From the lush feather boas that adorned early female impersonators to the sequined lip syncs of barroom queens to the drag kings that have us laughing in stitches, drag has played a vital role in the creative life of New York City. Now, for the first time, journalist and drag historian Elyssa Maxx Goodman unearths the untold story of drag in New York City.
A generously endowed survey ... Did Goodman really need to get so granular? I thought this when I hit page 198 of 350. But then I ran into mentions of friends and started to change my mind, and not for selfish reasons ... Even those far outside the scene should come to appreciate the texture that such remembrances offer.
It’s a sprawling book, a bit overambitious, but animated by the fire of a queen who knew she’d been wronged ... Goodman’s commitment to exploring every nook of the city’s drag history means her tale moves too quickly ... The book would benefit from being organized thematically instead of chronologically or by focusing on a handful of the biggest personalities.