Bushwig: The Future Of Drag And Queer Expression

Bushwig 2019 just happened this past weekend! So bizarre to think of this being my fourth time at the festival. It goes without saying, that this weekend was just as amazing as the years prior. I’ll always have a soft spot for this festival, since Bushwig 2016 was my first ever queer NYC experience. I’ve met so many of my Brooklyn friends and family that year… 

The festival rattled me to my core and had me contemplating life, love, and everything in between. I had been playing around with drag and design for a couple of months at that point, but seeing so many queers in one space is some inexplicable shit. We can only try to put the experience into words, but at the end of the day, a person needs to see it, hear it, and feel it for themselves.

This was the first year that I was able to go both days to the Festival, which I would fully recommend. I had two days and plenty of time to connect with friends and capture the bountiful creativity around me. Bushwig had an interesting dynamic this year because it was on the same weekend as DragCon. Which epic drag event does one go to?!

For me the choice was obvious, but of course for our talented queer friends the choice might not have been as effortless. I sympathized with those who decided to go to both events, because that must have been exhausting. There were many creatives roaming the Knockdown Center. I couldn’t help but wonder what the outcome would have been if the events didn’t conflict. Would the Knockdown Center be even more occupied? A part of me wishes they were on different weekends, as I always have a sense of FOMO. It would have been cool to check out DragCon this year, but there was nothing that could keep me away from the nostalgic and magical feelings that Bushwig stirs.

Regardless of the conflict in events, the freedom to be your unique self was quite palpable and unwavering at the Knockdown Center. Not only did that uninhibited energy come forth in everyone’s personal presentation, but especially in the thriving and captivating performances. The one thing stronger than everyone’s individuality is the strong sense of community. Moments that especially reminded me how beautiful the BK family is, was watching artistic icons like Charlene and Juku crown the current reigning Mx. Bushwig Serena Tea. I’m thankful to have witnessed this moment. Not only because it was entertaining as fuck, but because its history in the making!

Bushwig is growing, and to be a part of its timeline and family tree is exciting and memorable. This festival exhibits the future of drag and queer expression, while also withholding the authenticity and importance of our community’s history. Sometimes it is hard for us to celebrate when we remember our community’s ongoing struggle. I am reminded on weekends like this, that family and friendship is the best fuel to move you forward. We are far from finished but we will not move forward alone. Thank you, Horrorchata, for creating such an important weekend for many of us.