Are you curious about drag queens and kings but having trouble understanding the differences between them?

A drag queen talking and saying ABSOLUTELY

It's All About The Show

  • A drag show is a form of entertainment performed by drag artists impersonating men or women.

  • A drag show involves performers singing or lip-synching songs while performing a pre-planned pantomime or dancing.

  • There might also be some comedy, skits, and audience interaction.

  • Drag has deep roots in Western culture, specifically in theater, when women weren’t permitted to perform on stage so men would play female roles.

  • Drag performers were featured as far back as ancient Greece and carried on through Shakespearean times.

Two drag queens on stage turning and facing the audience

Differences Between Drag Queen And King

Drag Queen

  • Typically (though not always) an AMAB (assigned male at birth) performer dressing and creatively expressing themselves in an exaggerated feminine style.

  • Dress in exaggerated women’s clothing and makeup to assume female roles and presentation.

  • While most drag queens are men (often gay or queer men), an increasing wave of cisgender women (assigned female at birth) or transgender women arebecomingdrag queens.

Drag King

  • Typically (though not always) an AFAB (assigned female at birth) performer dressing and creatively expressing themselves in an exaggerated masculine style.

  • Dress in exaggerated men’s clothing and makeup to assume male roles and presentation.

  • Many drag kings are women, but there's a lot of fluidity in terms of how performance is defined and how performers define themselves

  • Not as well-known in popular culture.

A drag kind dressed in an old suit and tie with a flower in the lapelPhoto courtesy of Flickr

A drag queen dressed in a veil at a Pride Parade in ParisPhoto courtesy of Flickr

Do's And Don'ts

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  • Being respectful of a drag performer’s genderis the same as being respectful of anyone else’s gender.

  • If you’re not sure which pronouns to use when referring to someone, just ask!

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  • Don’t assume that someone in drag is transgender, or vice versa .

  • Don't refer to a transgender person’s presentation as drag, because it suggests that their deeply held identity is just a show they're putting on — which is untrue.

Woman raising her hands and spelling RESPECT

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File:Israel - Jerusalem - Drag Show - 5 (4261547749).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia

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This Byte has been authored by

MH

Mary Hoftiezer

Instructional Designer