10 Myths About Drag Queens

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Australasia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Australasia

I've already told you what I've learned from being married to drag queen, so I thought I would continue along those lines and debunk 10 myths about drag queens. Some of these are myths I myself believed before Jeff created Vivian, and others are myths I learned existed only after getting involved in the drag community.

1. All drag queens are gay.

It's true that the majority of drag queens are gay, but there is a small minority of queens who are straight. I honestly did not know this until I watched some of the audition tapes for last season of RuPaul's Drag Race. One of the contestants stated that even though he performs in drag, he is 100-percent straight. I was shocked to learn this, but it makes sense, because drag is an art form, not a way of life.

2. Drag queens want to be women.

OK, sadly, this is one of the myths I believed before I knew any better. Before I met Vivian and other drag queens, I believed that anyone who does drag wants to be a woman, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Though it is true that some drag gueens are transgender women, the majority of drag queens take part in the art form because they love it and because it offers them a creative outlet.

3. Drag queens only do drag for the money.

This one is so false that it is not even funny. Yes, some drag queens make a living from drag, but trust me when I tell you that the majority of drag queens I know have full-time jobs and spend more money than they make from drag. For most, drag is an extremely expensive hobby that they enjoy doing. Very few drag queens are lucky enough to make a living at it.

4. A drag queen is less of a man.

This is another myth that I believed before I met Vivian. I felt that drag queens aren't "real men." Unfortunately, for the first few years after coming out, I was young and extremely naïve, but once I started meeting drag queens and interacting with them out of drag, I realized how wrong I was. Now I believe that all of them are more of a man than I am, because they have the courage to do what they do. It takes an extremely confident man to put himself out there for others to judge and sometimes ridicule.

5. All drag queens are tops.

OK, I'm hoping everyone reading this knows what I mean by "top," so I'm not going to explain. Anyway, I never knew about this myth until after getting involved in the drag community, and it definitely is not true. I know several drag queens who are not tops. That's all I'm going to say on this topic!

6. Anyone can be a drag queen.

This myth kind of goes hand-in-hand with myth #4, because performing in drag is not easy, and not anyone can do it. You have to have that "it" factor. If you are going to be a drag queen, you need to be able to capture the audience's attention and keep them entertained. You also need to have a large heart and be willing to work for nothing to raise money for charities and help the community. Not everyone can do that.

7. Drag queens never use their "boy names."

Some will tell you that you should never use a drag queen's "boy name," and that is partially true, but it really depends on the queen and the situation. If he is in drag, then yes, you should use his drag name, especially if you don't know him well. I call Vivian "Jeff" sometimes when he is in drag, but I am his husband. I call all other queens by their drag names when they are in drag. I use their boy names only when they are in street clothes, and I will admit that even then I sometimes use their drag names. Whether you should use the person's boy name really depends on the situation and your relationship with him.

8. Wearing a dress makes you a drag queen.

This one couldn't be further from the truth, and I know this from personal experience. I have done drag for local charity events, and trust me: Even in drag, I am not a drag queen. I act and walk like a man even when wearing heels. You really need to be able to create a character to be a drag queen, and not everyone can accomplish that.

9. All drag queens are bitchy.

I won't say that there aren't some drag queens who can be extremely bitchy, but let's stop and look at it from their perspective. They are wearing multiple pairs of tights and heels that were not made for their foot shape; some are corseted, and some have their manhood tucked behind them. I think I would be a little on the bitchy side too. Add to that the fact that some people feel that they have the right to judge them and demand things from them. Being a drag queen is not easy and can cause some to be bitchy, but in reality, the majority of them are the nicest people. Most of them would give someone the shirt off their backs.

10. All drag queens shave.

Yes, the majority of drag queens shave their facial hair, but there is a form of drag that doesn't require shaving, and it's called "bear" or "skag" drag. In this form of drag, the queens keep their facial hair and apply makeup around it. There are also some drag queens who will shave their facial hair but not their arm or leg hair. It's all a matter of how the queen wants to present her art form.

There you have it: ten myths about drag queens, debunked! Remember, drag may not be for everyone, but these performers deserve your respect. What they do is truly an art form.