If you stepped into Bushwick’s club Three Dollar Bill this past Sunday, you would have sworn you had been transported to an extravagant holiday party thousands of miles away. And in a way, it was true!

While the hundreds of partygoers in attendance came from a multitude of different countries and cultures, all of them had one thing in common: They were all speaking Russian.

That’s because the event, DiscoTheQue, was born out of a desire to bring Russian-speaking members of the queer community together into a safe space, where they could celebrate their diversity and their queerness in total freedom.

Even in New York, queer people often face discrimination in the post-Soviet, Russian-speaking community, many of whom settled in south Brooklyn.

The first-of-its-kind holiday party for the Russian-speaking queer community was organized by queer collective WE Together.

WE Together was founded by Leo Allenby, a former Moscow gay club owner who was brutally attacked in Russia after leaving his own bar. Allenby immigrated to the United States three years ago to continue creating safe communities for the queer community in New York City.

Performer Scarlett La Queen. Photo: BK Reader

The organizers flew in stars from around the country and the world for the event, as well as brought in some of New York’s best-loved performers.

Moscow’s “Queen of Russian Drag” Zaza Napoli came from Moscow for the event, where she worked an adoring crowd and was inundated with roses.

Russian transgender superstar Scarlett La Queen traveled from Los Angeles to set the stage alight with her energy, evening taking her microphone to the crowd to belt out Russian ballads.

Chico Raro. Photo: BK Reader

Drag visionary Gioconda, local stars The Dragon Sisters, ethereal Kazakh artist Ellara, up-and-coming singer Viktor and Colombian-born star-in-the-making Chico Raro also lit up the stage with their performances, before DJs Ivan Vasiliev, Anya Ample and Badimir took the party into the early morning.

Check out the video for more from the event.

Jessy Edwards

Jessy Edwards is a writer based in Bushwick. Originally from New Zealand, she has written for the BBC, Rolling Stone, NBC New York, CNBC and her hometown newspaper, The Dominion Post, among others.

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