Sergio Castillo (@dignanyc)


In any society, it is highly important to have voices that disrupt the traditional heteronormative ideals of life that shape how we live. In the LGBTQ+ community, drag queens play a very important role in providing that voice. A lot of people question why someone would dress as a member of the opposite sex, here it is important to distinguish between a drag queen and a trans person. Drag queens show their female persona, which is often made to look more dramatic and exaggerated, and the goal is never to look like a woman but rather an exaggeration. The goal behind drag is for it to be a way through which people can show the side of their female persona and has an incredibly rich history in the LGBTQ+ community.

Drag Queens have been one of the main symbols of disruption from these gender ideals completely absorbed in society. In American media, drag queens have gone from being depicted as the butt of the jokes in 1930s comedy acts to now being enjoyed by almost everyone when they would have been considered gravely offensive until around 1970s.

Digna is one such personality. She is based in New York City and is a Filipino American drag queen who lives in New York City. Both in and out of drag, she is celebrated for her successful shows, appearances, and parties. She also has a huge following, both online and offline, with her Instagram having almost ten thousand followers. Being as well-known as she is for her drag and appearances, it is of no surprise that she also is extremely famous outside of drag. She is well-known for being a local personality and has had all kinds of people recognize her in different bars or restaurants all over the city.

For Digna, it now has been over ten years of her existence in the nightlife. However, outside of it, she is the creator of one of the biggest and the busiest Saturday night parties in the entire New York City named after her ‘The Digna Party’. Over the years, being known and recognized for all of the work that she has done, she has been featured in multiple publications over the course of time. Some of the recent ones from these include being featured on The Paper Magazine under their Fashion category.

Digna, along with many other New York City drag queens decided to take matters in their own hands after one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year, the annual Met Gala, was postponed due to the coronavirus. It was a five-hour shoot on the steps of the Met where numerous people stopped by to look at all the drag queens dressed up in their “QuarantQueen” looks. This shows that even if everything seemed to have been halted, there always is a way and this was an adaption showing new things and making a statement of not fitting in the traditional social norm. However, this did not mean that they did not adhere to the appropriate social distancing measures. They made sure that they all wore a mask during the shooting and kept in mind all the measures for public safety.

In the papers and online as well, Digna is known commonly with the names: Digna Shei, Digna NYC, and the Digna Party. It is also extremely helpful for anyone who searches for her to be directed to her Instagram page which usually pops up the first if one searches these terms. One can join her almost ten thousand followers by following her on her Instagram profile at the handle @dignanyc.

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