~~July 18, 2015~~
I didn’t learn about this term and this reality until my move to Apopka. We were on an outing and the lady across from me mentioned that she worked a a “drag king”.
What is that?, I thought ….. quite the education.
Here I was, already in my late 50’s, gay all my life and didn’t know about this.
I sure knew about the grad queens but not about the “drag kings”
Kudos to those who perform within this art form
Drag kings are mostly female performance artists who dress in masculine drag and personify male gender stereotypes as part of their routine.
A typical show may incorporate dancing and singing, sometimes live or lip-synching to pre-recorded tracks. Drag kings often perform as exaggeratedly macho male characters, portray marginalized masculinities such as construction workers, rappers, or they will impersonate male celebrities like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Tim McGraw.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s several drag kings became British music hall stars, and British pantomime has preserved the tradition of women performing in male roles. Starting in the mid-1990’s drag kings have begun to gain some of the fame and attention that drag queens have known.
While the term “drag king” was first cited in print in 1972, there is a longer history of female performers dressing in male attire. In theatre and opera there was a tradition of breeches roles and en travesti. Actress and playwright Susanna Centlivre appeared in breeches roles around 1700. The first popular male impersonator in U.S. theater was Annie Hindle, who started performing in New York in 1867; in 1886 she married her dresser, Annie Ryan. British music hall performer Vesta Tilley was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a male impersonator.
Other male impersonators on the British stage were Ella Shields and Hetty King. Blues singer Gladys Bentley performed in male attire in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco from the 1920’s through 1940’s. Stormé DeLarverie performed in male drag along with female impersonators at the Jewel Box Revue in the 1950’s and 1960’s, as documented in the film Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box; DeLarverie is also a veteran of the Stonewall riots.
The term drag king is sometimes used in a broader sense, to include female-bodied people who dress in traditionally masculine clothing for other reasons. This usage includes women temporarily attempting to pass as men and women who wish to present themselves in a masculine gender role without identifying as a man. Diane Torr began leading Drag King Workshops in 1989 that offer women a lesson in passing as men. Torr was featured in the 2002 film on drag kings Venus Boyz. Some transmen also self-identify as drag kings. Drag kings are largely a phenomenon of lesbian culture and can most often be seen at lesbian bars or festivals. However, not all drag kings are lesbians, and some participants in the drag king subculture are not otherwise involved in lesbian culture, society, or politics. Faux queens (also called femme queens, femme performers, bio queens or Kittens) often perform alongside drag kings and may or may not be lesbian-identified.
“As it appears in … full read/full credit”
Women Transform Into Drag Kings
~~Published on Jul 16, 2015~~
“I look like Ron Jeremy!”
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We ALL are ONE!!