Drag Queens Essay

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Drag queens or female impersonators are one of the most iconic symbols of the queer community in Western society with their recognition coming from a number of sources: from fighting against police brutality during the Stonewall riots, to putting on entertaining lip-synching performances in LGBTQ nightclubs. Drag performers have become the ultimate representation of gender non-conformity in the Western world – as they are often painted as being subversive transgressors of gender, they are often seen as interrupting what is thought to be a “natural” link between biological sex and socially created gender. In response to this reception of female impersonation as being a subversive act, a number of social scientific theorists began to put forward…show more content…
“Transgender” has become an all-encompassing term, covering any person who partakes in or identifies with a socially non-conforming gender role – in other words, an individual who is not fixed to the Western gender binary concept. There are a number of major differences between transsexual women and drag performers. Transsexual women are individuals who are born in a male body but who see themselves as having a female identity, who live fulltime in a feminine gender role, and who may seek sexual reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, counselling, and so on during their period of transition (Roberts, 2013). Transvestites or cross-dressers tend to be heterosexual men with a “pathological fetish for women 's attire” (Strubel-Scheiner, 2011: 13) and so are a separate entity from drag performers. While the term “drag queen” has increased in popularity and usage due to reality television show such as RuPaul 's Drag Race and it 's spin offs, RuPaul 's Drag Race: Untucked! and Drag U, most performers prefer “female impersonator” to this title, especially if their act involves imitating a celebrity (Strubel-Scheiner, 2011: 13). Furthermore, drag performers generally like being male and do not wish to be a “real woman” - they have “no desire to present as female except on stage” (Roberts, 2013; Strubel-Scheiner, 2011:

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