Rupaul’s Second Annual Drag Con was a few months ago now. Picture it…Los Angeles…2016. A spry 31 year-old woman ascends on the LA Convention Center with excitement and caffeine running through her veins. She’d purchased her ticket months in advance. Last year, she didn’t have anyone to go with and missed the very first one. Then she remembered she’s a bamf who doesn’t mind going places alone and here is where the story begins.
She packed a cute backpack before leaving the house with a sweater, money, a book in case of downtime (I know, right?) and a bottle of water. Interestingly, she didn’t pack any food or snacks. Amateur!
In all seriousness, Drag Con was so much more than I’d anticipated. I’d seen a few of the videos from last year but not many of them because I was still sore about not going so I didn’t really know what to expect when I got there. I had never been to any other type of convention so I was pretty clueless about what all it entails. That being said, I still had a blast and below I shall provide information on what I loved and lessons learned for next time. We can start with the lessons learned so we can dig into the good stuff and end the post on a high note.
Food options were not abundant. This is not to say that there was no food there; in fact I counted three food trucks, and a cafe downstairs. It was possible to leave the convention center and go forage for food as well. My gripe is that there were not enough options to accommodate the amount of people. Lines for food were out the door the entire day. I was there from 10:00am until about 5:30pm. I wanted to eat but I felt that my time was better spent in long lines to meet the queens.I don’t know if this is something that can be fixed because there probably is no way to feed all those people; but I now know that I need to pack snacks and/or bring my own food.
It is essential to go for both days. I got the ticket for Saturday only, thinking it would be enough but I was so wrong about that. Because I didn’t know this, I missed ALL of the panels that day. I was lost in the sauce with no idea that if I wanted to sit in on one, I would have to be there at least an hour early. I think the key is to figure out which panels you want to see and make sure to go to those. Between panels, get in line to meet the queens. The lines to meet the queens will take up the majority of you time. To add on to that, make sure you know who you want to see for sure and then prioritize and make sure you know where they will be. One thing that bothered me was that the queens who didn’t have dedicated booths also did not have any hours posted for when they would be out. I was lucky to have found Latrice Royale, randomly and not in the place she was assigned to on the guide. I spent too much time looking for Jujubee, only to find out by accident that she was supposed to come out to an empty booth in the back. Either way, I think it’s important to figure out the ones you want to see who have dedicated spaces and get to those first.
The lines are like theme park rollercoaster lines. It is cray. I didn’t know just how crazy until I’d been in my first line, to see Bob, and was there, in line, for about an hour and a half. Now don’t get scared off when I say that. There were other lines that were not bad at all. I think it depends on overall popularity of the queen. So while I stood in line for a really long time for some, I was able to just walk right up for others. Unfortunately this meant that I didn’t get to see everyone or even all of the ones I’d written down.
Things I Loved
Every single queen that I met and took a picture with was super duper nice. I mean it was so much fun. The long lines were worth it for the pictures. So let’s go down the list of those I saw:
Bob the Drag Queen was super nice and did different poses for the picture on my phone. She was also raising money for charity which is pretty cool. The line for Bob took about an hour and a half but it was definitely worth meeting her.
Chi Chi Devayne was next on my list. Down to earth, humble and really sweet, just like she was on the telly and she also had a very long line. She was handling her own sales for t-shirts and was just really sweet. She had to basically squat all the way down to pose with me because I’m vertically succinct.
Cynthia Lee Fontaine was one who had no line but was also just a sweet in person as she was on the show. She gave me so many hugs and was just super gracious.
Next, I happened upon Phi Phi O’Hara in a stand off to the side with no one in line. I think Phi Phi still gets a bad rap from her rivalry with Sharon Needles during season 4. It was years ago, people! She should have had many more fans than that, especially considering her immense talent.
After that, whilst on the hunt for Jujubee, I saw a long line next to a vintage clothing booth. Lo and behold it was Latrice Muthafucking Royale. I was too excited and she was so nice and her fiancé was super nice too. Honestly I realize I am a broken record at this point, but seriously, I didn’t meet any queens that weren’t cool.
I got a couple of drive-by pics with Manila Luzon and Joslyn Fox which was cool. Manila was actually just walking next to me and I asked for a pic and she crouched for me (again shortness) and we got one.
After that I stood in line for Shangela. I wasn’t a big fan of her during seasons 2 of 3, BUT Shangela works hard! Since I started following Shangie on Instagram, I realized that she is a great talent and is also so nice. She was one of a few who actually asked me my name.
I also got to pose with Landon Cider, a super stupid talented Drag King, who I’ve seen perform three times so far and who never disappoints. Unfortunately I don’t have photographic evidence because I deleted all of my photos a few weeks ago like a dingus.
LAST but NOT least, I FINALLY found Jujubee by accident. I kept making circles. I was so hungry and my feet were so tired. I knew I wasn’t gonna make it to see everyone. Trixie Mattel, Katya, Detox, Michelle Visage all had long lines and Naomi Smalls and Kim Chi, who shared a booth, had a line out of the door the ENTIRE DAY. But I was determined to see JuJu. I knew she was in the building because of Instagram. So. I’m walking, making the rounds, I see a line forming in the back. I ask people who they’re waiting for. They say they heard a rumor that it was going to be Raven and possibly Jujubee so I had to go ahead and just take a chance and wait. It definitely paid off! They were nice, gave multiple hugs, were fabulous and that was it.
I finally dragged my tired lil self to the car and drove home after that. I was so excited that I bought my 2-day pass for next year the week after Drag Con was over, so look forward to another review next year where I’ll be applying those lessons learned. Til next time, Smooches!