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Drag Culture: The art of self-expression

Updated: Mar 27, 2021

We have all used art to escape from reality. Some of us believe that singing, dancing or painting helps them escape from the present to a fantasy world, where they find their peace and joy. One such art form is the drag culture. It has been proven that drag culture has been existing since the 1800s but was majorly considered as a taboo topic. Through this article, we venture around Drag culture and learn something we didn't know before. 

Drag Culture is an art form where an individual dresses up as an opposite gender, celebrity or fantasy character and use art-forms like lip-syncing, live singing, and dancing to entertain the audience. Very few people would remember but our Bollywood has shown us long before it became an international phenomenon. In the song ‘Mere Angne Mein’ from the movie Laawaris, Amitabh Bachan has performed in drag throughout the song. Let's see what are the major details we need to know about this culture and its people

still from song 'Mere Angne Mein' where Amitabh Bachan performs in drag in the entire song from them movie Laawaris

Drag does not restrict to any gender or sexual identity.

There has been a huge misconception that all the drag performers are homosexuals, or is misguided an activity only for people in the LGBT community. They are farther from the truth, as the drag community does not restrict to any gender norms or sexual orientation. It can be easily described as wearing a costume and living the character, just as actors do in movies and theatre performances. 

Drag is an art form where we forget our real selves and become a part of a fantasy.

When a person is in drag, they usually apply a ginormous amount of makeup, very elaborative clothing and the attitude of a queen to make justice to the character the performance is dedicated to. It has happened many times to the drag queens that when they are in their costumes they completely forget about themselves and feel that they are the characters or personalities they are dressed up as. 

Drag Culture became popular internationally through Rupaul's Drag Race. 

Drag is an art form which was not accepted by a lot of people in our society. There were perceptions that if men started wearing clothes like women and started behaving and dancing like them it would degrade their worth in society. This mindset was soon changed when Rupaul introduced ‘RuPaul's Drag Race’ and gave exposure to the art internationally. Cut-back to now, its appealing to see people use phrases like ‘Lip-sync for life’ or ‘Sache-away’ makes us realise the power of television, media and the internet. 

Indian's can experience Drag Performances at Kitty Su India.

After decriminalisation of section 377, India has been very accepting of the Drag culture. Till this day cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi have safe spaces like Kitty Su or LGBT private parties where the Drag culture is well celebrated. And there have been some Drag Queens who have been embraced for their talent of living out a fantasy-like Maya the drag queen, Rani Kohinoor (Sushant Divgikar), Lush Monsoon, Betta Naan Stop, Tropical Marca, Zeeshan Ali and Patruni Chidananda Sastry. These names don’t only sound fantastic but believe us, even if you attend one of their performances, you are sure to be a fan of drag culture yourself. 

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