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Kitty Glitter and the Seattle drag scene

Greetings kittens! My name is Kitty Glitter and I am a baby club kid queen from Seattle, Washington. Kitty is inspired by eclectic fashion, sad girls, hip-hop, and the avant garde performance art scene in the Pacific Northwest. Being a baby drag queen in a big city is highly intimidating. In 2017, with Drag Race having become a mainstream reality series, the stage is over-saturated with new queens all trying to stand out. Seattle’s scene is a unique one, that only begins with what viewers have seen on RuPaul’s.

I vividly remember watching Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLacreme compete on Drag Race in the years before I moved to the Emerald City. They both represented a style of drag that had not yet been seen on the show. Upon my first of many visits to Seattle, I attended a show of Ben’s titled Inferno a-Go-Go where I witnessed first hand the campy theatrics and burlesque I fell in love with on TV.

Rapture: an Queer Avant Garde Drag Show was the first show I attended in drag. In a single day my friends and I ran around to Claire’s, a few Goodwills, and rummaged our closets to throw together what we interpreted as avant garde. The defining piece for my ensemble was a coat my father blinged out for me with rustic pins and ribbons when I played John the Baptist in Godspell in middle school. It made me feel proud and naughty to have my look defined by something my father made, as drag has never made sense to him. I completed the look with a glitter beard and flower crown, recognizing I had too much body hair to pull off feminine.

When I arrived at the venue I was shaking with anticipation. “Oh my God,” gasped Arson Nicki, the event’s host and curator. The post-drag creature sauntered over to me with her signature solo bottom lashes and overdrawn black lips. “You are exactly what this event is about,” she continued. I stumbled over introducing myself for the first time. “I’m… sorry I’m very high,” was my initial introduction. She invited me to stick around until the end of the show to stomp the runway with the other queens she hand-selected.

The night was a techno-rave dance party with performances scattered throughout the night. Each queen who took the stage was unlike anything you would see on Drag Race. Some queens were hairy and untucked, some were more alien than female impersonator. Arson’s first performance was as enchanting as it was esoteric: performed simply with her face in a metal helmet as she lip-synced to a Bjork-esque number with conviction that drew you into her demented music video world. I learned that night that the truth about Seattle drag is that there are no rules. I stomped that runway, as I have many times since, as a flower nymph with beastly hairy legs to thunderous applause.

Seattle’s drag scene is always evolving too. In addition to Rapture, there’s spots like R Place where you can get your fill of jaw-dropping death drops and fishy queens, Betty Wetter’s Trivia Night, Arson’s Dragula night at Little Maria’s Pizza, and most recently Queer Bar. Seattle’s Robbie Turner from the 8th season of Drag Race is one of many queen responsible for Queer Bar’s weekly drag show that features everything from Dragula and Drag Race queens to local queens like your girl Kitty Glitter at the end of January. It’s an exciting time to be a boy in a dress and an even more exciting time to watch one shake his ass for the masses. So come on down to the Emerald City sometime and be prepared to gag, to expect the unexpected, and to leave your preconceived notions about drag at baggage claim.

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