Every RuPaul’s Drag Race queen who enters the Werk Room is judged by three things: their look, their entrance line, and their last name. Many of the drag queens represent a drag house (sometimes spelled as ‘haus) or a drag family. That’s why we’ve seen a few drag queens with similar last names, like Season 15 winner Sasha Colby who is a drag mother to Season 14’s Kerri Colby.
It’s not necessary to use the same last name as your drag house—like RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 4 winner Monét X Change from the House of Davenport—but the tradition hails from ballroom culture.
Drag Houses Originated in Ballroom Culture
In the 80s, Black and Latino members of the LGBTQ+ community formed an underground pageant scene for drag queens. Unlike the more mainstream drag pageants, they also aimed to include transgender drag queens and queer people from minority races. This evolved into what is known as ballroom culture, and people joined in “walking” competitions as featured on Pose and Paris Is Burning.
And in the grand tradition of ballroom, competitors walked for houses they belonged to. These houses—called drag houses by drag kings and queens—were formed out of necessity for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The house consisted of their chosen family, who gives them the acceptance, support, and love that they don’t necessarily receive from their biological families and society. A house usually has a mother and/or a father who takes in members as their children.
“From the House of Hall!” and Other Drag Houses in RuPaul’s Drag Race
RuPaul’s Drag Race has introduced us to many drag houses. Some are considered to be legends in the community, while others are still up-and-coming names in the drag scene. Drag queens have their own identity and style, but the influence their drag house has on them is recognizable. It’s why makeovers highlighting ‘drag family resemblance’ is a staple challenge on the show!
House of Davenport x Haus of Edwards
Many Davenports have shantayed and sashayed in RuPaul’s Drag Race, and a few even took home the crown. Similarly, several members of the Haus of Edwards established successful careers as RuGirls.
But what many people don’t know is that the two drag houses are sister houses as their drag mothers, Kelexis Davenport and Laken Edwards, are drag daughters of the late Coco. Though not part of the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, the legacy of these drag queens carried on gracefully in the show.
Kennedy Davenport, Manila Luzon, Jiggly Caliente, Honey Davenport, Raja O’Hara, Miz Cracker, and the late Sahara Davenport come from the House of Davenport. Winners Monét and Bob the Drag Queen are also part of Kelexis’ dragline. And representing the Haus of Edwards in RuPaul’s Drag Race is dancing queen Alyssa Edwards, whose drag daughters include Gia Gunn, Shangela, Laganja Estranja, Vivienne Pinay, Cheryl Hole, and Plastique Tiara. They inherited Alyssa’s ability to dance and her love for pageantry.
House of Hall
The Midwestern drag scene is alive thanks in part to the House of Hall. They’ve seen a couple of drag queens in RuPaul’s Drag Race, who have each become iconic for their fierce fashion and entertainment.
Dida Ritz from Season 4, for instance, became well-known for her lip sync to Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” which is considered the best lip sync of her season. Mercedes Iman Diamond and Kahmora Hall, who is a drag mother to Soju, are also proud members of the Hall dynasty.
Kahmora brought to-die-for outfits made by the legendary designer Bob Mackie. In her Phenomenon verse, she gave a shoutout to her drag house with the lyrics “From the house of hall! Chicago’s Mackie doll, serving beads and face.” But the drag house’s biggest name yet is Milwaukee’s Jaida Essence Hall, who went on to snatch the crown in Season 12.
House of Methyd
If you’re a quirky queen, you might fit into the House of Methyd. Right now, there are two members of the drag house that made it into RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 12 finalist Crystal Methyd and her drag sister/daughter and Season 14 finalist Daya Betty.
The two drag queens are unmistakably from the same drag house, from the way they paint to their unconventional drag styles. The more soft-spoken Crystal’s style is like a dragged-up Freddie Krueger—a look she actually wore to the runway. Meanwhile, Daya, who was more assertive in the Werk Room, has a more hyperfeminine drag persona. Though they didn’t win their season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Crystal Methyd and Daya Betty are breakout stars and will likely be back for an All-Stars season.
Haus of Aja
As with any family, chosen or not, there is drama. Not everything in drag is as colorful as Crystal Methyd’s and Daya Betty’s runway looks. And the Haus of Aja has the most public falling out among its members.
The drag house introduced RuPaul’s Drag Race fans to some of the biggest names in New York’s drag scene: Aja, Dahlia Sin, and Kandy Muse. Drag mother Aja didn’t do so well in Season 9 but had her ru-demption in All-Stars Season 3. Her more mature personality and talent for voguing, another ballroom tradition, showed the fans a new side of Aja.
Aja’s drag daughters joined the show in latter seasons. Dahlia Sin appeared in Season 12 but was eliminated early. Kandy Muse, a runner-up in Season 13, was just announced as one of the drag queens in RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 8.
The three queens once belonged to the Haus of Aja, but when their drag mother briefly quit the art of drag, Kandy and Dahlia had to regroup as The Doll Haus.
House of Avalon
The hottest name in LA’s drag scene is House of Avalon. Though they prefer to be called a collective of LGBTQ+ artists and entertainers, they’re home to two legends in RuPaul’s Drag Race: Gigi Goode and Symone.
Gigi lip-synced against Jaida Essence Hall and Crystal Methyd in the Season 12 finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race, while Symone won the race in Season 13. The two drag queens are also known to design wigs and outfits together, which is a good representation of the kind of sisterhood you might find in a drag house. Both known for their incredible fashion sense and lip-syncing abilities, Gigi and Symone represent the House of Avalon well.