Where does a Bearded Drag Queen belong?
Today I became embroiled in a controversy regarding bearded drag queens and the trend thereof! There were photos showing lovely guys with Miss Fame make up, the airbrush eyebrows and 1960’s Bridget Bardot lips and beards.
Fun? Yes, my alter ego did this a couple of times, once at the Liberace estate, and had surprising results with people actually being attracted!
But in reality this is like “almost pregnant” or “half n erection” a semi!
I have been following the true art of female impersonation since the 1950’s, have met and known most of the greats such as Lynne Carter of The Jewel Box Review, The Paper Doll at Finochios in San Francisco, the great TC Jones all the way to Jacky Beat, beautiful Jimmy James and the incredible Dolly Levi! These people make their living impersonating (Jimmy lately only doing the diva voices using his own pretty face) and work hard at it.
Then there are those charity Divas like me and the glamorous Elaine Lancaster on the East Coast. We work hard at it too, and of course I have double work to support multiple entities funded by a person from another world!
Now I realize that there is a huge wave of gender bending out there now, which I totally support, in fact it is why I even exist! There are many shades of all colours, Transgenders NOT being the same as transsexuals (another blog) but just people being who they want to be…finally. Of course, the young ones all have the same face, as in any popular trends, perpetrated by such drag tutorials like Miss Fame put up on the net (remarkable). The dramatic shading barely blended, the airbrush eye brows, the several sets of eyelashes both upper and lower– a lot of it great art work and highly effective from the stage in spot lights.
Eventually these youth will find their own face if they stay with impersonation, but the “in look” is rampant and the public is accepting it, most of the time. Of course there are rare exceptions such as California”s Calvin Royalty , a innovative make-up artist whose school is becoming the place to learn make-up. Calvin has a very small trimmed beard and moustache, dramatic eye make up and facial contouring. But this is mainly a walking billboard of his work more than a drag statement!
But appearing in drag in a full beard is not impersonation.
And while as I said earlier, although fun, a beard is not the show stopper people pay to see! They DO pay to see a man impersonating a woman, whether it be comedy, sexy, outrageous or glamorous couture! True, there are some cute boys with well trimmed short beards and make up on that are just pretty in their extreme youth, and I think that is an acceptance break through also. But it is not drag.
Drag is hard work and takes a lot of details that the audience does not dream of! Especially night after night! Just heels alone, no matter how good the fit, are as much a pain to drag queens as to women!
There have been some “shockers” such as the Austrian talent contest winner Conchita Wurst. When some of my fans told me to watch Conchita on YouTube, I was appalled! Here was someone with a beautiful face, gorgeous smile, surrounded with special effects most show queens only dream of, great gown and a good high tenor voice and a paste on beard!
Now this gimmick did win her the contest and thousands of European kids hailed her as a great “break through ” for the transgender community or the gay community. But I could not help but think how much MORE compelling she would have been without the beard? No lip-syncing, beautiful face and figure, the new Celine Dion, yet a man. It would be like seeing Jim Bailey launch his career in the late 60’s and sky rocketing to fame and fortune over night in a less accepting society!
Female impersonation is an art form centuries old, transgender is a life style and expression of what one wishes to be (and the right to be it). Bearded ladies belong in a midway!