the grand compendium of drag queen names – gay 101

There was a time when…

That’s the way most boring stories start that our Elders tell to the youngsters. In this case, it’s a story of the origins of drag queen names.

Way back in the dark ages of the 20th Century, after female impersonators and drag queens of the legitimate stage became drag queens of the illigitimate stage, these performers developed humorous stage names.

In the beginning (back in pre-vaudeville days), these women went by their male street names. Mr. John Doe and his amazing illusion, performing as a woman, etc.

After that, the characters became more comedic and slapstick, and took on stage names to match. Not all female impersonators went pastiche, and some kept names like Jackie James, etc., that were interestingly asexual. They could go either way. Street or stage.

By the later years of the 20th Century, those humorous names were a dying breed and the performers took on names of what could be real (or realistic) female names, often picking up high-ritz commercial product names like like Chanel Thompson, Mercedes Lee, or similar pageant girl names. (Google it to read about what pageant girls are.) Our brief history on this page is far too condensed and you should read more on the topic, if interested. Please, no hate mail from queer historians.

The Database

What follows is what we called The Grand Compendium of Drag Queen Names, a list that some of our folks here made up over the years, well before the advent of the popular culture drag queens, RuPaul and her racing queens, etc. There’s an interesting overlap here in that one of the names on the list – from the 1980s – pre-dates the name chosen by one such drag racing performer who went on to fame and glory.

So keep in mind that these are a collection of some of the more humorous alternatives when picking out a stage name, in that grand tradition of the self-demuring ever-friendly (at least on stage) drag performer of the late 20th C.

Warning! – some of these names will only make sense if you have read a book or two, seen a movie or two, or generally do something other than live on Grindr and Instagram. If you don’t get it with one (or more) of the names, don’t worry: someone else will.

Please feel free to add your own additions to the list in the comments below.



Ophelia Balzac

Helen Bedd

Helvetica Bold

Ima Bottoms

Wyonna Buttplug

Kitten Caboodle

Chu Mi

Sommer Clearance

Anita Cocktail

Aida Cox

Ophelia Cumming

Flotilla DeBarge

Sue de Fed

Rhoda Dendrin

Eva Destruction

Formica Dinette

Fonda Dix

Natalie Drest

Venus Envy

Trixona Futon

Crystal Geiser

Anita Goodwin

Polly Gripp

Virginia Hamm

Marian Haste

Ima Hurtin

Dora Jarr

Anne Jyna

Anita Klipboard

Frieda Lay

Hedda Lettis

Gina Lotramin

Anita Mann

Ivana Martini

Marcia Mello

Sharon Needles

Judy O’Christian

Patty O’Furniture

Trudy O’Mann

Mae Oui

Eileen Over

Sarah Belle Palsey

Helda Paye

Safonda Peters

Voluptua Pontoon

Ophelia Rass

Amanda B. Reckonwith

Barbara Rella

Anna Rexic

Sharon Sharealike

Sandy Sheets

Ida Slapter

Rachel Slurr

Mona Stett-Sevin

Rachel Tension

Virginia Tonic

Ivana Topman

Iona Traylor

Lisa Traylor

Regina Upright

Alotta Vagina

Amily Faye Values

Ginger Vitus

Claire Voyant

Kamana Wanalaya

Helen Wheals

Bichon Wheelz

Barb Wire

Rosemary Zbaybe




Mr. Man

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