Growing up I valued any form of new knowledge and I would spent hours with my nose buried in books, walking around museums and endlessly scrolling the pages of the web, at least what my parents low bandwidth dial-up connection would allow. While the low resolution images were annoying, it was all in aid of perfecting my own creativity and mastering the in’s and out’s of historical events. I was a sponge ready to be saturated.
Discovering elements of the world before my time and furthering my understanding of the art community was like a drug and I was addicted; for hours I’d take everything in, like a perfectly formed line on a cistern in an 80’s club bathroom cubicle. Before long I found myself deep in queer culture, political injustice and art laced with agender and they all had one related character in all of them and that was drag in some form. From that first discovery, drag has played a huge part in my life and is, in my opinion, the best form of expressing a message through art.
Their creativity fascinates me. Verging on the obsessive, I want to know everything about their work. These creatures of beauty always catch my eye in film, photography and without realising, I will gaze at them at all pride celebrations. Aside from incredibly captivating appearance, their creative process and their deliverance of the story also captures my curious mind.
Call me biased, but I think the north east gay scene has some of the best and most diverse drag available in the U.K. From glamour and traditional, alternative and scag drag, it covers all audiences. Newcastle especially, no matter which way you turn in the pink triangle you’ll find something to please you. It certainly pleases me.
Though some may suggest otherwise, i’ve never really gravitated towards of particular style of drag and I see the value in all forms. I’ll pay to go see what I fancy that evening. Each tribe will have a different way of sharing their message and that’s what I appreciate about Newcastle’s scene.
I crave the atmosphere a drag show provides; there’s an electricity in the air I don’t get from other forms of performance. I could go to see my favourite band live and while it would be incredible, it wouldn’t be the same as seeing a drag queen serving looks and giving face.
Sadly these days I don’t get to see a huge amount of drag. Living in Poole, Dorset, it doesn’t give you a huge fix, but it is getting better i’m lead to believe. Though, I think no matter where I live outside of a huge city, i’ll never have enough of a fix. Many have asked me if i’d ever perform myself and i’ve always said no. It’s not for me, but only because I don’t think I could do it justice. Until the scene expands, i’ll always have London and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The creation of RuPaul’s Drag Race provided the shift modern gay culture needed and it certainly made my dream come true. This fantastic show combines the trashy qualities of reality TV with the glamour and artistry of female impersonation and performance. Since the episode one i’ve been hooked. While these days it has become my primary delivery of this wonderful art form, I will always appreciate the local talent that filled the scene before the show.
What I love most about the show is the pedestal these girls and those long before them are put on. Not only is their talent is showcased for the world to appreciate and appreciated, the show harks back to the now legendary queens who made it all possible; Marsha P. Johnson, Dorian Corey and Pepper LaBeija, to name a few.
While I personally wouldn’t consider RuPaul to be the Queen of queens, I certainly can’t deny the impact she’s had on the art form. Her years of battling to be seen as a genuine artist has paid off and is now raising the profile of otherwise ignored queens.
I don’t think my love of drag will ever fade and I certainly haven’t ruled out the possibility of me doing drag in the future. It’s not something that is on my radar at the moment, but in the future that could change. I’m drawn to it in many other ways. Consider me a moth fluttering around in life and these seven foot tall, stiletto pounding, wig wearing characters are my flame and i’m not afraid to get burned