Tonight I’m going to my first drag show! This is a bit strange, dear reader, as one would assume that I have already been to a drag show. I’ve been to gay clubs, drag dances, and I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race religiously. Yet in looking back, I cannot recall a time when I have been to an official, full-on drag show. Well after tonight that will be remedied. I shall be a drag virgin no more. In celebration of that fact, today’s video is one of my favourite RuPaul songs, “Jealous Of My Boogie.”
I love drag queens so much, and RuPaul in particular, not just because they are fierce and can do some amazing things with makeup and hairstyles. I love that they show how so many of what we consider to be “feminine virtues” are social constructs. Women aren’t born wearing makeup and high heels. These are facets of lookism that are placed upon us. We are still women whether we wear makeup or not. We are still women regardless of how high our heels are, or whether we wear skirts, or whether we choose to have sex or not and with whom. We are still women if we are not mothers and if we have no desire to be. So often society gets caught up in what a woman “should” be that we forget that we are women whether we fit into what your version of “woman” is or not.
Drag queens help to prove this point, because if a man can dress up as a “woman” and successfully take on all of the trappings associated with femininity, that proves that the notion of ingrained female characteristics is false. We can embrace traditionally “feminine” aspects if we choose to, but it should be a choice, not a requirement. By the same virtue, drag kings prove a similar point about “masculine” traits. However, as Madonna so rightfully points out in her song “What It Feels Like For A Girl:”
Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
Drag queens not only help in the fight for freedom of choice, they show that embracing feminine qualities is not degrading. Being female is far from degrading, no matter how we choose to present ourselves, act in public, or live our lives. And that is why I am thoroughly delighted to support the drag community tonight. Viva la drag queen!