Queerly Not Straight: 5 Reasons Why Drag Queens Are Important

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! 

We’re not going to pussyfoot around when it comes to why this piece needed to be done. We’re looking at you Ohio Rep. Candice Keller. And we’re looking at you homophobes who believe this disgusting red herring that blames mass shootings on “drag queen advocates” like there is something wrong with backing, celebrating, or supporting drag. There’s NOTHING WRONG with drag queens, kings, or anything in between when it comes to these fantastic, fabulous, and talented AF members of the LGBTQ community.

Here are 5 reasons why drag queens are an important part of our society, community, and world!

1. They question and push the boundaries of heteronormative & gender ideas.

Drag challenges what it is to be a woman, to be a man, and the limitations that society has placed on those who live in it. Every costume, ever lip sync, every dramatic performance is a way of tearing down barriers that stop us and those around us from understanding that there is more to this world than the black and white heteronormative and gender ideals others would like you to believe. It’s a political statement that disrupts and draws the eye to the more of being human and being LGBTQ; the non conforming, the non-binary, the androgynous, etc. Drag is the future. Drag is freedom. Drag is understanding, and drag is new social norms!

Alyssa Edwards

2. They are the birthplace of amazing, unique, and shocking artwork.

Drag is a form of art. It’s where queens demonstrate their love, hate, anger, and excitement about the things in their lives, community, or country. It’s fun, it’s flashy, it’s weird, and it’s everything we desperately need in a world where many feel like things are black and white. For drag queens, even monochromatic ones, there is a vibrancy and color in this world that they want to be part of who they are as drag queens. Every sparkle is freedom, every pad a way to be yourself, and every dramatic look is a way of saying, “I am here and I’m not going anywhere so get used to it!” All of that comes through their stunning outfits, wigs, and every pad along the way!

Courtney Act

3. They uphold women and not mock them.

It’s a common misconception that drag is meant to mock women or because these men want to be women. The answer is more complicated than that (and there are plenty of drag queens that take the step to transitioning but that’s another article for another day.) Drag queens aren’t mocking women. In a way they are upholding women as this ideal of freedom that they want to exude through their drag. And for many drag queens it’s a way of protesting and making political the strange and ridiculous standards that women are held up to by men and society as a whole. Drag acts as a magnifying glass that looks at the history of what has led men, women, and everything in between to this moment of acceptance or disdain.

Bianca del Rio

4. They are a bold statement that different is ok.

If there’s something that we all can understand or were taught at a young age either on purpose or by accident, it’s that being different isn’t ok. It’s best to blend, best to fade into the background, best to not stand out. Well, that shit doesn’t fly, especially for drag queens. Drag is about being the most unapologetic version of yourself without fear of others and what they might think of this beautiful drag creation that you feel in your heart and down into your bones. And with every drag queen that stands up and says, “This is who I am.” it makes it easier for the generation that comes after that being different, being bold, or being weird is more than ok. It’s welcomed.

Kim Chi

5. They subvert the idea of what is “acceptable.”

Seeing drag queens on TV and in shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable to be on our screens. It normalizes the other and makes it easier for those that have never experienced drag queens to now learn about them without the fear of the other destroying everything they are. Because that’s at the heart of those that fear drag queens: fear. That’s why drag queens on TV, in books, in movies, and everything in between act as lightning rods of information that help us understand the ever evolving world around us and the people that are making it better every single day.

Bob the Drag Queen

To read more about the importance of drag, CLICK HERE for the amazing essay that helped inspire this piece.

Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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