The Death Of Wigstock

Rod Townsend (aka our commenter Momo), sometimes receives telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembers where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.

"Hello?"

"Oh, hi. Are you doing okay? Is everything all right?"

"Such concern from The Past? I guess I'm okay, I mean there are..."

"Ah, putridpits, that's great for you, but I'm feeling lost. I just don't know what to do."

"Oh, no. What happened?"

"It's Labor Day weekend and there's not going to be a Wigstock!"

The Death Of Wigstock

"A wig's what?"

"Wig-stock. Wigstock! For years now there has been this gigantic gathering of drag queens, trannies, and all the other best people on stage on Labor Day. This year Lady Bunny has no money."

"Lady Bunny? Is she, like preppy English royalty?"

"No, merkinmouth, she's drag queen royalty. Back in the 1980s, after a late night at Pyramid, she and a bunch of others went over to Tompkins Square and just kept the party going, putting on a show for hours into the morning. One year later, they made the show into a dragstravaganza—Wigstock. It went on for years there in the park, but eventually outgrew the space. For the 10th anniversary a couple years back, it moved to the pier."

"The Pier? Is that a club?"

"I've told you about the piers before. Off Christopher Street? Anyway, once it moved there, the crowds became gigantic. Like over 50,000 people all coming together to see probably the best show in the world."

"The best? And it was all drag queens?"

"Everybody would be there. Let's see. Some of my favorites have been Lypsinka serving up homage to Alfred Hitchcock ..."

"Heh. You said cock."

"Shimmershaft, this is serious. Candace Cayne came on with, like 20 male cheerleaders and did a routine. Varla Jean Merman did her opera thing. And so many more. Mona Foote, Flotilla DeBarge, Linda Simpson, Shasta Cola, Girlina, Joey Arias, Sherry Vine, oh, and that bitch Honey Dijon."

"Bitch?"

"Yeah, she and my friend Tia mixed words at Club USA which ended in Honey's wig getting thrown off the roof deck and into Times Square."

"Drag drama, huh? How can they even put on a show with all those drag queens? There's bound to be drama."

"Sometimes that's not a bad thing. One year, there was this gigantic mobile over the stage held up by, like, fishing wire. It's windy at the piers so the wire stretched and the thing was starting to droop and sway. Queens on the stage had to watch their wigs, it was getting so low. Luckily there was a pier queen, Afro-Dite, who was backstage getting ready. While everybody else was all panicky, Afro-Dite just reached into her handbag and pulled out a gigantic knife, walked up to the stage and cut the thing down. It was a show-stopper."

"Sorry, but it sounds insane. Hours and hours of drag queens."

"There's also other performers. Ann Magnuson did some spoken word. And then there are the divas. Vicki Sue Robinson. Joi Cardwell. Barbara Tucker. Crystal Waters. Ultra Nate. Oh! And one time Debbie Harry stormed the stage while the Dueling Bankheads were doing an interpretation of 'Heart of Glass.' It was kind of obviously staged, but some idiot at the Post thought it was for real and wrote about how Blondie was a has-been. Fucking rag."

"So it's a huge event. And it gets press coverage. So why isn't it happening?"

"Pay attention, twinkletaint. Lady Bunny needs money. Now that everybody is coming to the show, the city is making them put out security and porta-potties. Instead, there'll be a fund-raiser at Palladium. Inside. It's a tragedy. Without Wigstock, it's just not Labor Day."

"It's still a long weekend. You can do something else and have fun. Maybe a picnic in Central Park!"

"And here I thought I was lost! I have to go and cheer myself up with a burger over at Julius. But, for real. Without Wigstock, why even wake up on Monday?"

Earlier: Past, Over
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