By Barbare Sturua

It’s more than just a viewing party; it’s more than just cocktails; it’s more than just a performance; it’s more than just an electrifying Drag show and bright makeup! You might ask – what more is there? There’s an endless horizon of liberation and individualism. Standing in a crowd full of confident and exuberant audience members, it suddenly made sense where the title of the cocktail brand HOUSEOFLOVE came from. The room was filled with love, towards one another, towards themselves, and towards those on stage hosting the viewing party – three Drag queens who owned the stage and made the crowd giggle, dance, laugh, shout, and snap. 

HOUSEOFLOVE is an outgrowth of the worldwide entertainment sensation, RuPaul’s Drag Race, in collaboration with World of Wonder, a global network that has earned 36 Emmys and inspired two Oscars. The company specializes in creating documentaries with a key focus on LGBTQ+ topics.

On April 19, 2024, I went to the Arlo Hotel in Williamsburg. From the moment I got out of the car, I stepped into an avant-garde world, standing in front of an urban, chic hotel with people lined up waiting to get in, wearing bold, vibrant, shiny outfits that immediately made me think, “I want to party here”.

RuPaul continues to create a liberating space for all and, more specifically, celebrates Drag culture and the Queer community. Launching this cocktail brand in 2022 adds to creating a space that reshapes pop culture and opens up people’s minds. A drink with summery flavors, in small shiny, pink, and green cans just makes you want to hold it like an accessory and makes you feel like you are part of something larger.

Whether it’s RuPaul’s music reshaping pop culture since the 90s – a fusion of dance and campy glam, filled with empowering messages of self-confidence and acceptance – or sixteen seasons of Drag Race that have become a religion, it’s clear that RuPaul has become a symbol for the Queer community of authenticity, self-expression, and inspiration. The room was filled with an audience ranging from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, proving that RuPaul’s influence is timeless. This was further evident as the audience pulsated with energy, growing louder with applause, fan snapping, and laughter.

From the front row to the back, each individual had a spark in their eyes to witness a radiant performance, whether on stage or the large screens on the walls around the venue, eagerly waiting to reveal the winner of Season 16 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Nymphia Wind snatched her well-deserved crown, dedicating it to her motherland Taiwan, and the audience erupted in excitement and joy. You could also see some sad faces of those cheering for Sapphira Cristál, but in the end, regardless of who takes the crown, it’s a win-win seeing 2000 people looking up, staring at the screens with lightened-up eyes, celebrating Drag, a beautiful form of art and self-expression that has fought its way for recognition for decades.

HOUSEOFLOVE hosts viewing parties at venues across NY, NJ, LA, Chicago, and Vegas. If you hear of one close to you, don’t miss out. After this experience I have to face the challenge of not ever wanting to watch the Drag Race alone at home. I want to attend more parties and share this sea of emotions with this welcoming and dynamic community unlike any other.

Tickets HERE

Cocktails HERE