So this week I had tons of fun preparing to act like a complete male chauvinist pig in front of an audience. On Wednesday I performed in the drag ball that QPOCA hosted, which was awesome! However, I have tons of questions and thoughts about this. First of all, why was it all about inflating these gender stereotypes that so harm men and women and others on an everyday basis? Secondly, why was that so much fun? What does this all mean?
I don’t really know anything about drag culture at all. In fact, until recently, I thought only men performed as drag queens and I didn’t really know drag kings existed. I also didn’t know about faux queens and kings. Faux queens are women that dress as drag queens and faux kings are men that do male drag. What does that even mean? Drag?
I also just today learned that drag queens inspired the Stonewall riots in New York City. What!? I need to know more about this. Why didn’t I know this and why are transgender individuals now left behind in the LGBTQ movement if they kind of “started it” in the first place? And why am I automatically assuming that drag culture is connected to transgender culture? There’s an obvious literal link but I mean, straight men and women can perform drag. Also, just because a man dresses in drag doesn’t mean he wants to be a woman and vice versa. And there’s faux kings and queens. So what does drag culture really mean, what is it all about and what kind of stereotypes might it be impacting as well as creating?
Well, I didn’t know a lot of these things until recently. I just thought it was men dressing as women; so I can imagine the kinds of assumptions that people who aren’t familiar with drag culture might have. What I really want to know is what the purpose is. It’s obviously tons of fun, but is that just it? Is there some satirical statement I’m missing? That’s what my guess would be. For me, it’s about making fun of the gender stereotypes that exist in society. I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing while I was practicing until I got closer to performing. I realized that I was basically acting like the kind of guy that I would seriously not like if I came into contact with said hypothetical guy in everyday life. Then I was like, “Why am I having so much fun acting like such a douche? Why am I glorifying this behavior?” Well, to be honest, it was a fleeting thought because it was too much fun for me to really stop and seriously ponder on what I was doing. Maybe it’s all about having fun.
I don’t know though; I feel like it’s got to mean more than that. If that’s the kind of attitude we displayed about everything…well yeah, we have to consider being humane and considerate. Nah, let me just blow up this building because it’s fun. Let me just hide this old short lady’s teeth on the top shelf because it’s fun. Well, that would be really funny. (But mean.) Drag is funny to me. For now, I’ll remain ignorant and bask in the fun of it all. Education will come with time as I continue immersing myself in drag because I definitely need to keep doing this. It’s the perfect place for my genderqueer soul.