These lovely queens have the honor of earning SFGN's Best Drag Queens award this year.

 

Athena Dion

AthenaDion

Photo via Facebook.

Athena Dion is a Greek Goddess and SFGN’s Best Drag Queen in Miami.

She is a multifaceted, chameleon-like entertainer whose looks range from Mildred Ratchet to Princess Peach. Plus she’s an extraordinary humanitarian.

Before the lockdowns, Dion would use the transformative and empowering effects of makeup being wielded by an expert artist, and gave tutorials to young women at Jackson Burn Center.

Dion explains that the show must go on, finding new and innovative ways to still do drag during a global pandemic is absolutely necessary.

“The pandemic has been hard for all of us, but especially for those in the arts and entertainment,” she said. “But in the face of adversity, drag queens rise to the occasion. We did online shows, online brunches, virtual performances, and overall we made it work.”

You can find Dion at R House in Wynwood in Miami, looking fierce as ever with a face shield and serving it up every Saturday and Sunday at R House’s Drag Brunch.

“We kept ourselves busy, kept our creative minds active, and more importantly we provided entertainment and as an escape for so many people that were also suffering in isolation in very uncertain times,” she said. “I am so excited to accept the honor of Best Drag Queen in Miami because I love this community with all my heart.  It has made me the entertainer that I am today and overall a better human being.”

Runner-Up: Tiffany Fantasia is 2020’s runner up, she has previously won South Florida Gay News’ Best Drag Queen five times.  Fantasia is a South Beach Drag Icon, you can usually find her throwing her wigs into the rafters and awnings of different establishments all around South Florida.

– CM

Rianna Petrone

RiannaPetrone

Photo via Facebook.

Rianna Petrone has dethroned the queen this year in Palm Beach.

For the past six years Palm Beach royalty Melissa St. John has taken home Best Drag Queen, but for 2020, readers chose Petrone. Most of the places where drag queens entertain have been shut down, so drag queens have had to get creative to continue to entertain.

"Personally, the pandemic has caused me and a lot of my sister's in the industry severe financial hardships, Petrone said. "I have survived through family and friends. I feel blessed to have such amazing people in my life. To be recognized by the community that I have been a part of for fourteen years makes me feel so much love, acceptance and a sense of euphoria." 

Petrone served as Miss Palm Beach Pride 2018 and has been a regular host for weekly shows at Propaganda in Lake Work Worth Beach. She is known for her larger than life costumes, and is widely regarded for being one of the most captivating and acrobatic performers in the county.

Runner-Up: Velvet Lenore

– DCJ

TP Lords

TPLords

Photo via Facebook.

Nicolette

Nicolette

Photo via Facebook.

TP Lords, the perpetually avant-garde extraterrestrial Klub Kid performer extraordinaire and Nicolette, hostess of Lip’s Dragalicious Gospel Brunch, tie for Best Drag Queen in Broward.

Attending Lip’s Dragalicious Gospel Brunch is truly a religious experience.

Nicolette’s finale performance on a recent Sunday is purposefully poignant and beautifully choreographed. It is a very simple performance in all aspects, but itis a moving and emotional spectacle. 

“I am thrilled to be named Best Drag Queen,” Nicolette said. “I love being an entertainer and love doing it for my community. To receive this award, during my 25th year in the art of female impersonation, is truly humbling.”

Wherever TP Lords performs, whether it is a stage, a sidewalk, or a parking lot, she’s always brimming with a fierce intensity. Her costume design is nothing short of inspirational, whether she’s Klub Kid Chic, a Space Goddess, 1920’s Hollywood glamour or even Beyoncé.

TP Lords speaks about being a performer and finding new ways to continue to entertain people during this pandemic.  As an innovative business person, he created Dragshows Anywhere.

“I was contacted about performing for a birthday party. I came up with the idea to keep it socially distanced [by] keeping the speaker in my car and backing it into the driveway. The first show was a little awkward to do – plus it was raining – but like the true professional that I am, I pushed through. Now seven months later I am more comfortable doing them and running the shows no matter how strange they feel at times.”

As long as this pandemic continues, TP will always find a way to continue to be innovative.

“I am honored to be nominated alongside such amazing talents.  And I will share this title of Best Drag Queen with everyone I come in contact with. Spreading my love, positivity and laughter, and not COVID-19. Thank you to everyone that voted for me.  I am truly humbled and blessed to do what I love.”

Runner-Up: Jessica Channing; you can catch her at Scandals Saloon at 3073 NE 6th Ave, Wilton Manors, FL 33334. During the Pandemic, Channing set up a GoFund Me for the Scandals staff and almost raised $2,000. 

– CM

Maya Montana

MayaMontana

Photo via Facebook.

For Key West, Maya Montana has won this contest three years in a row.

“I'm really flattered and I'm really happy at the same time because this is something that I really still love doing and I really enjoy doing, she said. “It doesn't feel like work.”

Maya is a crowd-pleaser — whether on stage, or  

helping people struggling throughout the pandemic.  

“During the shutdown, I felt like I needed to do something,” Maya said. “So when I wasn't working, I volunteered for six and a half weeks handing out food with S.O.S. Food Distribution. And then I kept myself busy making masks and I donated them to our local charities.”

These days, Maya is back on stage at Aqua. Her shows are different because of social distancing and limited capacity. Performers like Maya use butterfly nets to collect tips.

“It's an adjustment, but I think I can do is make the best out of it,” she said.

You can stay up to date with Maya on Facebook.

Runner-Up: Sushi

– DR


To view more winners, visit SFGN's Best of 2020 Winners page.


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