I must first give credit where credit is due, and my title comes from the beautiful drag queen, and one of the most popular ones at that, RuPaul. Ru has been doing drag, and been in the spotlight since the early 90s.
Now I have not always been keen to liking drag queens. When I had first started going out into the gay community at their bars when I was the shy age of 17 (sorry mom!), using a fake ID from a friend of mine, I not only didn’t understand it but thought it was a very weird thing to do. Who would someone who is a man want to actively dress like a woman? This concept was so hard for me to accept for my very conservative upbringing. It took me many a times attending drag shows that got me to experience the art behind it. It is in fact an art, and for almost all drag queens they have no desire to even become a woman, it’s for a show and for a fun time! I am absolutely in awe at some of the transformations that these drag queens do, going from their male persona to their female persona. Of course my love for drag grew even more after watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
However, for most of society and sadly even in the very community in which we are a part of discrimination occurs. People do not accept something in which we do not understand, and for most (like I use to) do not understand the point of drag. Drag poses a threat. Drag queens act against the gender norm that society has created and this makes people who follow these norms feel vulnerable and threatened. Most of society feels as though men who dress as woman are committing a huge western culture taboo. The real issue that society has with drag queens is we live in a heteronormative culture where male dominance is desired.
Drag poses a threat to men in general. Men do not understand how another man could not understand his masculinity. Some even going to the extreme of being disgusted by the fact that a man at any point would want to be a woman. They do not like the fact that drag queens take away form the norm that men are tough and strong.
Drag also poses a threat to woman as well. Drag queens are embracing the gender norm of what it means to be a woman. Some are considered more feminine than people who are actually born with female organs. Some woman have even commented that drag queens set unrealistic standards when it comes to looking like a woman. They feel threatened because these males are more feminine and beautiful then they themselves are.
Sadly, drag queens also pose a threat to the gay community. Drag queens are softened associated with the symbol for indicating someone as gay. ‘Dragging’ has long been stereotyped to direct attention towards homosexual men. But it’s good to note that not every drag queen is gay.
As a whole drag has been often criticized for the way they dress and express themselves. It also may discourage a young adult who is confused with their biological sex and gender that is associated with it from seeking out their true identity.
This made me sought out after some drag queens that I know in the community here in Indianapolis, and surrounding areas. Through this interview [attached] I was able to ask them a series of questions in which to better understand their perspective. This was in no way an attack on them or their drag persona, just a better way for me to be able to understand the drag culture because I know little to nothing about it. As you’ll read, most drag queens were not interested in conforming to the gender norms, but rather identifying with their own idea of gender and who they are. The drag queen community has consistently been fighting issues such as poverty, discrimination, and stereotypes. What most people don’t realize is that drag queens do not care what the rest of society thinks of them.
In conclusion, drag queens sole purpose is not to go out and try and identify to the societal social norms. They do not do it to seek attention. They are not freaks. They do not pose any threat. They are more so searching for a gender identity that they are comfortable with. They perform to raise money, they perform to have fun and create an experience, and they do it for themselves. Please read the attached interviews I conducted with some drag queens that I know, so you can see each of their own personal views. Drag is what you make it, you can be super feminine or you can be a mix between feminine and masculine. Drag can be anything you make it to be.
Enjoy, and much love;