While Bay Area fans root for San Francisco’s Lady Camden on the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, there’s another competition heating up at home: The High Princx Pageant. Over two weekends at the LGBTQ+ club Oasis, drag performers of all genders and styles will be battling it out on stage for cash prizes and the chance to be crowned San Francisco drag royalty.
The pageant features eight formidable contestants with five or more years of experience in the art form, including 2021 SF Drag King Contest winner Meatflap, whose winning number at that particular competition was raunchy yet heartfelt, and ended on a poignant message about trans mental health. Fellow drag kings Vera (a mainstay of Rebel Kings of Oakland), Papi Churro and Tyson Check-In will be competing, as well as high-femme performers Frida Mont, Heaven On Earth, Pearl Teese and Phoebe Cakes.
Beyond their love for glamor and camp, Bay Area drag artists have a reputation for their creativity and soul. Even labels like “queen” or “king” don’t capture the range of gender expressions and otherworldly personas that regularly pop up on the Oasis stage. These performers back up an exquisite sense of style with just as much substance, and use drag to tell stories with personal and societal importance. It’s safe to say the High Princx Pageant numbers will be more than just sparkly.
The pageant kicks off on Jan. 22, and the opening night will feature three categories: Creative Presentation: Magic!, Question and Answer and one-on-one lip sync battles judged by Dida Ritz (who appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 4). Drag performers Bionka Simone, Nicki Jizz, Leigh Crow and Trixxie Carr will judge the contestants on the 22nd, and the competition continues on Jan. 29 with judges Peaches Christ, performer and fashion designer-to-the-drag-stars Glamamore, San Francisco Democratic Party chair Honey Mahogany, Oasis owner D’Arcy Drollinger and Miss Rahni.
Kochina Rude, Lisa Frankenstein and Tito Soto are the hosts, and ticket information can be found on the Oasis website.