A capacity crowd of nearly 600 people saw Gigi Gabor win the 2020 Miss Blackstones Drag Queen Pageant at Port City Music Hall on Saturday night. The annual contest was moved from its tiny namesake gay bar to a larger venue this year due to so many people being turned away at the door in 2019.
With thriving scenes in Portland, Ogunquit, Augusta, Waterville, Bangor and Bar Harbor, drag is coming out of the shadows and into the mainstream. This year’s contest, hosted by Blackstones — Maine’s oldest gay bar — isn’t even the largest in the state. That title goes to the annual University of Southern Maine’s Royal Majesty Drag Show, which draws closer to 700 people every spring.
“Drag is finally cool,” said Cherry Lemonade, Miss Blackstones 2019 winner. “We used to be doing it in underground bars, late at night, washing it off our faces before we left the venue so we wouldn’t get our asses kicked on the way home.”