Disclaimer: “These are my personal views and has nothing to do with what others think or feel about drag. It maybe different for different people.”
In the recent turn of events, India is seeing a surge in the number of drag queens emerging from the corners of the country, looking fabulous AF while coming out of the closet, after carefully picking their wardrobe to slay them all. But what is Drag? This comes as an important question because not knowing what drag is all about is a disaster in every possible way. You HAVE to know what is it all about.
A lot of people come to me and ask me if I’m a transgender or if I’m a cross dresser or if I do this for dhandha (for those who don’t know, it means if you do it for sex work). Every time I hear that, I feel like ugh I don’t have enough energy to deal with you RN.
Let me answer everything that you should know and what I feel. Drag queens are women impersonators. For a woman to transform from tired sleepy looking girl to fresh, glamorous girl, makeup works great but you need to know the art to make that happen. However, to transform a man into a woman, now that’s some big task. You can’t just slap on some foundation and lashes, apply some liner and contouring and say I’m impersonating a woman. No. Like N.O.
It’s a long process and it needs a fine understanding of women’s body structure, feminine behavior, makeup skills, clothing, etc. But, is that it? Is that all what drag is about? Isn’t that like cross dressing? The answer is, no. Drag isn’t just impersonating women.
Drag is always over the top. It’s loud, it’s bold, it’s unchained freedom. It probably will make you feel uncomfortable because we are programmed from childhood that women are supposed to be like this, they should dress like that, they should do this etc. Drag queens break those norms, they impersonate the women and make them exactly opposite to what society thinks an ideal woman should be like.
Drag queens can bring the women from your sexual fantasy to reality or sometimes from your darkest fear too. They can be like a real woman or like an ET woman but a woman nonetheless.
But why to sexualize womanhood? Isn’t that like anti feminist? That’s your limits thought process. Drag queens sexualize the womanhood at times but that’s to make the human race uncomfortable. So much so that eventually it becomes a regular thing and teach the humans that even if a woman is dressed in a certain way that makes you sexually attracted to her, it doesn’t mean she is dressed that way for you to rape her without her consent. Her choice of clothing is because she wanted to and not for you. Let’s say, even if she’s dressed to pick up a guy at the bar, that does not mean it’s for any random guy. THAT, my dear friend, is true feminism where a woman is not tagged as a slut for having a consent in picking up her sexual partner.
So you see, Drag is not just about impersonating a woman but also to fight for the rights of women. But then isn’t that a Gay thing? So instead of bringing out a message for your own community, why women? First, because we care for the women in this world. Second, it’s not just for women’s rights only. It does fight for the LGBT community. Drag is inclusive of everyone. I have a straight friend who is cis male and attracted to women and he loves to do Drag. Straight cis gender female like Lady Gaga and transgender woman like Peppermint love to do Drag.
As I said, it’s an art. An art to transform yourself into someone else. Live a life of a true free queen. Free from the inhibitions that society has put on you. Express your deep desires that you could never express as your real self through a character or a creature that you embody as a Drag.
How do we express? Just by putting on the clothes and makeup on? No. This is another aspect of Drag Queens. We are performers. We express ourselves through performances. It could be dance, song, act, poetry, stand up comedy, etc.
And for many queens, Drag is a therapy (I’m quoting this from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9, but it’s true). I’ll give my example, I won’t speak for others. A few days ago, my depression was taking over and it was consuming me. I still haven’t got out of it completely. My depression had hit so low that I was ready to give up on my life. Many of you who have been following me, I know you have seen me as this strong person who fights back from all the adversities and you couldn’t imagine me giving up on my life, but it’s true.
Lately, everything was going wrong in my life and I didn’t feel like taking it anymore. I didn’t want to live. But then my friend suggested me to try Drag. I have always loved makeup and I have fought through everything like a Queen. Maybe I could use that skill and bring out that Queen to everyone.
I had nothing else to hold on to so I decided I will give it a try. Also because somewhere inside my heart, I wanted to vent out in front of real people and not just online.
Divya Roop is already a name which a lot of people look up to as this strong warrior who would fight and rise against above every struggle. I couldn’t afford to take away that hope from my friends around the world. I tried and it was always a disaster. I had reached to the conclusion that I cannot show this world my vulnerabilities.
I had stopped talking about what was bothering me or what was killing me internally. My friends had to poke me for weeks or months even to get things out of my heart and gradually that also stopped because I learnt to wear a smile to hide my emotions and thoughts.
I knew in my heart that I’m almost at the verge of taking a step forward to my final fall. So when my friend asked me to try Drag, I immediately found a way to let it all out. In front of the world, it will be my alter ego who can be vulnerable and broken and not Divya even though behind that mask, it will still be me letting it all out.
For this world, I’m still that fighter who has yet again found a way to fight it back. On that note, I would like to introduce you all to my alter ego, Divine Scarlet.
Divine is very new but very ambitious. I hope you all would love her and pray for her to achieve everything she hopes to find in her life.
And I hope this was insightful and I hope that the drag queens in India would one day SHOOK the world. I hope you guys like it and share it with your friends if you feel they should know and learn about this growing lifestyle.