Friday, April 17, 2009

That's a Drag

So, this week’s movie, Paris is Burning, was definitely an interesting one. I have seen perhaps one drag queen in my life (that I know of), and I really don’t know what I thought about that. I’m definitely ok with homosexuals (I mean, they are people, too), but seeing one where I couldn’t tell if the person was a he or she, that was…uncomfortable. And really, I am ignorant as to what to call them: he or she? I think we are all kind of lost when it comes to homosexuality, even the homosexuals. That is why this movie is interesting.

In the Balls, these people are allowed to be anything they want to be. They want to be a soldier, go for it. They want to look like America’s Next Top Model, why not. They want to show the world what stars they are; the floor is theirs. These Balls seem like they’d be a lot of fun, actually. I mean, there are all sorts of categories, basically any category you want. The freedom and spirit seems contagious. However, if you look closely, the freedom really isn’t there.
These queens compete to be most “real,” which is ironically a competition to see who looks the most authentic when dressed up, not who is the best representation of who THEY are.

In this documentary, Realness was judged on whether the person could walk out in public without question about their sex. So, these queens aren’t allowed to be exactly who they are; they have to take up a mask and be who society wants them to be. These Balls, which are supposed to be a place where they can let their hair down, so to speak, judge them with very standards they are fighting. The only difference is that everyone knows that the person is gay.

While these queens were being interviewed, the audience learned about what these queens want. Julie was definitely right when she said that these queens sounded like pre-teen or early teen girls wanting fame and fortune. Now, this could be the poverty speaking, but I also think that these aspirations are influenced by society’s standards as well. If they aren’t going to be guys, then they have to be the complete opposite: very feminine like the female stars. It would be so rough being one of these queens. Society AND the Balls don’t reward them for being who they truly are. To finish up, here is a blog that I ran across. The question it asks is the question I think society is asking.


  1. Well? How do you answer that question? And more importantly, how does the way the world answers that question effect the cool (if any) that exists in the drag queen culture?

  2. Sex is "by birth," or determined by biological means. Sex can be changed later in life. Gender is "by preference," or determined by the person. Many drag queens are not gay in any sense, but enjoy dressing up like women but do not change their gender preference. Likewise, not all homosexuals like to dress up in drag.

    It can be uncomfortable, but just imagine what the person whom you are uncomfortable about goes through every day. Always go by the person's preference - relatively simple and the least awkward thing to do.

    As for the blog you came across: When you come to a question like that, if it makes you think (which it obviously did), you should try to answer it if for nothing else than mental exercise. So what do you think the answer is?