Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has quickly established herself as an influential, busy and vocal member of Congress since joining the House in January. But even AOC needs a break, and what better way to rest and relax than in the audience of a drag show?
Well, that’s exactly what happened Friday night, when the congresswoman was spotted in the audience of Bartschland Follies, a drag and burlesque show at the McKittrick Hotel in New York City. Produced by nightlife legend Susanne Bartsch, the cabaret-style show features many LGBTQ performers — including drag queens, drag kings and burlesque dancers.
Drag king Murray Hill was in Friday night’s show.
“None of us in the cast were feeling too patriotic this July 4th weekend, but her presence alone gave us all a much needed dose of hope,” Hill told NBC news of the Ocasio-Cortez appearance. “She reignited the fire that’s burning in all of us. She stayed and watched the entire show starring New York’s finest misfits, nightlife creatures, rabble-rousers, queer icons. She then got on stage and said, ‘Be who you are. You are beautiful. You are accepted.’ Mic drop.”
Performer Joey Arias shared video of Ocasio-Cortez on stage. Arias, who can also be seen in the video, paired the clip with the caption, “I was gagging! She’s amazing. The place went wild! Chanting her name!”
This isn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez has been public about her obsession with drag. In January 2018, she took to Twitter to share her jealousy that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was to be a guest judge on an upcoming episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 3.
When a fan asked if she was a fan of the show, she responded: “I’ve been a huge fan for years.”
Then in May 2019, Ocasio-Cortez took to social media to mourn when RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 contestant Nina West was eliminated.
On Instagram Stories, Ocasio-Cortez shared: “No spoilers, but to the queen that went home this week, just know how important you are to the bigger picture, and I’m so proud of you and your fundamental kindness and goodness.”
She added, “I’m really looking forward to watching you grow. You’re amazing, and I’m sad, but I’m excited for you.”
On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez posed for photos with many of the cast members from the show, which takes place weekly at the McKittrick Hotel in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
Murray Hill told NBC News, “She’s genuine, authentic, fearless and outspoken. She’s the real deal.”