5 Of Korea’s Hottest Drag Queens — With And Without Makeup

Who is your favorite?

South Korea has opened up to more LGBTQ+ representation in recent years, but queer people in the country are still battling prejudices. It was only recently that a gay couple got recognized as legal partners by a South Korean court. Though the ruling didn’t imply that the court recognized same-sex marriages, many saw it as a hopeful start.

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This ruling also gave perspective to how preliminary LGBTQ+ visibility is in the country. So how much space is there in Korea for something so explicitly queer as drag?

Though society is just warming up to the idea of diversity in gender, sexuality, and self-expression, there are some drag queens who have already made a name for themselves in the country. Here are the top 5 drag queens from South Korea, with and without makeup, that will make you appreciate the art of drag even more!

Nana Youngrong Kim

Nana Kim is one of the top drag artists in the country, who was also featured in MAMAMOO‘s “Hip” music video. They also collaborated with Solar for a YouTube video where she learned drag makeup!

During an interview with Yonhap News, Nana stated that drag is the same as painting a work of art to them. Looking at their pictures with and without drag makeup, it is clear that the statement is true to its every word.

Charlie Nistella

A quick scroll down Charlie’s Instagram will reveal their inclination towards looks that are more noir. But that doesn’t mean they are limited to a dark pallet only. Charli also mentioned in a post that they don’t believe in the binaries of life in drag and out of drag. Instead, they are more comfortable in embodying the spectrum as a dynamic phenomenon and often mixes the “non-drag” elements with drag to create an artistic self-expression.

Choi Friday

Choi’s versatility is unmatched when it comes to drag makeup. From soft looks to glam to abstract, their ability to morph into a completely new human being every time is bound to leave people in awe.


SERENA is a transgender drag queen, a comedian, and a social media influencer. They also featured in MAMAMOO’s “Hip” music video with Nana Kim.

In her daily life and non-drag related content, SERENA maintains a clean and simple look, making their face stand out with a girl-next-door charm. But once that drag makeup goes on, the transformation is unbelievably glamorous!


This list wouldn’t quite be complete without mentioning Bambi. Apart from being one of the most noted drag artists in South Korea, she is also a producer and a videographer. Bambi started NEON MILK, an LGBTQ+ culture collective based in Seoul in 2017, that has grown into a safe space for creatives over time. When Bambi isn’t busy serving extravagant looks, one after another, she is advocating for drag queens and their culture to free it from prejudices in Korean society.

With South Korean society slowly opening up to the idea of queer identities, drag queens are hopeful to get more visibility in mainstream representation. Last year, in November, RuPaul’s Drag Race announced its expansion in Asia, which includes South Korea. Though the exact dates for the production are yet to be announced, people are already eagerly waiting to see what the country’s artists would bring to the table.

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