A Life of Drag, As Described by Real Drag Queens

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 1.46.30 PMMost people know the term: Drag queen. There may be some feeling, belief, or opinion that goes along with the connotation, whether positive or negative. For many, “drag queen” describes a man who dresses up as a woman, perhaps in a flamboyant or performative way. But it that really the end of the story?

Not according to Vicky Vox and Raja Gemini, two Los Angeles-based drag queens who make it their business to ensure the community is properly repped. In this episode of “Subcultures,” Soulpancake goes behind the scenes to flesh out the drag community, not just as an alternative lifestyle but also as a healing path that many, like Vicky and Raja, are transformed by.

As Vicky and Raja allude to, there is so much more to drag than meets the eye. Here are 3 amazing facts about drag that you might not have known:

  1. Drag has been around since ancient times, when women were barred from acting on stage and men played both male and female roles.
  2. The term “drag” is believed to come from 19th century theater slang, describing the long skirts male actors wore when playing female roles.
  3. The first openly gay person to ever run for public office was also a drag queen, named José Sarria.

Do you know any drag performers? Have you ever been to a drag show? Tell us about it in the comments section below!