Somewhere over a New York rainbow is where you’ll find drag sensation and costume designer, Gloria Swansong. The current Ms. Hell’s Kitchen is out to educate and entertain with her series, Resilience In Drag, and is taking the virtual world by storm during COVID-19.
Legends and divas have always inspired Gloria Swansong’s art. It’s no surprise that when she portrayed Judy Garland at New York’s famed So You Think You Can Drag competition that Gloria’s star quickly soared to new heights. The marrying of childhood inspiration from seeds planted by a loving grandmother, with a thoughtful and unique drag aesthetic, let everyone know that a tour de force had arrived on the scene.
Tight and complicated lip syncs are a signature of Gloria’s performance style. She also makes her own clothing as well as custom designs for other queens and stage shows. In the age of COVID-19 Gloria’s mantra has been “employ yourself.” The freedom exists to “make your own show with no excuses,” and that’s exactly what Gloria has been doing in 2020.
Adding Dolly Parton to the repertoire at the suggestion of her mom has been a welcome addition to Gloria’s roster of superstars. Wednesday night performances, Zoom plays, and opportunities to push oneself have been keeping Gloria active this year. Near and dear to her heart is educating the current generation about groundbreaking queens of previous generations. Gloria’s recent turn as a researcher and lecturer about the history of drag will continue to inspire and teach future generations who were unaware of those that came before them.
Get to know Gloria on Instagram or Facebook and check out some of her favorite New York spots:
Best New York Pizza: Fresco’s Pizzeria (137th St in Hudson Heights). Unbelievably good margarita and grandma pizza.
Best New York Tea: Boise (LaGuardia Place & West Houston). Classic tea service with a vast selection to choose from.
Best New York Museum: Tenement Museum (Delancey & Orchard St). New York’s history told through lived experiences.