually.”


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.