Meet Ginger Ladd, Rockaway’s “Queen of Queens” and full-time drag performer

Ginger Ladd (@gingerladd) is an NYC-based drag queen, entertainer, and “Rockaway’s Queen of Queens,” who credits drag for helping shape both a personal and professional identity. 

Ginger has a long history with drag, beginning in San Francisco. “I stepped into drag a long time ago, and I was just a different person,” Ginger tells In The Know, “I just wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.” 

Even though Ginger feels at home performing drag, not everyone is accepting of the art form. While Ginger’s family-friendly performances have become a New York City sensation, he reveals that he still receives pushback from people to this day. However, when dealing with critics, Ginger takes a compassionate approach. “People want to polarize themselves,” Ginger explains, “And for those of them that just will never accept me, I think it’s important for me to actually do this for them too.” 

Growing up with aspirations to be a drag performer was a challenging experience for Ginger. “I was kicked out of my house when I was young,” Ginger tells In The Know. Like any child, Ginger longed for his family’s acceptance. “I spent a long time trying to regain the love of my family,” Ginger recalls. Through grieving the loss of the relationship he wanted with his parents, Ginger found gratitude and fulfillment in unapologetically living his life for himself, his husband, and their two kids. 

When Ginger met his husband, Mike, “or as he goes by now, Mr. Ladd,” while on vacation in New York, he wasn’t performing drag at the time, but the objective was never far from his mind. “I couldn’t keep this in any longer,” Ginger tells In The Know, “And I brought out Ginger with my husband three or four years ago for the first time.” 

Ginger not only sees drag as a profession but also as an opportunity to explore parts of his identity while sharing his values and passions through his art. “If you lead with love, if you lead with gratitude, then your show flows from a place of gratitude and love,” Ginger tells In The Know. “That’s what’s projected to the world.” 

This perspective has served Ginger well. “I’ve gone from sneaking off to a bar wearing a wig and some lip gloss to having a one-woman show at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.” Today, Ginger’s family-friendly drag show is a smash hit amongst people of all ages. When performing, “the biggest thrill that I get is seeing the absolute love and acceptance in the kids’ eyes,” Ginger tells In The Know. 

In fact, Ginger’s inner child isn’t far from Ginger’s mind when preparing for a show. Ginger often thinks of himself at 13 years old, sitting at his mother’s vanity and putting on her lipstick. “When I sit at my mirror, sometimes I see him, especially when I do my lips,” Ginger tells In The Know. “It makes me smile now to know that I’m in control of my destiny and my life. It’s for him.”

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