Squirrel-friends start your engines because the twelfth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres tonight, and fans are gagging over this year’s ladies of drag.
Widow Von’Du of Kansas City, Missouri has been doing drag for nearly half of her life. At 30-years-old, Ms. Von’Du is known simply as Ray Fry when out of drag.
She found her stage name when watching a nature special on black widow spiders who were described as “big, black, and dangerous” – the same qualities she saw in herself. Now, the self-proclaimed “Ratchet A** Queen” is hitting Ru’s runway bringing fashion, passion, and ass-kickin’.
The plus-size diva enjoys showing off her assets, as well as her 26 tattoos. Confidence is key for this queen who is the head of the Haus of Von’Du and is drag sisters with Season 10 superstar, Monique Heart. Find her on Instagram as @thewidowvondu.
Crystal Methyd’s life changed after seeing the movie Party Monster and being introduced to Club Kids for the first time. This queen of thrift gains inspiration from just wanting to be different.
As a former Eagle Scout, the 28-year-old Springfield, Missouri ingenue has always been handy, using whatever was around to design quirky, creative looks.
As a young dragster, she frequented her mother’s closet, trying out high heels and accessorizing with as many necklaces as she could manage. One piece of jewelry is never enough for this kooky but kind queen. Find her on Instagram as @crystalmethyd.
Anime hits the runway
Rock M Sakura is an anime-inspired queen who loves to tell a story and make people happy through her drag. The 28-year-old San Francisco native was born Bryan Steven Bradford, and is of Filipino descent.
Her sickening style is a seeming combination of Pikachu and pleather, and has enough eyelashes to make Trixie Mattel do a double-take. This cosplay contestant is well-spoken and well-versed in all things manga and J-pop, bringing fun and fantasy to the stage. Find her at @rockmsakura on Instagram.
Aiden Zhane is the stage name of 29-year-old Devin Lewis. While she may have originated from rural Georgia, her speech and style screams that of a city queen.
Though she herself is relatively quiet, her ghoulish glamour is sure to turn heads. Her signature style is equal parts art, androgyny, and alien, and she promises her look will be a first in Drag Race herstory. Find her as @aiden_zhane on Instagram.
NYC queens rule
Jesse Havea is better known as Brita because she is “anything but pure.” The street smart 34-year-old New York City resident is hardworking, consistent, and brings Broadway-style entertainment to the masses.
Brita is no stranger to television, starring in Shade: Queens of NYC on Fusion TV. The docuseries started two years ago, introducing viewers to the daily lives of Manhattan drag queens.
Identifying as pansexual, the loud & proud queen also gives back to her community, pledging to donate 10 percent of her merchandise sales to Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which provides quality healthcare for LGBTQ individuals. Find her at @thebritafilter on Instagram.
Just as a sweet as cherry pie, Sherry Pie also hails from the Big Apple. When selecting her drag persona, 27-year-old Joey Gugliemelli wanted a name that would combine her vintage side with her love of food. Thus, the classy, campy icon of Sherry Pie was born.
She is the ultimate costume queen and loves to bring fashionable flair to favorite fantasy characters, including the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Roger Rabbit, and the Grinch, among others. Her meticulous makeup and grandiose style combine looks of old & new, but her background in the theatre may prove she’s got more than just punny humor. Find her on Instagram as @sherrypienyc.
The double entendre of Jackie Cox, also known as Darius Rose, rounds out our stars of Broadway. As another NYC queen, she draws on the big city’s art scene for inspiration, piecing together looks from different eras and telling a story through her cabaret clothing.
She describes her persona as a “cool aunt,” who is always ready to have fun, as long as it is before 10pm. She is the toast of the NYC “evening” life and, most notably, the first-ever queen of Iranian descent to hit the RuPaul runway. Find her on Instagram as @jackiecoxnyc.
Goode and Sin slay the stage
Gigi Goode may be anything but, gaining her name from American Horror Story legend Jessica Lange, and her witchy character Fiona Goode. As a self-proclaimed “look” queen, Gigi learned great fashion from her costume designer mother, who helps create her signature style.
The 21-year-old Los Angeles resident, sometimes known as Samuel Steven Geggie, brings her own artistry, working as an illustrator and makeup artist. Miss Gigi promises that all of her performances will be “in her mouth,” so watch this bombshell closely for seriously sickening lip-sync battles. Find her on Instagram as @thegigigoode.
Dahlia Sin derives from the City of Angels. Starting out as a spooky queen, she chose her name from the famed Black Dahlia. Elevating to more harlot than horror, the beautiful 28-year-old now graces the main stage with posh and sex appeal.
With Asa as her drag mother, she has learned to work the runway, bringing intrigue to her “Vangie realness.” As her boy self, Erick Anthony, she is more outrageous, while Dahlia demonstrates a more ladylike eleganza. Find her on Instagram as @dahlia_sin.
Ladies start your engines
Heidi N Closet’s stage name started as a joke because a lot of men in her southern hometown were closeted and always “trying to get my goodies.” The twangy North Carolina gal, also known as Trevien Anthonie Cheek, has worked as a drag queen for five years, only counting two of them – after she polished her performance.
She started on the pageant circuit, combining sophistication with quirkiness. As a self-professed up-and-comer, she wants to show the world what she can do and is hungry for the crown (and its $100,000 cash prize). Find her on Instagram as @heidincloset.
Hyper feminine superstar Jaida Essence Hall is a 32-year-old Milwaukee queen. In her drag ensemble, Jared Johnson embraces femininity and fearsomeness. Taking home pageant titles a plenty, this lady combines refinement, resiliency, and Ramen (which she eats everyday). She is the embodiment of glamazon, showcasing her “essence” of beauty through glittery dresses and a gleeful attitude. Find her on Instagram as @jaidaehall.
Nicky Doll was born in Paris, France – the fashion capital of the world. Relocating to New York City, another style center, the statuesque 28-year-old, also known as Karl Sanchez, stands heads above the competition.
She lives by the mantra that “drag has no language” and sees it as visual performance. Her swanky style showcases 90s heroin model chic with highfalutin fashion. Nicky sets herself apart from other look queens by adding nerdiness and humor to her incorrectly categorized ostentatious persona. Find her on Instagram as @thenickydoll.
Charlie Mantione aka Jan grew up in New Jersey, where big vocals and big hair ruled. The 26-year-old is the “girl next door, plus so much more.”
She takes her lip-sync to the next level as a live singer. She uses the inspiration of music as the driving force behind her drag persona and performance capabilities. Ultra-talented but equally humble, her goal is to change people’s lives through art. If she isn’t this year’s winner, she’s a sure thing for Miss Congeniality. Find her on Instagram as @janjanjan.
Find out more about these reigning queens by tuning in to RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1.
RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays 8/7c on VH1.