Women Doing Female Drag. We Support Their Empowerment, But ...
Before the era of Ru Paul's Drag Race, Drag-U, Un-Tucked, and the avalanche of national tours, Queens at Sea cruises and everything else that has blossomed from mama Ru's insertion into popular culture, many of us knew about drag from a local whole in the wall bar.
One of the earliest drag shows I attended was in the early 2000s at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. It was a drag competition hosted by the student services of the school. I was astonished as to how well attended event, but I learned it had a long history and was such a large event, a ballroom had to be rented out in one of the areas larger hotels. Fun was definitely had by all, but I personally wasn't interested in the King competition. Instead, I was more drawn to and impressed with the Queen side of the night.
When it comes to drag, I feel I am more of a traditionalist of the art. Personally, I find myself enjoying more the cis male drag stars strutting their stuff and doing their thang. Do I enjoy watching cis women dressing up as men and performing? No. Do I enjoy watching artist born male that have had breast implants doing drag? Not so much.
For me the art of drag is going from one extreme to another, going from male to female and being fabulous, creative, and amazing. Some of my favorite drag shows have been amazing experiences at the 801 Bourbon Bar in Key West, Florida. They were umpteen times better than the Season 8 RPDR tour I saw here in Fort Lauderdale and these Key West girls were doing two shows a night.
What started my brain turning once again on how I felt about drag was this recent post in the New York Post.
Regina Oldham-Licata, aka Cream Victoria, is a biological woman who does drag. While “lady drag” is a growing trend in the queer community, Regina was nervous about potential backlash. “I was a little apprehensive to do female drag,” she told The Post at Rockbar, a dive bar on Christopher Street. “Would I offend the male gay community? That is definitely their turf.” Produced for the New York Post by Joseph Jaafari
More power to lady drag performer Cream Victoria, but it's not the drag I want to see. If someone was planning on going to a Drag King competition or show, would they want to see me as a cis male on stage in a nicer suit than I wear to work and lip syncing? Well if you did, I would thank you for your support and acceptance to be on that stage, but I wouldn't personally be calling it drag. It would be lip syncing in a suit, costume ... different, but still the same male outer shell with just a little more fabulousness and empowerment. Do we now define drag as solely an empowering "changing of the garb" event no matter how you started off and end up?
What is drag? Is it a man "dressed as a girl" only? Or is it someone changing their outer appearance to give them greater confidence, to create a different persona, to be someone they may not be in the real world?
I'm not going to tell 'Merika what the definition(s) of drag is/are, like I cannot define for everyone art, the ideal relationship, pornography, etc. But I do know what kind of art I like, the type of relationships I desire, and the type of pornography I enjoy watching. I'm all for monogamy and it's what I gravitate toward, but I'm not going to poo poo my friends' open relationships. So as for the drag I enjoy, I enjoy cis men with little to no plastic parts dressing up as women. Do I detest any other type of drag? Heck no, and detest is a strong word. But I'll probably be at the bar getting a drink if I see that isn't a breast plate or pushed up man parts in the top of that strapless dress.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this post belong solely to the author, and not necessarily Instinct Magazine.