Drag Queens have become a popular fixture in the entertainment industry over the years, but their trousered counterparts – Drag Kings – are less widely known of. In fact, women have been dressing as men and ‘performing masculinity’ on stage for centuries, from regency actresses in breeches to music hall stars in top hats and tails. Here is a rundown of the long history of the drag king.
Throughout history, women have generally been prevented from acting in public, from as far back as ancient Greece. Instead, women’s parts were played by male actors in drag, which probably started the whole drag thing, and well into the Shakespearean era. The first woman to tread the English boards was in 1629, as part of a visiting French company – she was booed off the stage.