(Credit: Linda Simpson)
(Credit: Linda Simpson)

Rare photos from the ’90s reveal the life behind New York City’s Drag scene

During the late eighties and early nineties, there was a scene bubbling underground on the New York streets and is dominated by Drag Queens. In the ’80s the scene was a crucible of creativity and progressive thinking, by the ’90s they were bursting out into the mainstream.

We take a look through the lens of Linda Simpson, who so accurately capture this massive evolution, to take in one of the most important counter-cultures of New York City and beyond.

Simpson, a longtime drag personality and fan, moved to New York from Minnesota in the late ‘80s and quickly became enveloped by the East Village’s burning drag scene, experiencing drag’s rapidly progressing trajectory.

With a collection spanning from 1987 to 1996, Simpson provides a no-holds-barred look inside the New York drag scene as it was on the cusp of breaking through the conservative wall and finding the population’s spotlight.

With several exhibitions in the last few years showcasing this unabashed view of some of the biggest icons in the scene, if you get the chance to see Simpson’s ‘The Drag Explosion’ exhibit you’d be a fool to miss it.

Take a look below with images from The Drag Explosion.

(All images in this article have been sourced from The Drag Explosion exhibition)

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