Hey Drag Race recap fans! I’ve just returned from a fun-filled weekend in downtown LA attending Ru Paul’s DragCon!  Armed with a press pass, I was able to get a close-up view of the 150 drag queens from around the world and mingle with the 50,000 attendees. 

After checking in with my buds Tom and Charles, I secured a pimp spot in the Press Pen at the end of the pink carpet for the opening Queens Walk.

The screams were deafening as the queens sissied their walks and sashayed down the runway. Pictured below are Lady Camden, Willow Pill. Symone, Monét X Change, Gigi Goode and Crystal Methyd. It was hard to recognize everyone! 

My personal favorite moment was when Tayce, a finalist from Drag Race UK season 2, approached in a bloody wedding dress and tossed her spattered wedding bouquet into the pen. And who caught it? Later, when I saw her at her photo booth, we celebrated our ghoulish wedding!

Next, I wandered around the hall to check out the exhibitors and merch. The first booth I saw was Toucan’s Tiki Lounge and Cabaret from here in Palm Springs. The lovely Mareeka, door hostess at Toucan’s, invited everyone to come out for five drag shows a week Thursday through Monday. 

Day 1 included DJ sets by RuPaul himself (in boy drag) on the House of Love Main Stage. There were lots of booths offering photo ops, makeovers and plenty of merch to spend your coin on, from a t-shirt to a breastplate to wear underneath!   The children were not forgotten — there was a kid’s fashion show  and a Drag Queen Story Hour sponsored by the LA Public Library, which clearly believes in “saying gay!”

Day 2 featured a Lipsync for Your Life attendee contest, more panels and performances, DJ sets  and season cast reunions.  There were lots of promos for new podcasts, new additions to Drag Race’s global reach (Drag Race Philippines) and new series like Netflix’s “Fire Island.” Of course I got up close and personal to learn more… And if you think for one minute I was wagging that press ID badge around like a weenie, you’ve met me. 

The final day gave me the opportunity to finish my flirting… I mean cutting edge investigative journalism. I enjoyed being sandwiched between the Pit Crew and buying a t-shirt from my favorite Gay Ass Bitch, Joey Jay #joeyjayisgay.  

I took the opportunity to have a brief interview with drag legend Madame LaQueer (Drag Race season  4), whose booth was sponsored by Chill Bar in Palm Springs. She performs regularly at their Sunday Drag Brunch. Madame *loves* Palm Springs, her home away from home.  She always feels accepted and loves the warmth of the community here. Check her out!

In all, my favorite thing was just to talk to everyone and enjoy all the love in the air. It was a happy place. It’s really a tribe, a subculture of folks being their authentic selves, young and old, flying their freak flags and living out loud. There are always things to be critical of, but I focus on the joy, laughter and courage of those who follow their dreams. 

Remember that Drag Race All Stars All Winners season 7 starts this Friday, May 20. The participating queens were introduced at DragCon in a special panel. I’ll be recapping the season once again and hope you’ll follow along. Everybody say love! 

All photos (except Madame LaQueer) by Dante Noto @dantenoto. All rights reserved.