male attire

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Nohr version HERE

The History of Drag Kings

When compared to the exquisitely expressive art of Drag Queens, the wonderful world of Drag Kings appears to exist with far less attention from popular culture. When I speak of Drag Queens amongst my friends, most of them seem familiar with the craft, so much so, they can even name and discuss examples. However, when I raise the term ‘Drag King’, I am often confronted with a response similar to, ‘Wow, I never even knew they existed’. Nonetheless, Drag King performers are storming stages all around the world, treating an array of audiences to bold shows which captivate and challenge creative minds.

The idea and practice of performers transforming themselves through male personas is by no means a new concept. For instance, English playwright, poet and actress Susanna Centlivre is notable for her work as an actress in ‘breeches roles’. Dubbed as “the most successful female playwright of the eighteenth century”, she performed regularly in traditional male attire. In other words, she became accustomed to fitted knee-length trousers and popular masculine garments; clothing worn mostly by men around the 1700s. Since this time, Drag Kings have progressed and developed; increasing in popularity whilst making use of sophisticated resources and techniques. Distinguished impersonators and cross-dressers across the 19th and 20th Centuries include theatrical performers such as Annie Hindle, Ella Shields, Vesta Tilly, Bessie Bellwood and Hetty King. Not to mention other provocative entertainers such as Blues singer Gladys Bentley and the more controversial LGBT civil rights icon; Stormé DeLarverie. Referencing the OED, during 1972, the term ‘Drag King’ was initially published in text to represent the description ‘woman masquerading as a man’. Referring to the updated version, we can see the definition as ‘A woman who dresses up as a man; a male impersonator’. Bringing Drag Kings into the 21st Century, the field of performing arts and creative industries offer a wide range of practitioners specialising in drag king performances, workshops and transformations. Some of my favourites include Phantom, Spikey Van Dykey, Adam All and Landon Cider.

The International Drag King Community Extravaganza is the largest event of its kind and is entirely run by volunteers. Hosted in a different city each year, the IDKE is known for its extraordinary performances, workshops and events which push the boundaries of gender. In order to achieve different levels of gender illusion, drag kings combine methods of breast binding, application of facial/body hair, masculine haircuts, styles or wigs, performance props, staging, illusive male genitalia, manly clothing, as well as altered posture and movement. Despite being relatively unheard of to the masses, Drag King shows are becoming more and more accessible, with both troupe and solo performers making a name for themselves amongst artistic and LGBT communities. For example, ‘Boi Box’ is a monthly Drag King show held at ‘She Soho’, a lesbian venue situated on Old Compton Street in London. There are also many opportunities for Drag Kings to compete and network, with The San Francisco Drag King Contest being significant as supposedly the oldest and biggest Drag King competition in the world.

The drag scene plays host to a magnificent mixture of gender bending cabaret, comedy, burlesque, circus, theatre and performance art. The art of drag has been saturated with fascinating historical events, and continues amaze through the footprints of modern day practitioners. Drag Kings take their place in the spotlight, giving us a glimpse into a remarkable and inspiring world which deserves to be adored and celebrated.

Was thinking about the Oviraptorid people I was talking about in this post again so I doodled some of their beautiful heads.

Color is a very big deal in their cultures among men, equally to to impress females as it is to show off to other males. Gaudy attire is the accepted norm, heavily frilled and patterned with colors our weak mammalian eyes cant even see. Jewelry is also very popular, the richest of them like to show off their wealth wearing an array of gold and jewels in daily affairs.

Women are able to wear a range of colors from white, black, beige, grey, and “undistracting shades of brown”. A women in a pink shirt is a ghastly sight, possibly signs of social upheaval and “unnatural desires”. The ”success” of a courting man in modern culture is not the beauty of their wife/lover, but rather the number of them, since polygamy is a big thing among them and accepted norm.

For those of you who don’t understand why transmisogyny and transphobia can be considered two separate (but related) concepts, here’s an example.

My HRT letter from my therapist genders the clothes that I chose to wear to the sessions as “appropriate male attire.” I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans to all of my appointments. I’m a transgender man. It’s not hard to assume what “appropriate female attire” might be.

I wonder if they ever considered that some people might be in danger if they wore something “appropriate” on their way to their therapy sessions?

I was trynna do a thing for @dahdeemohn‘s post about Sami wearing Eva Marie’s outfit (ALL RED EVERYTHING!), but tragically you cannot have male wrestlers wearing female attire in WWE 2K17.

…however, I am stubborn if nothing else so let’s see what kind of monstrosity I can come up with instead of a simple costume switch!

The goth and fantasy fashion aesthetics are fucking beautiful, but they’re coming up short. 

  1. There is a serious lack of POC in gothic attire. 
  2. There is a serious lack of POC in fantasy attire. 
  3. There is a serious lack of male POC in gothic or fantasy attire. 
  4. There is a serious lack of males in fantasy attire, period. 
  5. Why are there so few genderfluid fantasy costumes and concepts?

Come on.  Step it up, people.

washingtonpost.com
‘He paid a dear price for it’: The 19th-century ordeal of one of America’s first transgender men

On Oct. 7, 1879, the New York Times reported the death of one Lucy Ann Lobdell Slater under the headline, the “Death of a Modern Diana,” a reference to the Roman goddess of the hunt.

While known for her prowess as a “female hunter,” the Times reported, her “strange life history” was most notable for the fact that she “assumed the name of Joseph Lobdell,” “put on male attire” and “went about the country making a living as a music teacher.”

It was “a pursuit,” the obit added, which came to an abrupt end when her sex was “accidentally discovered, and she was forced to fly from the place in the night to escape being tarred and feathered.”

There was a modicum of truth in the obituary.

Lucy Ann was a skilled hunter but the name had not been Lucy Ann for years. He had long ago assumed the name Joseph Lobdell. And he did wear men’s clothing. He and his wife were constantly on the run, hounded from town to town in upstate New York and beyond, and threatened with being tarred and feathered.

But there was one giant untruth: Joseph Lobdell, or as the Times called him, Lucy Ann, was not dead.

The error was perhaps understandable. His family, after all, had told everyone he was indeed dead. When his wife came looking for him, they told her as well.

Why the lie?

That was just one of the questions Joseph’s descendant, specifically his second cousin three times removed, Bambi Lobdell set out to answer some 130 years later, nearly a century after Joseph’s actual death in 1912 at roughly the age of 83.

“He was literally erased, literally, textually killed, 30 years before he died,” said Lobdell, who teaches in the women and gender studies department at SUNY Oneonta, not far from the region of New York where Lobdell lived his early life, then sparsely populated, dotted with farms and forests.

To Saxo, who as a Christian cleric did not approve of warrior women because they refused their role as sexual beings, this was only a further example of the chaos in Denmark before the Church had brought order and stability. According to Saxo, those fighting women lived in the old heathen Denmark, which they in fact may have done. Roman, Late Antique, and early medieval authors who deal with wars commonly report on barbarian/Germanic women on the battlefield. Fighting women ‘in male attire’ were not imaginary at all; their dead bodies were reported from battlefields as, for instance, on Balkan examples during the Gothic raids in the third century and after battles with the Huns in the fourth and fifth centuries. Before ad 238 a majority of all available sources about Germanic women mention women at war, and warrior women are described by Procopius, Jordanes, Paul the Deacon, Adam of Bremen – among many other sources. Also, Homer describes Amazons as men’s equals as long as they fight. When they lay dead on the battlefield however, they were classified as women. Recurrent in the description of all fighting women, from Homer to the Icelandic law code, is their cross-dressing. Fighting women always wore male dress. Dress constituted and embodied the social signs of gender to such a degree that only when the mail coat – ‘the wrong sign’ – was removed, and the body lay dead, did the ‘wrong’ gender also die. Regardless of their status as literary fictions or historical realities, all these women assumed a cultural role as men. They had, so to speak, female sex but male gender.
—  (pages 121) Iron Age Myth and Materiality: An Archaeology of Scandinavia AD 400-1000 by Lotte Hedeager

I was looking up Ellis Island name changes for a comic I’m writing and found out the whole thing is a misunderstanding!  People’s names weren’t FORCED to be changed there, it was just a convenient place where you could say whatever name you wanted, since there was no proof that wasn’t your name after all.

Anyway, click through to that NY Public Library post, because it’s really interesting.  At the bottom they talk about Frank Woodhull / “Mary Johnson”: a biological woman who wore male attire, because prospects were better for men than women.

Then came a time fifteen years ago when I got desperate. I had been told that I looked like a man, and I knew that in Canada some women have put on men’s clothes do men’s work. So the thought took shape in my mind. If these women had done it why could not I, who looked like a man? I was in California at the time. I bought men’s clothes and began to wear them. Then things changed. I had prospects. My occupation I have given here as canvasser, but I have done many things. I have sold books, lightning rods, and worked in stores. Never once was I suspected that I was other than Frank Woodhull.

What I love about the story is after being caught as being not born a man, the Ellis Island people were like, whatever, regardless of the clothes being worn, this is still a productive citizen: even more productive than most women at the time, due to sexism!  Woodhull again:

Men can work at many unskilled callings, but to a woman only a few are open, and they are the grinding, death-dealing kinds of work. Well, for me, I prefer to live a life of independence and freedom.

Most charming (and refreshing!) is that NY Public Library post after concluding “the individual identified at Ellis Island as Mary Johnson, was freed, to ‘face the world as Frank Woodhull’” uses masculine pronouns:

Once Woodhull left Ellis Island, he was no longer obliged to be known as Mary Johnson, but was free to resume his life, complete with the name and identity of his choosing. Ellis Island could not impose a name upon him.

Since Frank was someone who worked to pass as a man and clearly preferred to be considered as one, it’s appropriate AND terrific.  Great work, NY Public Library!  And great work, Frank Woodhull!

npr.org
'Female Husbands' In The 19th Century

These days most people think of crossdressers as men dressing up as women, probably because female to male crossdressers are not equally visible. Society is much more tolerant of women using male attire than men using traditional female clothing.

If you read the history of gender variance, however, you will soon see that female to male crossdressers were more visible in the 19th century. They were not necessarily transsexual (in the modern sense of the word). But many of them were transgender.

In this article Linton Weeks present the “female husbands” of 19th century America and Britain, people assigned female at birth, but who presented as men (or, at least, masculine) and who lived with their female lovers and wives.

Weeks tells us about how the popular press covered the discovery of female-assigned living as men:

The remarkable case of James Walker, “a female who was found intoxicated in the street … dressed in man’s clothes,” appeared as a Journal of Commerce item in the Aug. 26, 1836, issue of the Maine Farmer and Journal of the Useful Arts.

James was arrested on a Friday night. The next morning, a “decently dressed woman called at the police office and asked to see James Walker, who she said was her husband.” The decently dressed woman was “informed of the discovery which had been made.” Though the decently dressed woman was permitted to see James Walker, she did not speak to James.

In front of a magistrate, James Walker said her real name was George Moore Wilson and that she was from England, where George was an acceptable name for a female. According to the report, she told the judge that “both her parents died when she was very young and that when she was 12 years old, in consequence of being ill-treated by her friends, she ran away from them, put on boy’s clothes and made her way to Scotland, the native place of her parents.”

More here!

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“Clothing that’s altogether less interesting than Womenswear. The design of Female attire is vastly more creative and daring. I don’t think that’ll change any time soon. It’s understandable: In the realm of Art, the female figure is so much more pleasing; it lends itself to the splendor of artistic expression in a way the Male form can’t. There have been significant shifts in the recent decade, however. I’ve never enjoyed buying and exploring the world of Male attire more than I do now. Contemporary Men’s Fashion owes so much more to the influence and vision of Homosexual culture than it will ever know.”

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Ever After High Dragon Games


I primarily collect just the signature dolls from the Ever After High series, however this new Dragon Games is probably the first time I will be buying the whole series. The armor, the details.. they are amazing. Heres to hoping there will be full sized dragons for each of these (Apple is the lucky one to come along with one) as well as the male characters in Knights Attire complete with swords and shields. Cmon Mattel make it Happen!