7 Things Every Drag Queen Must Know

“Being a man one day and a woman the next isn’t an easy thing to do.” — Bernadette Bassenger

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Me, Delilah Von Tramp. Image: Craige Juratowich

My name is Delilah Von Tramp and I’ve got nine years of drag queen wisdom to share. No, this is not a tutorial, this is a reality check. I’m dishing out insights like a fairy godmother! So, bippity boppity boop and let’s get started.

The true definition of a drag queen

According to Google, a drag queen is “a man who ostentatiously dresses up in women’s clothes.” Considering how convoluted the LGBTI+ alphabet has become in recent years, this is a poor definition. I prefer to define a drag queen as a man who ostentatiously dresses up like a woman for the main purpose of live entertainment. Consider it as an acting term; a drag queen is a character, formed by the man behind the drag queen, which is used to entertain a crowd.

The kind of entertainment is not important to the definition. It’s mostly lip-syncing to women’s songs, but it can actually be anything. It could even be popping ping pong balls from questionable orifices. The imperative here is that it’s for the main purpose of entertainment. However, if a man who wears women’s clothes does it for the main purpose of liking the way he looks in the female form, then it’s different. They could be a cross-dresser or quite possibly transgender. They might also do it for entertainment, but if there’s a strong desire to look womanly then it’s likely more than just plain drag. If in doubt, ask.

It’s also equally important to note that being a drag queen is a gender issue and does not relate to sexuality. A man can be a drag queen and be straight.

Bigger is always better

If you’re wanting to wow a crowd, bigger is ALWAYS better. Whether it’s bigger hair, bigger lips, bigger tits, or bigger hips. As a personal opinion, false lashes must always be big; at least an inch thick. Your face may look well-contoured and bright, but the illusion will flounder without large enough lashes.

Another great reason for going big is the chances of being spotted in the crowd. You might not take notice of the skimpy drag queen in a leotard with a flat bob wig prancing around on stage, but you definitely won’t miss the burly drag queen with a towering up-do on their head and a ballooning bosom.

So, if in doubt, go big!

The versatility of makeup

If there’s one thing I’ve learned to hate in the drag queen world, it’s bitchy gays making unnecessary statements about a drag queen’s makeup. Fair enough if their technique isn’t on point, but don’t whine when a drag queen has eyebrows too high or overdone too much blush. That’s likely their prerogative. Also, doing this just shows how insecure you are.

On the flip-side, new drag queens should learn when to take on these personal reviews. Criticism is an important thing to consider when you’re an artist, but you have to learn what to take on board and what to scatter into the wind. If in doubt, listen to the way they say their critical statements. If they sound too much like their whining, send them a goodbye wave and go find someone more worthy to associate with.

The subtle art of tucking

One thing that could totally ruin the illusion of a drag queen is a massive bulge where the vagina should be. Sorry, not sorry; there is no nice way to tackle this particular point. Unless you’re going for a really quirky act, it is necessary to flatten your nether regions.

While this is best taught visually, I’m going to try and type it out. Warning: Not for the faint-hearted. First, put on some tight underwear. I prefer using a thong with thicker edges. Don’t want a loose nut, do we? Pull them up thigh high. Now you must attempt a reach-around, snagging your manhood with your hand via the rear end. Then gently pull it back and press it down along your gooch. Whilst holding it down, turn your other hand into devil horns and use the pointed fingers to push both your gonads up into their respective sockets. When they’re in, place a flat palm down the front.

Now that you’re in a rather compromising position, you must try to keep it all in place with one hand, while using your other hand to pull up your thong. When it’s in a good position, release your hand over your freshly made cameltoe and yank those undies up! Practically give yourself a wedgie. To finish, throw on another pair of undies for extra hold and put on some tights.

Good luck!

The unsaid importance of knickers

While most drag queens are averse to showing off what’s under their kilt, you must prepare for the inevitable. Be sure to keep that illusion going, even over your flattened nether region that is now covered in multiple layers.

Unless you’re aiming for the barbie doll look, put on some knickers to give a little flair to your flat crotch, should it ever be made visible to the naked eye.

Three important steps to a great drag show

Here’s some sage advice from my drag mother, Miss Tina Swallows: A drag show must have light, colour and movement.

LIGHT: Up and coming drag queens might not have much control over stage lighting, but you can pick and choose the places you perform at based on this. Make sure the lights are bright, bringing out every sparkle upon your very existence. The crowd needs to see you!

COLOUR: Even black is a colour. Use this attribute to give meaning to your spot numbers and group productions. Are you doing a seductive number? Go for red! Something sad? Maybe blue! Something gay? RAINBOW!

MOVEMENT: This goes all the way down to how well you move those lips to the lyrics. Listen to that song on repeat; memorise every word, every beat, every pause. It will help you move to the song. Movement is another way for people to see you. Throw out those arms, strut those feet, point those fingers and work those cheeks to the lyrics!

You’re more than just an entertainer

Do you really think drag is all about throwing on a frock and busting a couple of dance moves? Oh, honey, it’s much more than that! You are essentially the face of the LGBTI+ community. You are part of a vibrant history of drag queens who have stood at the front of the pack. You are a knight in super-shining armour.

You are the comfort to fresh eyes who have long wondered who they really are. You are someone’s sense of belonging. You are the hope to those who are lost within their own sexuality.

Essentially, you are the modern-day fairy godmother. Own that title. Make it yours. Share it widely.

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Setting the record straight on sexuality and being your most authentic self.

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