maybe you’re not the kind of person to go to a drag show. for whatever reason. it’s okay, I’m not judging. I, on the other hand, am. granted, it’s been a very long time since I have. but I find they’re still just as incredibly fun and escapist as they were when it was a whole new exciting world of college and after-hours and watching people of questionable (or no question at all) sexual orientation and fashion sense. it was the 80s, so think Boy George and Dead or Alive and Flock of Seagulls. gender bending abounded, and hairstyles, make-up and clothing were all over the place. and I lived in new york, so a drag show maybe wasn’t as extreme as it could’ve been. or as extreme as it might be in the south in present day. (that’s isn’t a judgement either.)
but I digress. +krista (she’s a hustler, that one!) set up this shoot at Burkhart’s Pub and we were most kindly granted access to the backstage prep. the performers were all “sister” and “giiiirl…” with each other, and with us. they answered our questions and didn’t complain when we got in their way. then we staked out some prime spots in front of the bar to shoot the show. and daaamn, it was a hell of a show. they just KILLED it. the place was rocking and I was drinking filthy martinis and singing loudly and dancing and laughing…and of course shooting. don’t ever think drag is just putting on a dress. it’s…well, it’s everything. it’s like what photographers do. we create visual fiction. creating mood or emotion or beauty that isn’t always necessarily there. or we take something that exists and make it ‘more so’. and these performers? they’re also creating mood and emotion and beauty. and boobs and nipples and butts. fuller lips, long hair. feminine beauty on a masculine frame.
so, if you haven’t been to a drag show, consider it. if you’ve been to a drag show before, consider going to Burkhart’s. if you’ve already been to Burkhart’s, go again. you know you want to. it’s performance. it’s art. it’s entertainment. it’s a hell of a time. and if you happen to get hit on by someone of a sexual orientation that you do not prefer, accept it for the compliment that it is, graciously decline, and just enjoy the show.