Categories of drag queens? I had no idea that there was more than one type of drag. But as Paige Turner says in her article The 11 Most Common Styles of Drag at http://www.dragaholic.com “…the art of drag is so diverse…”. There are as many styles as there are queens. That being said, however, eleven main styles emerge and I have got to decide which type I am interested in becoming.
First and foremost is the Faux Queen. Naturally (pun intended, wait for it), I fall into this category because I am anatomically a woman. By default I will fall into this category as the definition of this style is according to Turner “…a drag queen that is a biological female”. Real lady with lady parts playing an over the top feminine lady. Done and done.
Now narrowing my style down means eliminating some obvious choices. I won’t be a TransDrag Queen because that category is inclusive of trans* people who are in gender transition. A Tranimal is another style I won’t be trying. This seems to be more of a purposely disheveled experimental type of drag that is not entirely rooted in female impersonation, but more mired in exploring the unconventional possibilities of drag as art and social platform. It is also referred to as terrorist drag. Another artsy style is Androgyny or Genderfuck Drag which again does not conform to men presenting as women, but rather teeters between the genders by mixing fashion and makeup from both sexes. There’s also Club Drag which grew out of the Club Kid movement of the 1990’s New York City nightlife scene and centered around often extravagant costumes and make up worn by this group during this era. These are the categories I may write more about eventually, but am not pursuing in my own drag transformation.
Activessel and Pageant Drag are two more queen styles I probably won’t be involved with myself, but only because of their purposes and not because of the style itself. Pageant Queens are very much like biological female pageant queens in that they aim for an impeccable presentation of self and compete against like others for awards. I do have an interview with Roxi Starr who will be competing in Cash for Queens, a drag pageant run by former Rupaul’s Drag Race contestant Mimi Imfurst at Voyeur Nightclub. Roxi is not exclusively a pageant queen, but more on her in later posts. Activessel Queens do not necessarily perform drag merely for entertainment purposes. In fact, their intentions are usually philanthropic. They may be a group closely tied to the drag community that bands together and creates and performs a drag show as a fundraiser for a particular cause. I am lucky enough to have a personal friend who was an Activessel Queen at a younger age. He is Anthony Koslowski and will be interviewing with me in mid-April.
All this to say I want to be a Fluid-Fish-Camp-Goth Queen! Well, maybe not all at once. Fluid Queens flow between styles and since I will be trying a few I hit that category. Fishy Queens are the style that is generally most visible to the mainstream audience and was featured in movies of previous decades such as “The Birdcage” (1996) and “Too Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” (1995). These are the queens whose goal it is to look as much like done up, beautiful, flawlessly painted women with overtly feminine characteristics and personality. I got this one down! Camp Queens also referred to as clown queens, though I won’t throw that term around because I haven’t figured out whether or not it is derogatory, are funny “girls”! Their wardrobe and makeup is all part of the stand up routine and makeup especially is meant to exaggerate facial features like eyes and lips and not accentuate them. It’s all about timing and comedic effect for camp queens. And last, but certainly not least, is the Goth Queen. Dark ladies of the stage are reminiscent for me of the kids I hung out with afterschool by the back door theater entrance in high school. They were the stage crew decked out in all black. The guys were silent and carried stuff around stage. And the girls? They were a cross between Winona Ryder in “Heathers” and Winona Ryder in “Beetlejuice”. Pale faces, dark cat-eye black liner and bed-head tresses. These throwbacks to my juvenile days begin to explain the role of the goth queen who has the ever-present black outfit perhaps with lace and eerie accessories and may even go as far as mimicking horror films.
So now that you know what kind of queen(s) I’m going to be, why don’t you take BuzzFeed’s quiz and find out what kind of queen you are? Then you can share your results here in the comments! Come on! We’ll keep it just between us “girls”!