The city of London has many different ways to interact with different forms of entertainment. One form that is becoming more prominent in the city are drag shows.
Many people, including the queens in the city, say that people are becoming more accepting of this culture because of a hit television show RuPaul’s Drag Race. This show has pushed drag culture into pop culture and has inspired many to embrace their true selves.
Local queen Roxy Rhymes has been doing drag for six years and says she got her inspiration for drag from her mother. Roxy watched her mother get ready in the morning and loved to see strong independent women in charge.
Roxy explained, “I felt as a man I wasn’t very in charge and I felt when I put on all this glamorous stuff it’s very much an armour for me.”
For some queens this is the norm, drag makes them feel empowered and like they can be themselves in a safe setting. Queen Robin Spears says being able to paint yourself, like a piece of art, and give energy to the crowd and get it back is what makes drag so fun.
Roxy and Robin agree that although London is thought of as a conservative community many people are very accepting of drag. They are able to perform both at straight bars and gay bars throughout London and bring in a crowd full of different people of different ages.
Roxy says that this is because people are more educated about drag because it is a part of pop culture.
“I think because its on TV people are more educated, and I think when people are more educated they are more open to new possibilities and it gives us a better reach to people.”
Many queens go through the struggle of acceptance with friends and family when they begin drag. Roxy said growing up she was always interested in playing with barbies and more conventionally feminine things and her parents were accepting of that.
Robin Spears had a similar situation to Roxy where her parents weren’t always accepting of her hobby but over time have grown to love her and her shows. Spears explained that “many queens can’t go home and have to couch search because they don’t have accepting families.”
Roxy says some people will never understand drag and that’s okay but its important for queens to focus on inspiring women and youth to be themselves.
Drag shows happen various times a month throughout the city to help raise money for charity. Shows include…
- Lip sync
- Live singing