Any of you who know me are well aware of my involvement in the local drag community as an audience member, costumer and enthusiast of the art form and the messages that it sends. Queens challenge the ideas of gender, politics, social construct, the list goes on.
What is Drag? There really can’t be one definition but, as a base, it is often describing a person dressed as their opposite gender for performance and artistic reasons. This does NOT encompass the range of the art form but rather a base description. It is a form of performance art often used as entertainment that will provoke people to think.
It’s no secret that I bring my kids to drag brunches. The ones we attend are PG-13, they have some curse words that my kids already know and feature songs, dances, lip syncing and games. It challenges my kids to think outside the outfit, suspend belief, and see live performances. They no longer see these as “men in dresses” but as the performers they have grown to love.
Side note: I was looking through pictures of a show when I came across a picture of a friend wearing a gingerbread costume.
“Mom, that’s SO WEIRD!” said one of my kids.
“What about Onyx, he’s wearing a dress?”
“Mom, THATS not weird, dressing as a gingerbread man is weird!”
This is what the kids have been exposed to. They know that clothes are just clothes, people dress how they dress. Costumes are costumes no matter how they are altering a person’s look.
Let get to story time. There have been Drag Queen Story Times at libraries around the country. Some are applauded, most are protested. WHY? How is a man dressed as a woman any different than a non royal family member dressed as a princess, a human dressed as a mouse or a monster or a cartoon character? If you look at it closely all characters are asking you to suspend your sense of belief and have fun.
Before you judge these creative choices please take time to evaluate why you are afraid of them.
- Is it because you don’t understand? I don’t understand the purpose of a football game but I don’t protest them.
- Is it because you are afraid you will confuse your kids? If they learn about these things now than they will be less confused when they are exposed to new experiences as they get older.
- Is it because you don’t like the idea of it? Okay, don’t go.
We all like different foods, smells, have different ways of feeling. We come from different places, backgrounds and experiences. We all just want to be accepted. Just because we lead different lifestyles does not mean that we cannot appreciate and celebrate how other people lead their lives. Without diversity and change we would live in a very static and boring world.