In late August, Djuan Porter, also known as Black Dahlia, won a New York drag pageant all from the comfort of her Phoenix home. Instead of performing in front of a live audience, Dahlia performed alone, in front of a screen.
Performers like Dahlia turned to other outlets to perform their art amid the pandemic. What used to transpire on stage in front of a screaming audience of LGBTQ fans and drunk bachelorettes has become a fully digital experience, with drag artists performing in their own homes on platforms such as Instagram live.
Dahlia, a senior studying theatre, has been doing drag for just over two years. Her debut performance at ASU’s Arcadia Pride show in 2018, which she volunteered to host, shot her into the local drag scene.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic shutting down bars and clubs across the country, Dahlia found notable success online with digital drag.
The pageant Dahlia won, Yonkers New York Pride Dragfest, was entirely digital, opening up the competition for queens from around the world.