‘We are all born naked and the rest is drag’

Arts & Culture

Unaware of the drag queen culture, people have time and again mistaken these people with gays and transgenders.

By Yumna Ahmed

How often does it happen that you see a male dressed up in a female’s attire walking down the street, and you don’t think of him as a gay? Yes always! Less exposure to drag queen culture has limited our knowledge of them.

Alex Mathew, aka Maya the drag queen said, “I keep mentioning that I am a queer cis man who loves to perform as a character on stage.”

 “People are not aware of drag culture so they have a misconception of drag qeen being gay or transgender,” he added.

Drag culture has been there since 18th century. The word drag was coined after people started dressing like females to show their feminine side. History is a proof of this culture as there are many ancient texts and scriptures that have men performing female characters in them.

Explaining the concept of drag culture, Maya said that it  is not about cross-dressing and performing,it is about expressing ones bold side through art.

“People often think drag isseductive ,  but just like different genre of movies, there are different genre of drags. Sometimes it’s jovial, whereas sometimes serious. It’s a way of expression,” Maya added. Survey conducted by the Softcopy found that out of the 20 young people surveyed randomly, only two were aware about the concept of drag queen.

Saumya, a student at Town Hall said, “I don’t know exactly what Drag Queens are.  This is the first timeI have come across such a term.”.”

Drag has caused major changes in the pride movement, like the stonewall riot  that was started by a drag queen.

Refering to the stonewall riot, Maya asserted that drags have largely contributed to the pride movement. “We have always stood aginst the gender discrimination prevailing in the society,”he added.

Rukhmini an activist from Socilist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) said, “Until now I had no clue about Drag Queenand their role. I thought they belong to LGBTQ community but had no clue of it being a performing art.”

Rajesh Srinivas, executive director at Sangama said, “People often think that Drag Queens belong to a community. Awareness is really important about Drag Culture as it is a part of our culture and people should understand that.”

He added that they have been critised and also been called as slut just for showing their bold feminist side. This should be stopped and they should be appreciated for what they do.