What made you wanna do drag?
I think drag is such a beautiful rebellious queer artform that meshes so many things that I love about art - performance, makeup, aesthetics, a telling of whatever story you want to tell. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, and quite frankly, did as a kid but I considered it cosplay but looking back, I was totally doing drag.
In its origins, it enabled queer people to live a fantasy they couldn’t live due to the restrictions and prejudice the LGBT+ community faced. It gave homeless queer people an ability to make a buck for food while also feeling beautiful and fabulous. It’s not just getting on stage, and doing a death drop. Yes a lot of it is performance, and nowadays drag is huge because of mainstream tv shows. But it started as a “fuck you” at cisheteronormative standards placed upon queer people, it was always us questioning what gender even meant and breaking down those walls of the gender binary and gender roles. It was always us sharing our own intimate queer experience with our community.
I’m talking about drag as the artform. Naturally, with how big drag is, there are people who will be misogynistic, transphobic, etc but these people do not represent drag or what drag has done for SO many people and certainly 100% go against the founders of the art. I’m really fortunate to be in Miami cause the drag scene down here is so vast in its representation. All shapes, all races, all ethnicities, all gender identities, everything. They embrace with open arms whatever fantasy you want to create and immediately denounce those who try to be racist/transphobic/misogynistic/lesbophobic/biphobic/etc literally any type of prejudice is 100% not tolerated. That’s the drag community I know and the only one I’m ever willing to be a part of.
I started drag because I love theater, and I love costuming. But the draw that I had to drag was different than the draw I have for theater or constructing an outfit. Plays/Musicals don’t fulfill me in the same way Drag does and it’s because of that unique queer experience I mentioned earlier. I don’t see Andro Gin as a role, but as a facet that I couldn’t ordinarily express. I know they look like a creature, and is camp but there’s a lot of realness and truth behind his persona that’s very embedded in who I am as a person. I’m comfortable being AFAB so this isn’t me coming out as trans/nonbinary but I think as queer people there’s always more going on under the surface that’s more complex when it comes to our gender expression than cishetero individuals could understand. The friends and community I’ve gained from this art I’ll cherish forever. Their stories, their fantasy, their talent, has been such a treat to be a part of and cheerlead. And then to have that love reciprocated back? It’s just been an incredible ride.