What is a Drag Queen?

Are you desperate to learn more about drag queens but don’t know where to turn? You have landed on the right page.

What is a drag queen? That is the question on everyone’s lips. Are they sex workers? Are they homosexuals? Are they men or women? There are so many more questions that follow. This article seeks to clear up common drag misconceptions. Hopefully, you will find your answers below.

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What really is a Drag Queen?

Drag queens have their origins on the stage and in the streets of America, where drag acts first became part of a subculture. Initially and as recently as the early 1900’s, it was obscene for a woman to take to the stage. This can be seen in Shakespeare, who did not have women as performers. It is also evident in the early days of film and television. Coloured pictures were seen as selling yourself. Women who appeared in moving pictures were therefore prostitutes.

How did we get around it? They dressed up men in women’s clothes and let men play female characters. They called them drag queens. Can you reimagine Shakespeare now with that knowledge? Can you imagine trying to take Ophelia’s death seriously when she had a beard?

Incidentally, you also get Drag Kings. These are (usually) women dressing as men in drag shows.


What Does DRAG Stand For?

If you liked the theatre story, you would love this one. DRAG might appear on a set of stage directions, as written by a writer or director on a script. The stage direction DRAG means that the character enters DRessed As Girl. 

Drag Act


Where did Drag Come From?

After the initial actors dressed as women realised their potential as entertainers individually, they left scripted theatre and wrote acts of their own. Even then, drag artists would remain undercover and out of main stream media if it hadn’t been for one thing: the Drag Ball.

Remember Vogue? Madonna wrote that song based on a style of dance that developed in LGBT friendly dance parties called balls. These balls would spill out to include drag queens, and later become almost exclusive to the subculture. House ballroom eventually evolved from this. Drag queens would join ‘houses’ for protection. These would come to be known as drag families. You and your drag family would stick together, especially if your parents disowned you for being queer. Your house would battle in dance balls for prize money each week or month. These dance off competitions had categories for looking good, dancing well, outfit choice, and more. 

If you want to know more about this scene you can watch Pose, released in 2018. Although it uses a mix of real and fictional characters, this show gives you a sense of the thrilling nature of these house balls. 


Are Drag Acts Females?

Most drag acts are male. Usually, the term Drag Queen refers to a man dressed as a woman. If you see the term Drag King, you can assume it is a woman dressed as a man. 

However, there is a whole subculture to drag subculture. This sub category are drag acts who dress as their own gender. This means that you get male drag kings and female drag queens. Clear as mud? This article regarding the first female participant in RuPaul’s Drag Race should clear things up.

Drag Act


Are drag queens really men?

A high percentage of drag queens are men dressed as women, probably higher than 90%, although this is just an educated guess. 


How Much Does a Drag Act Get Paid?

How much your average drag queen charges for her time is up to how popular she is. There are big names in drag, like Bob the Drag Queen, Farrah Moan, and Mimi Imfurst, all charge top rates. A lesser known drag act comes with a lower price point. You can hire a drag act in the UK for anything from £200 upwards, depending on what you want them to do. Most acts have their own show which plays to their strengths. Don’t try to get a Comedy Queen to do a dance routine or vice versa. 


Are Drag Queens Gay?

They can be. Not all drag queens are gay. You can request one that fits your preference if you like. However, the drag queen you hire is not a sex worker. They are an entertainer. As such, their sexual preferences shouldn’t really come into things. 


Are Drag Queens Bisexual?

They could be, again, some are straight and some are gay. There are drag queens who consider themselves 100% cis gendered and who see their job as theatre. Then there are drag kings and queens who are trans themselves, and who feel most comfortable dressed in drag. 


Do You Get Female Drag Artists?

You do, we usually call them drag kings. What you ought to know about the whole drag scene is that it is one of the most accepting, while simultaneously one of the most cutting scenes you will ever be warmly welcomed into. Nobody will judge you for who you are, what you do, what your sexual preferences are, whether or not you are trans – none of that.

They will judge you on your hairstyle, your dance moves, your look, your makeup, your shoes, and your outfit, though. 


What do you call female drag artists?

A female drag queen is called a Diva Queen or a Hyper Queen. There is no reason why a woman cannot play in drag as a woman. These terms apply to female identifying performers who dress as either male or female drag queens. 


Where Can You Hire a Drag Queen in the UK?

You can hire a drag queen for yourself right here in the UK. The UK drag scene is in its infancy when compared to the great house balls of America. However, we have our own batch of gorgeous, dazzling drag queens for hire. Contact Celebrate Just Right today to get a quote on a drag queen act to hire for your event. They will provide you with their own brand of awesome entertainment to match your party.

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