In a city where the Cuyahoga River demarcates east from west, so too has Cleveland’s LGBTQ nightlife been divided over the years, from the plethora of hotspots on the west side to the veritable desert of evening entertainment on the east. 

Before “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Before “To Wong Foo.” And, yes hunty, before “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Far before the pop-culture obsession with watching those padded hips sashay away, drag queens have been working the stages for decades. From hole-in-the-wall gay dive bars to main stage pageants to bachelorette parties in random straight bars, there’s a generation of grand dames who have paved the path for current performers.