Drag culture

Today I’m going to tell you something about me that all my family and people close to me know: I love drag culture, it seems like an art to me, I enjoy watching programs and series related to drag culture like RuPaul’s Drag Race, my plants have had names from Drag Queens and I feel that it is an expressionist art that allows not only to transform a person’s appearance but to create a new identity from the outside to the inside. It is a subject that has become well known especially for programs like Drag Race being recognized worldwide and how multiple shows have been created in many cities popularizing this art. To understand this topic a little more, I want us to see a definition that we would commonly find on the internet when looking for what is drag or what is a drag queen.

Drag queens are male artists, who dress and make up like a woman. Their shows can be comedy or musicals, there is also the case of plays. The sexual identity of these artists can be heteroxesual that create a female character, also gay, transvestite or transsexual (Being drag does not define the gender identity of a person, it is a means of artistic expression) In most cases they adopt a famous person, personify it, wearing and using makeup in an exaggerated way. Their show is basically comical and acting, they also dub songs giving them a certain sense of humor. We can also find women who adopt this culture, but they refer to it as drag kings since they are women who personify a man as an act.

There are several theories about the origin of the term drag queen, one of them is that it arises in the Victorian burlesque era, where «drag», which means drag in English, refers to the long skirts and dresses worn by some male actors in these shows. Drag initially appears in the mid-nineteenth century as a dramatic art, its objective was to project in a humorous way the behavior of social, political, aristocratic organizations, the labels and social conventions of that time. In the United Kingdom it became a dramatic element derived from the transvestite and highly appreciated in shows such as Victorian burlesque and British pantomime. But it lost popularity in 1920 with the rise of radio and television. During the 1930s it resumed its popularity in American-style cabarets, in 1940 it began to be part of live comedy and imitation, presenting drag shows in cabarets and variety theater. In the 70s, the culture of the «ball room» emerged, it is about dance competitions and catwalk between drag for different trophies. Thanks to these events, they began to be protected by communities, which formed homes or families to support the participants and became an outlet for the LGBT community to everyday life, to meet, have fun and above all express themselves.
As you can see, it is an art that takes more time than many of us imagine, I and the first approach I had to understand a little more about this culture was a documentary that I constantly recommend «Paris is burning», it shows all sides of the coin in front of to the inclusion and exclusion of an identity movement that breaks with many ideas that society may have, but that generates conversation about something as important as expression without limits.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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