RuPaul’s DragCon LA: Dispatches From Day 1 of the Convention

LAMag takes you inside the return of DragCon after a two year hiatus due to COVID for all the highlights–and lowlights

RuPaul’s DragCon LA, an annual 3-day gathering of the biggest names in drag, is back after a two-year hiatus. And the queens and fans gagged. Here are some of the highlights from day one of the convention. 

Pink Ribbon Cutting 

RuPaul Charles and the queens of Drag Race All Stars season 7 preparing to cut the ribbon on The Pink Carpet

We all love a red carpet moment, but a pink carpet moment? Yes, please. This year RuPaul Charles, accompanied by the season 7 cast of Drag Race All Stars, kicked off the 3-day Ru-za-palooza with an iconic ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We’re going to cut this thing…it feels like a bris,” Charles said before snipping the scissors.

The Queens Walk 

It wouldn’t be a pink carpet without an abundance of sequins, towering high heels, sickening walks, and ample photo-ops, and the queens did not disappoint. After the ribbon-cutting, all the queens attending this year’s convention stomped down the pink runway serving fierce looks with no shortage of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

Gottmik from season 13 in her signature white makeup
Season 14’s Kerri Colby giving us golden goddess realness
Angeria Paris Van Michaels and Lady Camden from season 14 pose for a best friend picture
All Star season 7 contestant Trinity The Tuck stomping The Pink Carpet

Reunion of the Queens

Since the convention has been canceled for the last two years due to COVID-19, some of these queens haven’t seen each other or their fans since the last DragCon in 2019. This year’s energy is electric, with many of the girls reuniting after two years or even meeting each other for the first time.

“It’s so nice to be here. It’s also a signal we’re nearing the end of the pandemic, which was torturous for us all for almost three years, so it just feels good. It feels like good energy,” Monet X Change told LAMag.  

Past Drag Race Winners Monet X Change, The Vivienne, and Raja posing at the press junket

For Puerto Rican queen Cynthia Lee Fontaine, the best part of being back at DragCon is seeing her fans again.

“Being back at DragCon after two years, after the lockdown and pandemic, it feels so good because, in my case, I am the queen of the people. I like to have the opportunity to interact with all the fans,” Fontaine told LAMag. “I think it’s [also] the human touch, having the opportunity to hug them and listen to their stories and why they feel inspired by your story on the TV show.”

Austin queen Cynthia Lee Fontaine poses after walking The Pink Carpet

Season five winner Jinkx Monsoon feels that DragCon’s biggest impact is the queer visibility and awareness the convention raises. And she’s glad to have that back after two years.

“The most surreal thing about DragCon is the sheer number of people who are affected by this phenomenon of drag in the mainstream and to see us queer people having a convention that’s as well attended as [this],” Monsoon said. 

Fellow Drag Race winners Jinkx Monsoon and Shea Couleé pose at the press junket

Kiddos Dancing at RuPaul’s DJ Set 

RuPaul started off the first day with a bang, DJing a killer setlist consisting of all the drag classics. But his music wasn’t the best part. Fans were able to gather on stage and dance to the beat while the Queen herself loomed above the crowd with her turntable. Attendees of all ages participated, including kids who were as young as eight years old. One of the standouts was a 12-year-old queen named The King of Queens from California. She destroyed the dance floor with death drops, high kicks, and vogue-ing to boot. She says she hopes to be on season 25 of Drag Race.

The King of Queens steals the show at The House of Love Main Stage during RuPaul’s DJ set
The King of Queens poses post-costume change after the DJ set

“Drag gave all of us this superhero cape and made us all realize we’re all superheroes. We can all unlock that inside of us, so we know this experience is doing that for these kids, and they’re finding their own drag,” Monet X Change told LAMag.

Shea Couleé also recognizes how important they are as role models to the younger fans.

“We don’t really get to see up close and personal the reach that this show has, Shea Couleé said. “But [at] DragCon, you get to see the younger generation and get to meet these amazing kids that you’ve inspired, and there is something so incredibly heartwarming about that.” 

For more coverage on DragCon LA 2022, keep an eye out for more articles on the website and follow us on Tiktok. 

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