Community Conversation > Drag talk

What makes a Drag King/Queen?

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To those who do Drag, both Kings and Queens, what is your reason for doing it? What is your gender identity? (I know Drag and gender are not the same thing.) What do you consider to be Drag, vs. Crossdressing and vs. Transgender?

I think I know some of the answers, but a topic like this might be beneficial to have!

I did drag for a hot minute about ten years ago. I was in complete awe of my history professor, who was also a gorgeous queen who lip-synced amazingly well. There was sort of an amateur segment in the university's yearly drag show, and I did it just on those rare occasions. I did Great Big Sea, the Village People, and Frank Sinatra.

It's something I've thought of going back to, but my social anxiety has gotten progressively worse since there, and there's no way I could take the stage.

The other thing is . . . I don't think I was particularly good at it! I have two left feet and a terrible memory for lyrics. I was not destined for the spotlight.

Drag has little to do with gender identity.  It's just a form of entertainment where people outrageously crossdress with the caveat that you know that (or at least wonder if) it's part of the act.

Tessa James:
I am fortunate to have many friends that identify as gay and lesbian who do drag.  At least one man "recognizes more than a female persona" and thinks of it as his inner female spirit but does not consider himself transgender.  I heard that similar response from a woman who occasionally does drag for fun who wishes she had been born male but also does not consider herself transgender.  Last week some friends did another drag skit with a new "girl."  When so many of us try so had to align expression with gender it was amazing that he put on a wig and was immediately passable with his pretty face! :D

Interesting spectrum of people who can play with diverse gender expression without the labels we share.

Gothic Dandy:
An old friend of mine was a drag king for several years before transitioning to male permanently. Recently, I've been looking into it as a way to explore my identity in a way I can't in daily life, because I will never pass as male (without HRT) no matter what. I've been doing this for awhile and I've tried :/

I've also read about people who do it because they couldn't transition and it's the only way they can stay in touch with that side of themselves.

I don't think it's possible to create well-defined categories of "drag" vs. "crossdresser" vs. "transgender" without excluding somebody. As this thread shows, people who do drag can be of various gender identities depending on the person. But I do think that drag is a performance art, whereas crossdressing is just the act of wearing clothing that was made for a body whose sex is the opposite of your assigned sex.


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