Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya BotejuPerpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.
Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.
Women Get Transformed Into Drag Kings For The First Time
Carefully painting in sharp cheekbones and heavy eyebrows before applying a mustache and a final sprinkling of glitter, Jen Powell slowly transforms into male alter-ego Adam All ahead of a performance at a London club. He's not massively confident, oddly enough, although he does love the stage. While drag kings arguably have just as long a past, they have not enjoyed the same level of recognition or popularity - although that now appears to be changing. Read also: US icon RuPaul brings drag queens out of the closet. Much of the recent growth of interest in the drag scene can be traced back to the popular US television talent show RuPaul's Drag Race , which has made stars of some competitors and helped to boost a gay subculture into the mainstream.
All photos by Aaron Walker. Everyone loves a good before and after, and the drag community is no exception. Dragformation is an ongoing project by Australian photographer Aaron Walker, who documents the transformation of the country's diverse drag community in all its colorful glory. Broadly caught up with him to ask about the thinking behind his big, bold photographic collection. Aaron Walker: It's the transformation process that is interesting to me, rather than the final look. It's the amount of time and the attention to detail, from walking off the street and into the dressing room, to walking on stage. That's a three-hour period of hair and makeup.
By Nicole Phelps. Photographed by Stef Mitchell. But where are the kings? Historically, drag kings have been female performance artists who wear masculine drag and personify male gender stereotypes. But as understandings of gender have become more fluid in recent years, so too has this definition; now, there are trans men kings, nonbinary kings, and even cisgender men who perform as drag kings—just as there are cisgender women who perform as queens. Even as the world of drag kings expands, it remains more or less absent in pop culture.
The drag king scene in Britain is fast gaining a huge following. Minnie Stephenson meets the stars of this gender-defying world. Backstage, in a basement bar in neon-lit Soho, Richard is staring intently in the mirror. His short hair is combed into a quiff, a smart suit jacket hugging his broad shoulders. Drawing a deep breath, and puffing out his chest, he reaches into a bowl and takes a handful of hair clippings, before meticulously applying them to his chin in the shape of a goatee beard. By day, Richard is actually Zoe, a year-old health and safety worker from Essex.