Press "Enter" to search and "ESC" to close.

The history and significance of drag culture in the LGBTQIA+ community

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
Suscríbete a Nuestro Boletín
Recibe por email las noticias más destacadas
  • What is drag culture why is it important?
  • The history of drag queens in the US.
  • Learn about its most important figures and their impact.

What is drag culture, where did it originate and what is its political and cultural significance? We’ll tell you! Drag culture has taken on greater importance and popularity in recent years. Its representation in film, theater and television has brought it to a more mainstream audience.

Although it is receiving more attention lately, drag is not new. In fact, it has a long historical and cultural legacy that is rich in meaning. Drag culture and its impact on the US art and political scene is fascinating.

What is drag?

drag culture

Drag culture refers to performers who take on personas that highlight, challenge and exaggerate gender norms. Drag queens are generally men who create flamboyant, over-the-top female characters.

Currently, drag culture has been the target of conservatives who seek to demonize this form of expression, saying it is somehow detrimental to children. Although, these people are attempting to associate drag culture with lewd behavior, drag has nothing to do with pornography.

What are its beginnings?

drag queen

The earliest references to drag culture are found in the ancient Greek theater. It is believed that, because at that time women were prohibited from acting, men had to play female roles. Thus, the imitation of women became a popular practice in various parts of Europe, Asia and America.

In several countries, drag acts were seen as an illegitimate and those who participated were vilified. For this reason, drag artists performed in secret but this actually increased their popularity.

Drag culture in the United States

person putting on makeup

In the United States, William Dorsey Swann proclaimed himself the first drag queen in 1880. Dorsey organized the first drag parties and he invited former slaves who, like him, were persecuted in the US. He was actually jailed for ten months.

In the 1960s, the drag performances evolved and gained more popularity among the LGTBQIA community, especially among gay men. In recent years, drag culture has become more mainstream with Maebe A. Girl becoming the first drag queen to hold public office in 2019.

Drag culture’s positive effects

drag culture

Since its inception, drag demonstrations represented liberation for men who wanted to perform as women and for women who wanted to perform as men. In many cases, drag families were home to young people from the LGBTQIA community who had been rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Another of the positive effects of drag queens is their activism. In the ’80’s, this community raised awareness about HIV and AIDS. Studies have shown that drag culture provides a sense of identity, resilience and empowerment for marginalized people.

Related post
Regresar al Inicio