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Drag queens. What’s up with that?


Yeah! What is up with that? I never really got the allure of drag when I was living on the straight side of the fence, and guess what – I still don’t. I’ve been to drag shows now and then, and I’ll admit sometimes one simply has to admire the artifice – but, really, aren’t we gay men? Which means we love – men? What’s the deal with a man who gets all dolled up like a woman? Isn’t that what we left behind when we jumped the fence?

A puzzle.

And I do not pretend to have an answer here, guys. (You want a shin-kickin’, hair-pullin’ foot-stompin’ melee? Just try dropping the “definitive answer” on a subject like drag into the middle of a bunch a queens and see what happens.) I’m just offering some thoughts – like – from my own personal perspective. That’s it.

Thought 1: It’s a form of rebellion. For eons, it’s been unacceptable in most societies to gender-bend. Not that it never happened, but it went against the norm. Since the same societies have for eons put people like us in the abnormal category, why not push back a little – with gender-bending – just for the hell of it. As in: You want abnormal, honey? I’ll give you abnormal!

Thought 2: It’s flamboyant. And – to make a dicey blanket statement, here – as a group we are drawn to drama a little more than the average guy. Torch songs, four-inch heels and a mile-high beehive wig? That’s drama!

Thought 3: It’s a form of community. Who cares about why – the fact is, the main audience for drag is gay men. Wanna be really gay? A member of the club? Hang at drag shows. When I had been out for only a few months, I accepted a spur-of-the-moment invitation to go to a drag club here in Nashvegas with a couple of guys I had known for a long time. Good call. Too many drinks later ­– and way past my bedtime, of course – there came a moment when I realized I felt like one of the boys, and that felt really good.

Thought 4: By all means try it. You might like it. As you come into your new life, you owe it to yourself to get a good sampling of what’s on offer. If you’ve never been to a drag show, go to one. Or more. You might just love it. You might just turn into a drag queen yourself.  Who knows? Just because I’m not into it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be.

Which brings me to this  –

Thought 5: It’s about diversity. If we are to be honest as gay men, we must embrace diversity. You and I are different from most people. We are same-gender oriented. We come out because we want to live as we really are. I’d be on pretty shaky ground denying someone else’s desire to be different from my idea of the norm. So, to all you drag queens out there, I say: Rock on, ladies! Glue on those lashes, slap on that wig-hat, get out there on the runway and knock ’em dead. And, God bless you!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe Branham permalink
    06/28/2010 3:54 PM

    Honestly, I think it’s a combo of 1-3. Theater of the absurd. Trannys are different than drag queens for sure; drag is over the top parodies of cultural norms… and like a lot of things connected with the gay “community,” often very entertaining AND often very tiring. 😀

  2. 06/28/2010 4:02 PM

    You capture the ambiguity, and maybe the reason for some of my ambivalence, very nicely. Thanks for reading – and writing.



  1. To hell with cultural expectations «

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