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'How gorgeous! How fun!': Moscow drag queens defiant as LGBTQ law looms

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Oxana, who goes by the stage name of Okani performs during a drag show in a pub in Moscow on 13 November 2022. The gender-bending flamboyant entertainers risk becoming outlaws, as Russian lawmakers are on the verge of widening a package of notorious legislation from 2013 and was designed to shield children from various forms of what authorities deemed to be "gay propaganda". (Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP)
Oxana, who goes by the stage name of Okani performs during a drag show in a pub in Moscow on 13 November 2022. The gender-bending flamboyant entertainers risk becoming outlaws, as Russian lawmakers are on the verge of widening a package of notorious legislation from 2013 and was designed to shield children from various forms of what authorities deemed to be "gay propaganda". (Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

Backstage at a bar in Moscow, a troupe of drag queens surrounded by make-up palettes and sparkling costumes join hands before taking to the stage for what could be one of their last legal shows.

The mood is surprisingly upbeat at Draglesque Brunch, given they are facing new repressive legislation that could see their shows banned and the performers fined or potentially jailed.

"How gorgeous! How fun! The vibe is super warm...there's a river of mimosas flowing in there already. So my dears, let's enjoy today's wonderful brunch!" says the host, who goes by the stage name of Margot Mae Hunt.

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