I love Drag Queens. If you thought by my post’s title I meant Dairy Queens, well…I love those too, but not nearly as much. I have always been fascinated with Drag Queens. Amongst other things, I find them compelling, campy, brave and trampy. I wonder what leads them to dress as women – is it because they have a strong feminine side and are confident enough to express it? Is it because they love the attention and the theatrical aspects of dressing in drag? Or is it as simple as they look fabulous in a dress and high heels, so why the hell not?
I spot them pretty regularly where I live. I’d say I have a Drag Queen sighting at least 3-4 times per week, usually in “Lavender Heights” – which is Sacramento’s more modest version of San Francisco’s Castro District. I love them, but I do have one complaint… I wish they’d tone it down a little – they’re making the rest of us women look bad.
I have never seen a Drag Queen that isn’t dressed to the nines – apparently there isn’t any look too over the top for them. Sequined gowns, long silk gloves, feather boas, glamorous wigs…and that’s just their business casual look. Honestly, I have never felt frumpier than when around men dressed as women.
A Drag Queen will proudly float atop 6 inch stilettos and make it look effortless, I will often opt for a pair of sensible shoes because, honestly – who wants to compromise mobility? I’ve seen those scary movies where the woman always trips while running away from the monster. Who wants to be that stupid bitch?
A Drag Queen seems to instinctively know how to apply makeup to their face like a master painter to a canvas, with the artful skill of a Rembrandt or Cezanne. When they apply tons of makeup, it transforms them into a beautiful swan. When I apply tons of makeup, I look like a cross between a clown and a televangelist’s wife (equally creepy, by the way.)
A Drag Queen’s fake eyelashes are always perfectly aligned and sexy, mine usually wind up looking like (to be fair, I imagine – I don’t know first hand) Liza Minnelli’s used to look after a long, hard night of drinking Vodka and doing lines at Studio 54.
Cut us some slack, ladies. We just can’t compete…
And because I couldn’t write a post about Drag Queens without listing my personal top 10 – here they are, in no particular order:
Dame Edna. She is the self-proclaimed Australian “Gigastar.” She also hosted a chat show she described as “an intimate conversation between two friends, one of whom is a lot more interesting than the other.” Love it.
Rand Paul. Oops – wait. Wrong Paul, although I do have to give him props for that epic hairpiece.
RuPaul – She’s fierce and she knows how to self-promote. Between being the first drag queen supermodel after signing with MAC, hosting RuPaul’s Drag Race reality game show, recording chart-topping dance music, and developing her own perfume and line of cosmetics, RuPaul definitely works it.
Jerry in Some Like It Hot –Jack Lemmon was brilliant portraying a musician desperately trying to escape being a mafia hit by dressing in drag and joining an all female band led by Marilyn Monroe. The hilarious scene where he finally reveals he’s a man to his love-struck suitor is one of the best movie endings ever.
Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show – who could forget the deliciously evil “Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual, Translyvania.” And nobody rocked a black leather corset better than Mr. Tim Curry.
Albert Goldman in The Bird Cage – played to perfection by Nathan Lane. Although Albert’s stage persona is great, the scenes where Lane really shines are when Albert tries to pull off the traditional wife role as part of his partner Armand’s desperate attempt to appear “normal” to his future in-laws. I’ll never hear “We Are Family” again without laughing.
Divine – best known as the drag icon from John Water’s cult classics Polyester and Pink Flamingos, Divine was an outrageous, BBQ (Big, Beautiful Queen) with eyebrows that made Joan Crawford’s seem downright subtle by comparison.
Mary Kay – I’m sorry, but that’s a man, baby. And only a drag queen would have the balls to drive a pink Cadillac.
Flip Wilson – His portrayal of Geraldine on the Flip Wilson show was sassy and hilarious. “What you see is what you get” indeed.
Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club – As a man who is actually prettier than 95% of women, Jared Leto was perfectly cast for the role. It also didn’t hurt that his performance as Ron Woodruff’s unlikely partner in fighting AIDS is absolutely breathtaking.