Cheers, Queers!

A Night of London Drag

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that this post is intended for adult audiences. The images and video footage include nudity.

A night out in London brings you to a “drag show.” What do you expect? A man dressed up in a wig and heels? A comedy queen from RuPaul’s drag race? An androgynous person lipsyncing? I can remember having so many misconceptions about what drag is and can be before I moved to New York City and realizing, after exploring the culture on a deeper level, how skewed the perception of drag had become. I work for LOGO, which produces RuPaul’s Drag Race. This is in no way a slam to RuPaul or the show, but there is a very limited range of drag queens on the show. And over the last year I’ve seen those misconceptions I had perpetuated even further on the show. The first being that drag queens are gay men portraying women. The space I’ve set up on this page is made to expand our lens when it comes to viewing drag. Before you explore, think about what your perception is, and then look at how you can challenge it through these audio interviews, performance videos, and photographs. I went into this project trying to answer the question, “What are some differences between London and USA’s drag scene?” And while I think I found only a sliver of the answer to that question, I’ve presented you a look at one night, at one show, at one London venue that for me showcases a major difference.  Exactly as I saw through the lens of a hidden camera (which I later got OK-ed to use), you see not only “drag” but something extra. Extra queer. Extra social commentary. Extra self-reflection. For me, I saw this experience as a therapeutic one. While there was an audience, what I experienced was for me. They asked me to recall my past, my demons, my BAD WORDSSS, and from that, embrace my own experience as a viewer to overcome whatever the hell I wanted to. That felt different to me in London. So while I could curate this to be something more profound, I think I’ll do what the host of the night, Rubyyy Jones, encouraged me to do…take it in for yourself.

BAD WORDSSS presented by Save Rubyyy Jones

A video capturing a night of performances at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London. Performances ranging from drag, queer performance art, boy-lesque, and more.  The night is hosted by legend, Rubyyy Jones.

“Cheers Queers: BAD WORDSSS presented by Save Rubyyy Jones” by Tommy Craven from Confluence Gallatin on Vimeo.

Interviews

Rubyyy Jones
A performer, writer and muse, specializing in love lust and light

Baby Lame
A drag performer known for her critique of  pop culture’s addiction to children performers

Audience Member
A “drag” enthusiast and photographer who remained nameless