What are you doing this Sunday night? Or next Sunday…or the one after that….?
Why not take in some local performances that are original, comic, strange and – best of all! – free of cover charge?
I’m talking about the Sunday night Drag (as in Queen) Show at the Twisted Element. Admittedly, it’s a scene that perhaps only an anthropologist could truly appreciate. Young and old, men and women, gay and straight, all hollering in unison at men dressed as ladies, who lip-sync to the latest pop song, or occasionally an old jazz standard. Sound weird? It is! But, our reactions to drag queens reveal so very much about what it means to be participants in a gendered society. Truly, drag queens give us insight into beauty, masculinity, femininity, performance, gender, attraction, bodies, and choice.
If you’re interested in more, check out these titles:
Guy to Goddess: An Intimate Look at Drag Queens, by Rosamond Norbury
Vested Interests: Cross Dressing and Cultural Anxiety, by Marjorie Garber
Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism, by Pat Califia
For a view from the other side, I recommend Self Made Man, by Norah Vincent. This autobiographical work has Norah Vincent cross-dressing for eighteen months, and working, dating and enjoying social outings as a man. The great thing about this book is that the reader isn't encouraged to be particularly sympathetic to either men or women; rather, just more enlightened about the challenges that both face.
Do drag queens have to be intellectualized? Of course not! Enjoy them simply for what they are: performers who are, (according to my boyfriend, who recently attended a show): “pretty….um…..convincing”.
If you'd like to get a glimpse of Calgary's "queen scene", be sure to participate in PRIDE 2009, on Sunday September 6th!