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Drag queens: the bridge between queer men and women

Is drag the ultimate bridge between queer men and women? And why are drag kings still not as mainstream as drag queens?
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As a fan of drag queens and the art of drag, I have always wondered: do other lesbians love drag as much as I do? Why aren’t there more drag kings?

As a loyal fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race and an avid stalker a fan of several drag queens on social media, it’s hard not to notice that the fans are mainly gay men. So why isn’t there a bridge between queer men and women when it comes to drag?

Lesbian Drag fans, are you out there?

I have tried time and time again to reach out and find others who, like me, feel like drag is the ultimate art form; a way to connect us all through music, dance and comedy. And, after hours of reading comments and Facebook posts, there really is only a few of us out there who have the same opinion as me about drag.

Why? Perhaps the majority of  lesbians just don’t feel that connected to most drag queens.

I get that it can be hard to have to go through the struggles and daily hurdles we as women have to go through to then see someone else portraying an exaggerated and over the top version of what it means to be a woman and take all the fame, credit and praise for it.

On the other hand, historically, drag has had a bigger gay following than lesbian one. As time passed, we drifted further apart until this day. But why hasn’t there a larger lesbian “fan-base” from the start?

And this leads me to my next question: where are all the drag kings?

Are the kings missing…or just not in sight?

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Perhaps it’s my mistake to think that the number of drag kings is much lower than the number of drag queens and perhaps, this is in fact a matter of visibility. There’s no America’s Next Top Drag King on TV, nor there is this big celebration of drag when it comes to women performing as men.

It is always seen as a dirty taboo if a woman deliberately lets go of her own femininity. So are we actually faced with a huge double-standard where femininity in a man is praised while masculinity in a woman is frowned upon?

Maybe our big break is still to arrive! Who’s to say that soon our own RuPaul will become a huge star and put drag kings back on the map. Perhaps, sooner rather than later drag kings will become as mainstream as drag queens!

Whether it happens tomorrow or 30 years from now, I am sure the day will come.

Until then, I will be binging Drag Race and stalking Adore Delano’s Instagram (seriously, I need some help).

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2 Comments

  • An says:

    Some ppl think that drag queens r stereotyping women..plus they are excessively ultra feminine – in a way that cis women cannot be bothered to do. Cis women often find stilettos painful to wear for example, plus ultra long hair is a pain to wash, dry and style. Ultra femme clothing is often not very practical or comfortable either. And cis women don’t usually want to be ultra bitchy either. Wheras drag queen performances are always extreme in extreme femininity to the point of parody. It’s strange cus real women historically fought for equal rights and to to not have to dress and act ultra femme, if they dnt want to. But queens really want to behave like that, it is a little strange to me personally, to try and understand. gay men can be sexist and misogynist sometimes. Gay men and lesbians are not necessarily natural allies. Some straight women adore gay men which is weird to some lesbians..but it’s cuz gay men don’t try to hit on the straight women I guess, which makes them feel safer. Male privilege perhaps meant drag queens were always confident in pretending to be a “weaker/inferior” sex for comedy/laughing at women – kinda like “slumming it”? Some might even say it is cultural appropriation nowadays! Except lgbt+ people probably wouldn’t cus we are kinda oblivious/or who cares it’s not a big deal? Whereas drag kings have traditionally not hardly existed atall except as a much smaller subculture. But things are changing. Back in the day if u wanted to b a drag king then no one else was already doing it, so it wasn’t like you had role models or a peer group or anyone atall who wud agree with it. Yud b seen as a weirdo prolly. So ppl wouldn’t do it. But now it’s changing.

  • Carol Carol says:

    I know exactly what you mean about this double standard between cis-women and drag queens. But at the same time, it could be argued that drag has evolved so much it is no longer about appearing feminine but rather to put on a show, whether it’s a comedy show, a dance/singing show or even a beauty show.
    But I totally agree with you about misogynistic views and comments by some gay men.
    I really believe change is coming soon and it won’t be that long until drag kings go from existing in a small subculture to expanding into something more mainstream and normalized.

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