Roisin Murphy on how drag culture shaped her creative identity


Roisin Murphy is back with a new track in ‘Narcissus’, a sparkling homage to arrogance and disco, headlining Homobloc in Manchester this year. Yes, she is strongly connected with the queer community, and even though she does not identify within it, it helped her to self-identify as an artist, an entertainer, a creator. In part drag culture – she liked to dress and to play the roles of someone she would never become in real life as long as she remembers herself – from the bride from 60s (her grandma’s wedding dress was used for it) to the ancient Chinese woman (for this she had to leave her dolls naked). She did not know that there were mature people who cross-dress and entertain people that way. But when she found out about them, she was sure that she also had a hidden drag self. Moreover, she thinks there is no person in the world not to have it. “Everyone’s got a bit of drag in them. It was a big release for me as a teenager in the mid to late 80s – coming out of a time when everyone was on one side or another. There’s something about drag that counteracts that. In the face of everything, and in all the confusion, all you’re really saying is “I’m dressed up as this,” the singer said, adding that she is still pretty cis and straight.


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