I write this column monthly. My motivation is not financial in doing so; nor is it out of boredom. The purpose is to share something I find special — the world of drag. For those naysayers, it is more than just a pair of heels, lipstick, a dress or a weekend drag show. Drag queens and drag itself have always been an important part of our LGBT culture, community and history, whether you like it or not.
Over the years, the art of drag has brought so much laughter, joy, healing and change. Even when misunderstood or in the shadows, drag queens have long been a force to be reckoned with, mobilizing and uniting people and communities. As Thanksgiving approaches, it is only right to share our thanks to those famous — and “infamous” — drag queens throughout history, and even present day, for keeping drag alive in the past, present and future.
So here you go, in their own words: 10 drag queens who I am thankful for — what they said, how loud they yelled and for sharing their truth with the world.
Yes, I am transgendered, but I also am a cross-dresser — I dress as a woman. It’s not that I just want to be seen as a female in our society, I’m also a drag queen and a performer — there are many levels there.
Whatever you proclaim as your identity, here in the material realm is also your drag. You are not your religion. You are not your skin color. You are not your gender, your politics, your career or your marital status. You are none of the superficial things that this world deems important. The real you is the energy force that created the entire universe!
You’re awesome. If someone doesn’t see that, Fuck’em.
The biggest mistake that anyone — drag queen or otherwise — can make is taking themselves too seriously. Get over yourself; you’re dressed like a prostitute clown.
I have a ton of fears, but drag has allowed me to address those fears. In that way, I have found drag queens to be some of the most courageous/brave people I know. As I say in one of my shows, “When you transform the outer, you can transform the inner, and vice versa, when you transform the inner you can transform the outer. Yes, we gender benders understand that if you have the balls to change yourself; you have the power to change the world.” That pretty much sums up Coco Peru.
Drag can teach the world to look at things differently, because one of the first assumptions a person is afforded to make is whether someone is male or female. And when you see drag and it fucks with gender in such a way, it forces people to think outside the box.
I was a radical, a revolutionist. I am still a revolutionist…I am glad I was in the Stonewall riot. I remember when someone threw a Molotov cocktail, I thought, “My god, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!”
Bianca Del Rio
To be a drag queen you’ve got to have a good set of balls, and I think a lot of queens have a strength that many people don’t have.
Drag teaches the world how to find the beauty in everything around you, because drag queens can take something from a Dumpster and create something couture, fashionable, and fabulous.
When gays were really searching for acceptance in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, it was very freeing for gay men to go and see someone who was not only out of the closet, but a flamboyant drag queen doing dirty material. Because there was a fearlessness to it. Now drag is more mainstream, so I’m not sure drag is as freeing for gay men, and to some extent, drag may have become old hat. It is so mainstream now and a lot of it is boring.
DRAG TIP: Find someone that inspires you to think beyond yourself, to do better for others — than do just that.
SHOUT OUTS: After the family and turkey fixins, come out to my Thanksgiving Leftover Drag Show Benefit for Campus Pride on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Bar at 316 at 11:30 p.m. featuring Jamie Monroe and Shelita Bonet Hoyle. Proceeds benefit Campus Pride for LGBTQ youth.
— Buff Faye calls the Queen City her home and is too busy to read mean posts (plus she loves to raise money for charities). Find her at your favorite bars and hot spots. Plus don’t forget her monthly Sunday drag brunch and regular Friday night party bus. Learn more at AllBuff.com. Follow on Twitter @BuffFaye