We use the tag ‘drag artists’ when we talk about drag queens – male performers who cross-dress for entertaining purposes. And the reason why we use the gender-neutral term is not our unawareness of the words ‘drag queen’, there are drag kings as well, they are also cross-dressing for entertainment and they also deserve being noticed. So, let’s explore this part of drag culture a little bit better.
Drag King group Pecs say that people don’t treat drag kings as performers because there are no male-only clothes to cross-dress – meaning that to most people’s minds if a self-identified man (not a non-binary or gender fluid person, not a trans woman – a man) wears a dress, then he is probably a performer. If a woman wears pants – so what? They are doing it for centuries. As many of drag queens are gay men, many of drag kings are lesbians, and they are often criticized by other queer women for ‘celebrating’ and ‘glorifying’ men and masculinity. But they insist that both sexes deserve being celebrated – men and women are companions, not rivals. Celebrating men is not a sexism, but believing that men don’t deserve being celebrated as well as women – this is a pure sexism, the kings ensure.