Often, people come up to me and say: “Hey, No Disrespect… I have a great idea for your blog!!!! Hear me out!” Sometimes I run with it… honestly, though, most of the time I’m distracted with other newsworthy events and sadly, never get around to writing about my friends’ whims. I’m remedying this failure. This week, I’m dedicating the blog to your suggestions… Uh, oh. So today I’ll talk about Drag Queens.
I must admit, I haven’t been exposed much to the cross-dressing world, so I’m probably going to get most of my deets wrong. Oh, let’s face it – I’ll be talking out of my ass… but what’s new? But here we go… let’s talk about men who enjoy dressing up as women!!!
Up front, I use the words “trannie,” “cross dresser” and “drag queen” interchangeably; but each term is slightly different… Cross dressing is a broad term for people who enjoy dressing themselves in clothing of the opposite sex. It can be private thing, something one does only at home; or it can be quite public – at the extreme, some people “pass” themselves as the opposite sex in public.
Drag, in particular, is a special form of performance art based on cross-dressing. Drag queens are (usually) men who dress up as glamorous women, for the purposes of performing in shows and events. Big hair/wigs, skintight gowns, 8 inch heels, boas, fake eyelashes, and tons of makeup are mandatory. (Women, just so you’re not left out: you can dress up as men too and be known as a “Drag King” or “Faux Queen.”) Drag Queens do not necessarily try to pass themselves as women – they tend to be more of a female caricature. And sexuality doesn’t have any baring into who chooses to cross dress either… Although most queens are gay men, straight people can fabul-ize themselves out as well. Indeed, many heterosexual men partake in the cross dressing world.
Drag queens are also sometimes called transvestites (“trannies”). Transvestism, in my opinion, is a more sexual manifestation of cross dressing. Without going further, these men get their kicks from putting on stockings and lipstick. ‘Nuff said.
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I lied to you. I DO have some exposure to cross dressing. Prior to moving to Washington, DC and being thrown into the big, big world, (I was quite sheltered before moving to da city) – I had actually seen a queen before. Three times to be exact. As achild, I went to India, (yup: THREE TIMES) to visit my extended family. There were men on the street dressed in saris, bindis and bangles. And yes, they did put on a performance! These brazen trannies basically humiliated people into giving them money by using obscene gestures and taunts. I say, good for them! Known as “hijras,” they were venerated in the olden days, performing rites at religious ceremonies. But recently, the hijra have been marginalized; and live at the margins of society, making a living by begging or prostituting themselves. (Although in 2006, Patna, in the Indian State of Bihar hired some hijras as delinquent tax collectors to shame people into paying their taxes.) And… oh wow, I just walked into another minefield. I didn’t want to talk about gender identity (which is a totally different topic altogether…) but now, I kinda have to. Damn. *Sigh*
In contrast to drag queens (who still consider themselves male), Hijras do not identify as being a man or a woman… many feel that they encompass a third gender. Some choose to castrate themselves, becoming eunuchs.
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You are probably asking at this point: Will No Disrespect EVER talk about drag queens???? Well, here I go. As part of my *ahem* “research,” I finally went to a drag show. I’ve been meaning to go to one for years, but didn’t get around to it until recently. And instantly I was jealous. Perfect bodies, legs to die for… no fat on their bodies at all. I gawked and stared the entire night.
So this particular drag show was a (lip sync) off, where queens competed by pantomiming and dancing to their favorite song or skit, while working the audience for tips. ($20 in $1 dollar bills disappeared that night… you would have thought that I was at a strip club…) Typical girl power songs were “sung:” Madonna, Pink, Donna Summer, Alanis… ‘Britney Spears’ even made a showing. For some, you honestly didn’t know that they were boys until they opened their mouth.
In all it was a hoot, and I’m going to go back… FYI: If you’re in DC, the Drag Queen Races (one of my favorite events) will take place in Dupont Circle on Tuesday, October 25, in Dupont Circle on 17th Street between P and S Street, NW. Race time begins at 9 PM!
Now this is what happens when someone gives me topic and tells me to run with it. If I may say so myself, I just wrote a horrible post! You get a whole week of this! Enjoy!