You'd think after doing drag for 25 years, and being interested and following drag most of my life, I'd be over it. But every project, show, or queen cements me further. I'd never turn my back on drag, or my fellow drag sisters and friends. While RuPaul's Drag Race has exploded, and we're quickly losing count on the follow up seasons and the international versions, in addition to more further coming countries getting their due...like Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, and Japen, and more seasons of the UK, France, Aussie, and Italy. Belgium and Sverige just crowned queens. While I still like Drag Race...I'm ready to move on to see and view other projects. Like attend local drag shows again ...finally.... and go to online forums through live feed if need be. Not all queens are what we see on just Drag Race. One such community of queens is that of Demark's Copenhagen, who's queens are making their own unique mark, one lip-synch, comedy show and wise crack at a time. Not only do these queens not give a shit about being highly editorial, runway ready, or extremely fishy and trying to be as flawless as possible...but they can be liberal with make-up...many keeping facial hair, and they throw away the make-up templates, rule books, and "follow the contour", assembly line look... and opt of zany, crazy, and campy looks, A unique drag identity is emerging here. The scene is embracing this form of drag performance and the serious activism that comes with it...and it's surprisingly diverse for a city of 600,000.
Chantal Al Arab
Not only do these queens have their own club nights, but they all come together to form Drag House...a blowout drag show performed quarterly. So far drag also doesn't appear to have the ignorant backlash it is getting in some other countries, but does feel it, which is why their current show is titled, Drag Is Not A Crime. Three of the cities' bearded queens were even paid tribute for work they did with communities. This fusion of fierce activism with follicles is not a new phenomenon in Copenhagen either. It's been a huge part of their drag community since the 1970's Gay Liberation Front movement, and the drag scene is one of the country's most influential of the LGBTQ for activist, who marched the streets wearing dresses, wigs and beard to demand rights and challenge heteronormative society. The queens there have figured out, when you're in drag, you command a gaze, and they don't waste the opportunity. One queen Mizz Privileze, who does a mean Freddie Mercury in her routine, started an anti- hate crime campaign where she collected over a thousand stories of hate crimes and delivered them to members of Parliament directly...and since then has sway some members to pass good bills and laws!!!
Adrianna Le Creme
Miss Femme Fatale
The queens in Copenhagen to me, are far more diverse than what you'll see here or even in parts of France and the UK. Their quarterly drag show, Drag House, which bring together all the queens and is also open for performances from bio queens, bio kings, lesbians, drag kings and trans performers, they were far ahead of the curve of letting all perform compared to here in the US... and the shows proceeds and tips all go to community charities. Humor and clowning is a very popular component of drag there. The shows have really outgrown the gay spaces and have taken over the city into all venues, where the queen will happily pick your pockets for the good of the LGBTQ. Overall, I would say the drag scene in Copenhagen appears extremely playful, doesn't take it seriously over looks, and it's about playing with categories, such as age, gender, identity, and moving between styles and categories. Most of the queens seem to work in multiple mediums. But it's not enough to just stand on stage and lip-synch...and it seems to be prerequisite for its queens to be highly active with the community and activism. It takes more to impress Copenhageners then just a pretty look and a High NRG ditty. And I'm here for that!
I totally know where your coming from. I still enjoy Drag Race...but it's waning much more than it used too. I would like to see other things done... and cultures about drag. Like the show on Vice , Gaycation that Ian Daniel and Elliot Page had...but the whole thing could surround drag in different countries, or a show featuring queens weekly that would follow their backstories stories, getting in drag and daily life.ReplyDelete
I have also noticed that foreign queens are far more involved in much more activism .
Friends and I have said for some time a show like you're thinking of would make for a awesome show. Gaycation was one of my favorite shows. Would be be a awesome concept. But all drag culture. Drag Race is fine, but the concept can't go forever. I personally think enough is enough already.Delete
Oh, I like Drag Race.ReplyDelete
And I enjoy many of the iterations (I am currently watching Spain and have not finished with the Swedish version. And I'm looking forward to the Mexico one (even though I love La Mas Draga to death). I think these queens are doing amazing stuff, they are being subversive and creative. That's amazing. They remind me of what Sasha Velour has done with Nightgowns.
I have given up on many of them, who can keep up, and I'm finding little time to even watch them all. I'll keep up with Espana, Italy, Holland and UK though. But All Stars and the others, Im done for now. Now... a 10 part series following Nightgowns with Sasha and her crew, and behind the scenes, would be a wonderful show! People need to see more than Drag Race and queens who jump through hoops like circus poodles. They need to see how uneasy it can be and the work that goes into it and the daily struggle to compete for clubs gigs and keep them.Delete
Excellent post! I think this is why I was attracted to your blog in the first place...other drag content. In the US it seems to be only about Drag Race. Even my Instagram. For recommendations if floods with Drag Race girls...google drag queens...and it's all Drag Race queens. Believe it or not, there is a whole world of drag queens outside of that show. Nothing against any them. But I agree with Cooper. I'm thirsty for some kind of new drag show other than a competition for a title show. We're Here is excellent. And probably why it's going so well....it s different and refreshing. Thanks for this post on the girls from Denmark....they have fun by the looks of them I 'm betting.ReplyDelete
Thank you Tweety. I have no idea how many drag queens and stories I have even featured anymore. I too think we need more different shows about drag. But alas...people love the fighting, drama and cat nips, so will they watch? If fighting, sex, or violence isn't involved peoples consumption and attention span seem to wane.Delete
I love drag queens!!!!!!! All of them. I like Drag Race, but Im not opposed to some other kind of show either. I also think another major difference is , is that Ru and the Drag Race girls are getting to caught up in consumerism, and commercialism. More worried about product tie ins, runway shows, and step and repeats, that just putting on an entertaining drag show. I suspect very few of these girls will be known many years later but a hand full of them, the more creative and brilliant ones. I just adore my local girls.ReplyDelete
Actually, most of these girls that have been on, do still do their club dates and went right back to their daily grinds...but a few of them, Jinkx, Sasha, Alyssa and Trixie, are just ,or in some cases more popular then Ru Herself. I do think a few have probably gotten a huge head too but don't have the talent since then...more fame queens now.Delete
Lovely post. Yes, compared to other countries, I fear drag is getting to assembly line here. Many of the Drag Race girls are stunning, but you also get them doing clubs dates, bumping the regulars that night...and some can't perform and lip-synch worth shit. If they more concerned about Drag Con and meet and greets...then drag has some issue here. Look at Miss Richfield, Varla, Bunny, Jackie Beat, Hedda and Coco, who didn't have a show like DR, but got a schtick and all have been around over 30 years and still going, ALL WHILE KEEPING THEIR ROOTS IN THEIR COMMUNTIES.ReplyDelete
I agree. I have seen more then a few in shows or Pride festivals...and have been very disappointed. I was thinking to myself, how the hell did they even get on the show? But yes, the old school queens really deserve the kudos. To have a career in drag, foraged by themselves with successful shows and beyond, and STILL going says something about them. And they are just as loved as the new queens.And all that before drag was even mainstream. It is amazing how many from the show you never hear of anymore. New York always had a very tight drag community and amazing how many are still around and performing since the late 80's.Delete
Kudos and respect to them all. I love the gender fuck. And the name Annie Reaction.ReplyDelete
I think their excellent. I would love to go to Denmark one day. We shalll see. We did get to one drag show in Budapest. It too was pretty interesting to see.Delete
Looks like an inventive bunch!ReplyDelete
And even with the facial hair they still look amazing. And to think, I use to even Nair my arms and legs!!!!!!!Delete
Perfection is overrated; having fun is betterReplyDelete
Fun with a message.ReplyDelete
Mizz Privileze with his moustache is genial & brilliantReplyDelete
The outfit of Miss Femme Fatale would be mine! the wig made of flowers is a miracle.