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Queer theorist Jack Halberstam once argued that the historic lack of lesbian drag culture might be influenced by the assumed non-performativity of masculinity. That is, cisgender men aren't usually considered as performing their gender role. Wilkey is delighted by the reference: “Halberstam’s book Female Masculinity is like—”she pinches her fingers to mouth in a chef’s kiss—“the cornerstone of our work. I always say when we first formed Pecs, people were like ‘I don’t get it, do you just wear trousers?’ I think the idea that masculinity is the norm is bullshit, and so much of what we do is showing how performative masculinity is.”
Jason Okundaye

Well, if you wanted some comment on the performative part of masculinity, there you have it. Drag is usually seen from the point of view of men performing as women. It's more socially acceptable to think that femininity is an 'act' that can be accomplished via accouterments and enhancement, while masculinity is 'pure'.

I call malarkey. Masculinity is as much a performance as femininity is.

The fact that masculinity can be performed pokes holes in the whole idea that there's one way to be 'a man'. Generations upon generations of sissy boys have been told to 'act like a man' and nothing is closer to the truth than those words: being a man is an act. Don't believe me? Well, look at some biological females being more 'masc' than many men.

I don't think I'll stop calling the bullshit that gender roles are. It's all a construct. Some of us fit into it better than others. And that's a fact. But as with all constructs, it's restrictive and stifling. The best thing is parody it and not let us be constrained by it.


  1. What's good for the goose... Why shouldn't drag kings get the same amount of attention as the queens? Oh, that's right, women are still considered second class citizens in many parts of this fucked up country. It's OK for men to create another personae but you little ladies should know your place? Give me a fucking break.

    These kings seem to do as much work on their craft. What little I saw in the clip above shows some real talent. More power to them.

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

    1. They do DO just as much work. When I have been to king shows, most of the audiences is usually lesbian. The problem is there aren't enough venues that will put on a king show, or since their is a limited amount of clubs for them, their all performing the same venues. Gay clubs should bring them in more. They were ticked I was there. Problem is gay men for some reason dont mingle well with lesbians. I never understood why. And they always would get defensive when they would come in the club. I myself always enjoyed when I hung out in a lesbian club. They got a charge out of me.

  2. RuPaul famously said, 'We're all born naked and the rest is drag.'
    That applies to women AND men, and all gender identities.

  3. Murray Hill is among one of my favorite drag kings. I have done posts on drag kings. Not near as many as drag queens. Everytime I hear of another queen I think of Bernadette from Priscilla . Oh great....just what this country needs. Another cock, in a frock, on a rock.

    We need more drag kings. Problem is many gay men and straights rather see drag queens. They get far more attendance then king shows...and I've seen some pretty damb entertaining king shows.

  4. For those baby boomer women who came of age as second-wave lesbian feminists (i.e. my age group), drag king performers did not exist for a variety of reasons -- rejection of the 1950s butch/femme lesbian esthetic, seeing male drag as being too male-centred, an intense focus on being women-centred and building women's culture, etc. I could go on and on. Drag kings as performance art did not really start to be seen in the women's community until the third-wave lesbian feminists came of age in the 1990s when open lesbianism per se was no longer so revolutionary and crossing the boundaries of gender became the new way to express social defiance.

    1. I'm so glad you commented on this. Information I did not know.

  5. There used to be a great drag king in SF called "Elvis Herselvis."
    Also, masculinity is totally performative. We"'re constantly pretendi,g we're tougher than we are, that we don't have emotiibs, that we"'re not afraid of anything. Its Fucking exhausting!


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