This topic has made me think so hard I decided to go see a PG rated drag show over the weekend, to see if it can really be done. I stand corrected, it can, but with a caveat.
We all know the personification of Drag shows is the over sexualization of women and mostly in the past dominated by white gay males. There is currently a grass roots movement trying to change this fact and take the internal back stage negativity out of the industry, but this will take time. It just so happens I went and saw a Bubblepop Entertainment production geared down to be kid friendly and most of the performers where minority women (yes FAB or cis women of color). Afterward I had a Q&A with the performers and host of the show to get down to the bottom of the issue. I will say this, Drag is a performance entertainment, that like all genres of entertainment does not pay enough to make ends meet and most are in it for something other than money.
So why be a performer if it pays little or no money? Unanimously all the performers said when they put on the costume, be it the clothing, shoes, makeup, or false eyelashes, it was like an armor that protected them, and going out on stage was a release or expression of who they are that in the other areas of their lives they can not be. All of my friends and acquaintances who were/are drag performers (a couple dozen in my life time) seem to confirm this thinking of the reasons as to why, I just never considered it much till now.
(Side note: I went to a cosplay convention to see the drag show and there was well over two or three hundred furies at the event, they do exist and please do not invalidate them by saying they were invented by the media or powers that be as a hate weapon, they are people too.)
The reason I bring up the motivations of a Drag performer is that it has nothing to do with trying to corrupt the minds of people at all, it is a place of expression or a place to be free to be me spot, no ill will is intended. The costumes generally are no more sexualized than a Disney flick, but even if they are they can easily be geared down. The dance and songs are in the same category, in fact a few performances I saw where based on Disney characters. The only area of contention was the sexual banter, I noticed it in some of the performers, and they really tried hard to remove the sexual talk and innuendo from the performance. After watching I think removing it can be done but the writers of the scripts (usually the performers them selves) really need to do their due diligence when creating a performance that is to be kid friendly. Hard part is that the motivation behind the performers is to release a pent up part of their expression, usually a sexual related one. So if you are a performer reading this, PG material really needs to be checked and rechecked for kid viewing. If you are going to take your kids to see a Drag performance you really need to do your due diligence to make sure you are vetting your shows/performers as there really is no regulation or governing body on the performers at this time.
For me was it still entertaining? Yes as I love costumes and performance in general however it was lacking on that sex banter that in a way as it is a release for the performers it is also a release for me as the entertained, (the audience) and most adults find funny and the reason to go to the show. Humor after all is a way of making lite of life’s pains.
The Real question is: Why is femininity one of life’s pains that society needs a release for? I might make a new post/topic for this question when it is not 2am in the morning.