Good evening everyone! Drag Wednesday has sashayed it’s way around once again.
This week, after seeing yet more bitching and moaning online about what “real” drag is and how certain types of drag are not drag at all.
Well, I’m not a drag queen, I’m not actively involved in the drag “scene” so I’m only commenting as an outsider. Someone who goes to shows, follows drag online and follows drag related TV shows so I’m not a professional by any means.
But here are my thoughts: drag is individual, there is no formula to drag. There’s an idea of drag which is ingrained in people’s minds as a hyperfeminine character. Yes, most queens nowadays fit that bill. People of all genders (because cis males aren’t the only people out there doing drag as people often think) doing drag mostly choose the hyperfeminine, glamourous drag most often observed in pageants. But there’s more to drag than gowns and looking like your a-typical beautiful woman.
There are no boundaries when it comes to drag. Your aesthetic is individual to you. Whether you want to be dolled up and slaying in a sequin gown, embracing your facial hair in bearded drag, stepping outside the box in more abstract drag or whatever you want to do, that’s okay. Your drag is valid and nobody should be questioning it.
There’s abuse hurled at queens over social media, groups of people having slanging matches over what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to drag. Well the truth is, this isn’t a cookie cutter world that should be filled with cookie cutter queens. Like I said, drag is individual and nobody should try to take what you want to portray away from you. Get up, get dressed, fix your face and own that shit because that’s what makes you, you!
If you’re one of the guilty parties trying to say you know better and that what you say is gospel, you need to take a good look at the world around you. Look further into drag and different styles of drag. You’ll see yourself that we as humans, never mind individuals doing drag, aren’t all the same. Our styles aren’t all the same, the way we dress, walk, do our make-up, wear our hair, isn’t the same! So why should drag be the same.
A drag persona is just that, a persona. A character that a queen has developed, built up and put a fuckton of work into perfecting. It’s not your place to drag them down. Unless you’re sitting on a judging panel at a pageant or on a show like RPDR, your job is to sit down, watch a show and respect what another artist is doing. Because you don’t know what their inspiration is, you don’t know how hard they’ve worked to master their craft and you just don’t get to try and influence what makes them happy. Can you imagine how it would feel if someone tried to mould you into someone that you’re not just because they don’t like who you are or don’t respect who you are as a person? Remember there’s a real person underneath all that make-up and hair. A person with feelings.
The ultimate goal in a person’s life is to be happy and comfortable. Comfortable in their life, their career, their own skin. If someone’s drag isn’t your cup of tea then that’s your opinion. Hey, there’s queens in the world that I don’t like, that I’m not keen on their style of drag. But that doesn’t mean that their drag isn’t valid. It means it’s not to my taste. Just the same way I don’t like salt and vinegar crisps but I’m not going to write to Golden Wonder and tell them I think that their salt and vinegar crisps are shit and that they should stop making them because I don’t like them. Other people are quite fond of salt and vinegar. And that’s okay because a crisp is still a crisp, even if they’re salt and vinegar.
I’ve gone off on a tangent… so the point I’m trying (and possibly failing) to make is that not every style of drag is for everyone. Variety is the spice of life and all that jazz. You need to take off the blinkers and open your eyes to the fact that there is a whole world of drag out there. So many styles, so many different performances, so much creativity. If you don’t explore, you might just miss out.
In short, respect each other, respect your queens, and just appreciate drag for what it is. An art form. Whether you love it or hate it, it is what it is and we just need to get on. In the words of Rupaul herself “Everybody say love.”
Until next time, don’t forget to slay all day, everyday.
x Marianne x