Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City
*The Millions Most Anticipated List of 2023*
*A Vogue Best LGBTQ+ Book of 2023*
"Deeply researched and featuring a cast of characters who can truly be described as fabulous, Glitter and Concrete is urban history on fire." --Thomas Dyja, author of New York, New York, New York
An intimate, evocative history of drag in New York City exploring its dynamic role, from the Jazz Age to Drag Race, in queer liberation and urban life
From the lush feather boas that adorned early female impersonators to the sequined lip syncs of barroom queens to the drag kings that have us laughing in stitches, drag has played a vital role in the creative life of New York City. But the evolution of drag in the city--as an art form, a community and a mode of liberation--has never before been fully chronicled.
Now, for the first time, journalist and drag historian Elyssa Maxx Goodman unearths the dramatic, provocative untold story of drag in New York City in all its glistening glory. Goodman ducks beneath the velvet ropes of Harlem Renaissance balls, examines drag's crucial role in the Stonewall Uprising, traces drag's influence on disco and punk rock as well as its unifying power during the AIDS crisis and 9/11, and culminates in the era of RuPaul's Drag Race.
Informed by meticulous research and archival work, as well as original interviews with high-profile performers, Glitter and Concrete is a significant contribution to queer history and an essential read for anyone curious about the story that echoes beneath the heels.