“Asian queens reign supreme”
With the wide spread popularity of Rupauls Drag Race sweeping the nation, one is curious if other countries/cultures have picked up Mother Ru’s hint and put in work to have their own variation. Specifically, with the increase of more queens hailing from countries to the east. i wanted to dive deep into the popularity of drag in countries like Korea, China, Thailand. ETC.
Origins- long before Drag was even discovered in America, the Japanese were incorporating it into their everyday theater. A specific type of theater called “Kabuki” gave rise to the early years of female impersonation in Japan. Speaking in false voices, putting on the most delicate clothes, and moving ever so gracefully gave the essence of femininity to these individuals on stage. In most eastern countries gender performance outside of own gender is frowned upon. Especially in countries like China, where anything deviating from tradition values is shunned.
The drag of Beijing is growing rapidly, throwing up high kicks and split in light of the governments crack down on gender performance. Audience gather in one of Beijings famous Drag night clubs to witness the evolution drag that night. the Famous ” The Anchor’s” bar is one of the thrives places for LGBTQIA+ inviduals to gather, and dance the night away and #turnup. With Homosexuality still being a bit of a taboo subject with families in china, places like ” The Anchor” are surprisingly meet with positivity and love from community.
The Hong Kong Drag Gong
Although the LGBTQIA+ still has a little bit of a ways to go before being truly accepted in society, the uprise of the drag community in Hong Kong is helping to slowly lessen that taboo. Citizens are starting to appreciate the theatricality and flare drag performers bring to stage. But not just the looks, people are also appreciating the music of drag culture too. YES!!!! It is counter productive to label a specific genre “drag music”, but we’re talking in the sense of music that you’d potentially hear in a popular night club. Full of mixed beats and popping base. Drag not only entertains the masses, but brings visibility to individuals in community, and allow topics foreign to people a chance to get exposure.
Sailing waters: Asian Queens on Mainstream Drag
For Asian queens, the Experience they have on “Rupauls Drag Race” can be very interesting. Especially since there’s rarely a large number of queens with origins from east on show. But those who do make it on show often don’t show the authenticity of the drag from their culture, it’s often a caricature of the asian drag they feel people will receive gratefully. Stating that the show only rewarded Asian contestants heavily the more they played oriental. Asian representation the fits a queens true culture aesthetic is scarce, and that needs to change, but only if the masses fight against misconceptions of these queens portrayed by media. We Saw queens like Kim-Chi give use life in her reunion performance of Season 8, but can’t stop there. Continue to empower queens to give us the Drag of the play they call home.