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Capturing The Soul of Drag Through His Lens: Aaron Jay Young’s Queen

Aaron Jay Young

Aaron Jay Young has spent over a decade observing life’s intricacies through his lens. More than a profession, his work is a calling—a profound fusion of personal experiences, pain, trauma, and the triumphant journey towards self-forgiveness and compassion.

He moved part time to the desert 3 years ago and splits his time between Palm Springs and Los Angeles.

Young’s photography is a testament to the transformative power of art, transcending the mere act of taking pictures. His approach is a celebration of vulnerability, an acknowledgment of the shared humanity that binds us all. Through his lens, he crafts a sanctuary where pain and joy coexist, and where the true essence of a person emerges without judgment.

For Aaron human connection is at the heart of his artistry. He recognizes the immense impact one person’s story can have, inspiring courage and purpose in others. “We’re inspired through other people’s courage,” he says passionately. “One person living an empowered life of purpose inspires everybody else to find their own purpose and just stand in their own power.”

His lighting is simply gorgeous. And more importantly he seems to make his subjects completely` at ease.

In collaboration with Padlock Publishing, Aaron will launch “Queen,” an exquisite coffee table book celebrating drag royalty and diversity. This visually stunning book is set to release on December 8th , delves deep into the enchanting world of drag, capturing portraits of over 125 extraordinary drag queens from around the globe.

Young, celebrated for his work on Logo’s iconic show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, brings his expertise to the forefront in “Queen,” transcending conventional beauty norms. Through his lens, the book showcases the artistry of drag — its beauty, elegance, humor, and, most importantly, the unique personalities of its performers. Each photograph is a testament to the expansive and diverse drag industry, celebrating the creativity that resides within each participant.

The passion behind this project is palpable. Young expressed his awe for the featured queens, stating, “I’m beyond thrilled to share these incredible moments with the world. I’m in awe of each one of the Queens featured within these pages and grateful they stepped in front of my lens.” This enthusiasm shines through the pages of “Queen,” making it a vibrant and authentic celebration of drag culture.

A portion of the book’s profits from pre-orders will go to the ACLU Foundation’s “Drag Defense Fund.” This initiative signifies the project’s commitment to combating restrictive anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, reflecting the book’s core values of social change and inclusivity.

Having previously captured the magic behind RuPaul’s Drag Race, Young’s transition into the literary space with “Queen” marks a significant milestone. His collaboration with Padlock Publishing, a visionary entity founded in 2017, amplifies their shared mission: to enhance representation and inclusivity in literature.

Readers and art enthusiasts can embark on a captivating journey into the mesmerizing world of drag by pre-ordering “Queen” at This extraordinary celebration of diversity, creativity, and the power of individuality promises to leave a lasting impression, inviting everyone to witness the brilliance of drag royalty through the lens of Aaron Jay Young.

More of Aarons work can be seen at

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