Welcome, reader, to our most glamorous Best of Orlando® issue ever. Not only do you get to peruse a plethora of pages spotlighting Orlando's best and brightest across 10 categories, you also get to peep our photo shoots with true royalty, representatives from the City Beautiful's vibrant and creative drag community.
Our centerpiece Readers Poll was massive this year, with more categories and new faces than ever before — which should make for some lively conversations over the next few weeks — and our Writers' Picks are drawn from a veritable armada of our freelancers and staffers, who share some alternately erudite and tongue-in-cheek takes.
Just as, perhaps even most, important is this year's issue theme: Orlando's drag queens. Incredibly glamorous and even more resilient and courageous, they're weathering the storm of ignorance and hate emanating from Tallahassee and they're doing it with style. We've chosen a handful of stars, legends and up-and-comers to represent each category and strut their stuff on the printed (and online) page. Make no mistake: We love drag unabashedly, we salute these artists, and we encourage you (if you're 18 years old or above, eyeroll) to check out the performers we've featured and the multitudes of other worthies performing nightly all over this city.
CONTRIBUTORS: Jessica Bryce Young, Matthew Moyer, Daniel Rodriguez, Mauricio Murillo, Chloe Greenberg, J.D. Casto, Brian Costello, Kyle Eagle, Ida V. Eskamani, Rachel Gold, Kristin Howard, Bao Le-Huu, Faiyaz Kara, Seth Kubersky, Jim Leatherman, Matt Keller Lehman, Gabby Macogay, Richard Reep, Chris Tobar Rodriguez, Gabriel Rodriguez, Steve Schneider, McKenna Schueler, Nicolette Shurba, Ginger Wolfe Suarez, Eric Tegethoff, Rob Bartlett, Rick Andrews, Joe Frontel, Sam Serna, Jack Spatafora, Graham Jarrett, Jeff Kruse, Hollie Mahadeo, Kelsey Molina, Jerrica Schwartz, Addy Hudson, Miranda Stevens, Dan Winkler.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: CityArts for providing space for Mauricio "Crummy Gummy" Murillo to shoot all of our fabulous queens, and Enzian Theater (Aug. 23), Crooked Can Brewing Co. (Aug. 24), Tuffy's Bottle Shop & Lounge (Aug. 25) and Will's Pub (Aug. 27) for hosting our winners parties!