Wikipedia: Drag Queen

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Drag Queens and Drag Kings

The term drag artist or drag performer usually refers to people who dress in clothing that is opposite their gender for the purpose of performing, whether singing or lip-synching, dancing, participating in events such as gay pride parades, drag pageants, or at venues such as cabarets and discotheques. There are many kinds of drag artists or drag performers and they vary greatly, from professionals who have starred in movies to people who try it once just for fun.


A drag queen (or transvestite) is a man who dresses, and usually acts, like a caricature of a woman often for the purpose of entertaining. The performance is typically campy, exaggerated, and intentionally dramatic and flamboyant. Drag queens also vary by class and culture and can vary even within the same city. Although many drag queens are gay men, there are drag artists of all genders and sexualities who do drag for various reasons. Women who dress like men for the same purpose are known as drag kings.


Generally, drag queens dress in a female gender role, often exaggerating certain characteristics (such as make-up and eyelashes) for comic, dramatic or satirical effect. Other drag performers include drag kings, who are women who perform in male roles, faux queens, who are women who dress in an exaggerated style to emulate drag queens and faux kings, who are men who dress to impersonate drag kings.

Famous drag performers include RuPaul, Boy George, Divine, Lady Bunny, Dame Edna Everage, Chad Michaels, Bianca Del Rio, Nina Flowers, Morgan McMichaels, Conchita Wurst, Sharon Needles, Bob the Drag Queen, Nikki Champagne, Emoji Nightmare, Latrice Royale, and Jujubee.


Noteworthy movies that prominently featured drag queens include Rocky Horror Picture Show, Kinky Boots, Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, La Cage Aux Folles, The Birdcage, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, Paris is Burning, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.



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Drag Terminology

The etymology of the term "drag" is disputed. It was used in reference to transvestites at least as early as the 18th century, owing to the tendency of their skirts to drag on the ground. A folk etymology whose acronym basis reveals the late 20th-century bias, would make "drag" an abbreviation for "dressed resembling a girl" in description of male transvestism.

Another term for a drag queen, female impersonator, is still used—though it is often regarded as inaccurate, because many contemporary drag performers are not attempting to pass as women.


American drag queen RuPaul once said "I do not impersonate females! How many women do you know who wear seven-inch heels, four-foot wigs, and skintight dresses?" He also said, "I don't dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen!"

Celebrity drag couple "The Darling Bears" go so far as to sport full beards for their performances. Going in drag while retaining clearly masculine features is referred to as skag drag. Some performers draw the distinction that a female impersonator seeks to emulate a specific female celebrity, while a drag queen only seeks to create a distinctive feminine persona of his or her own.

There are also performers who prefer to be called "gender illusionists" who do blur the line between transgender and drag queen. Generally transgender performers do not consider themselves to be drag queens and drag queens don't consider themselves to be illusionists, but, as with everything, there are exceptions. Often these distinctions are more generational as laws and acceptance of individuality change and grow.


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Drag Commentary


Activist, actor and comedian, Bob The Drag Queen, shared his thoughts on the importance of voting and staying politically aware. He is the winner of Season 8 of RuPaul's Drag Race.


"Drag queens are the mascots and spokespeople for the queer community. Ever since the Stonewall Riots we've been at the literal forefront. This is our armor.  And the people with the most armor are the ones who are going to get out in front and sacrifice themselves the most. We are the visibility. Whenever people want to raise money for their charity, whenever people want their message to get out, they contact the drag queen. And the drag queen is the one who really helps propel the message forward."


[Source: Bob the Drag Queen]


Video: Bob the Drag Queen



Cross Dressing


Cross-dressing is the act of wearing items of clothing and other accoutrements commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society. Cross-dressing has been used for purposes of disguise, comfort, and self-discovery in modern times and throughout history.

Almost every human society throughout history has had expected norms for each gender relating to style, color, or type of clothing they are expected to wear, and likewise most societies have had a set of guidelines, views or even laws defining what type of clothing is appropriate for each gender.

The term cross-dressing denotes an action or a behavior without attributing or implying any specific causes for that behavior. It is often assumed that the connotation is directly correlated with behaviors of transgender identity or sexual, fetishist, and homosexual behavior, but the term itself does not imply any motives and is not synonymous to one's gender identity.



Transvestism and Cross Dressing

Most drag queens perform for personal fulfillment as a hobby, a profession, or an art form; as a way to be in the spotlight; or as a road to local or wider fame.

Historically and currently, there are and have been gay and straight men who perform in drag. There are also transgender, transsexual, and genderqueer people who perform as drag queens.

Drag queens are sometimes called transvestites, although that term also has many other connotations than the term "drag queen." "Drag queen" usually connotes cross-dressing for the purposes of entertainment or performance without necessarily aiming to pass as female.


It is not generally used to describe those persons who cross-dress for the fulfillment of transvestic fetishes alone, or whose cross-dressing is primarily part of a private sexual activity or identity. As for those whose motivation is not primarily sexual, and who may socialize cross-dressed, they tend not to adopt the typical over-the-top drag queen look.

Among famous straight entertainers who have dressed in drag are Milton Berle, Flip Wilson, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Izzard, Tyler Perry, Gene Hackman, John Travolta, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemon. It's hard to forget straight actors Patrick Swayze, Welsey Snipes, and John Leguizamo in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar.  And Dennis Rodman, the NBA basketball player, has also dressed in drag.


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