We are at Caribbean Social Club in Williamsburg; a tiny spot where you can feel and find all the diverse lifestyles of Brooklyn in one space. We got together with one of the queer personalities of Brooklyn nightlife scene: West Dakota and she is telling us the insights of her Brooklyn, New York.

Give us some clues about West Dakota?

A drag queen and artist based in Brooklyn. My works spans from performance/queer nightlife to modeling and much more. This past year I walked in NYFW, appeared in major publications, and performed nationally… All in lipstick and heels.

How is West Dakota different than Dakota?

West is an extension of myself. I started doing drag as a way of giving myself permission to do things I felt like I wasn’t supposed to do. Out of drag I’m more introverted and a bit less sparkly.

You also make your own costumes. Did you get training for that?

I haven’t had any formal training. I started sewing in high school on my mother’s sewing machine by watching YouTube tutorials. I studied art in school and found myself making clothes in all my art classes.

What does Brooklyn mean to you?

Brooklyn has given me a level of comfort to explore who I am through drag. For me it’s home; a place where you can feel comfortable just being yourself. The drag community here is less concerned with adhering to rules of drag than other scenes. There’s a lot of focus on authenticity and individualism.

What is your biggest fear when you are performing?

Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.

What inspires your drag the most?

Drag for me is about telling stories. Inspiration can come from anywhere. A color, a shoe, a song. I love taking something small and building a character and story around it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

When I graduated from school 2 years ago I had no idea I would be doing what I am doing now. Everything happened very organically. I don’t want to force anything. For now I’m continuing to make my art and seeing what opportunities come my way… I have been fantasizing about having a car.

Photography by Burcu Karademir