Drag queens are performers—often, though not exclusively, gay men or transgender people—who dress in "drag," clothing associated with the female gender (see drag king for women who perform in males' clothing), often exaggerating certain characteristics for comic, dramatic or satirical effect. The term "drag queen" usually refers to people who dress in drag for the purpose of performing, whether singing or lip-syncing, dancing, participating in events such as gay pride parades, drag pageants, or at venues such as cabarets and discotheques. In the United Kingdom, alongside traditional drag work such as shows and performances, many drag queens engage in 'mix-and-mingle' or hosting work at night clubs or at private parties/events. Drag is a part of Western gay culture; drag queens played a predominant role during the Stonewall riots in 1969 June 27 in New York, and drag shows are traditional at pride parades. Prominent drag queens in the gay community of a city often serve as official or unofficial spokespersons, fund-raisers, chroniclers, or community leaders.
The term drag queen originates in Polari, a subset of English slang that was popular in some gay communities in the early part of the 20th century. Drag meant "clothes", and was also theatre slang for a woman's costume worn by a male actor. Queen refers to the trait of affected royalty found in many drag characters.
Another term for a drag queen, female impersonator, is still used—though it is often regarded as inaccurate, as many contemporary drag performers are not attempting to pass as women. Female impersonation, under that name, used to be illegal in many places, which inspired the drag queen José Sarria to hand out labels to his friends reading "I am a boy," so they could not be accused of female impersonation.  American drag queen RuPaul once said "I do not impersonate females! How many women do you know who wear seven-inch heels, four-foot wigs, and skintight dresses?" He also said, "I don't dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen!". And celebrity drag couple The Darling Bears go so far as to sport full beards for their performances.
Most drag queens prefer to be referred to as "she" while in drag and desire to stay completely in character. Some performers may be offended if they are referred to as "he" or by their legal name while in character. Drag performer RuPaul is one of the few exceptions to this rule, as he seems to be completely ambivalent to which pronoun is used to refer to him. In his words, "You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don't care!"
Some biological females perform as drag queens; they are referred to as bio queens or faux queens.
 Drag and transvestism
Drag queens are sometimes called transvestites, although that term has somewhat different connotations than the term "drag queen". "Drag queen" usually connotes cross-dressing for the purposes of entertainment or performance without necessarily aiming to pass as female. It is not generally used to describe those persons who cross-dress for the fulfillment of transvestic fetishes alone, or whose cross-dressing is primarily part of a private sexual activity or identity.
- High camp drag queens employ a drag aesthetic based on clown-like values like exaggeration, satire, and ribaldry. Divine, Miss Understood, Peaches Christ, Jolene Sugarbaker and Rye Seronie are examples of camp queens.
- Some drag queens exaggerate in the dimension of elegance and fashion, employing elaborate jewelry and gowns. The Lady Chablis, who can be seen in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is an example of this type of performer. Another example is drag pageant title holder Amaya Mann. Many such drag queens impersonate specific actresses and other pop divas, such as Cher, Madonna, Céline Dion, and others.
- Some drag queens primarily perform in pageants, hence the term pageant queen. Pageant queens gear their act toward winning titles and prizes in various contests and pageantry systems. Some of these have grand prizes that rival those of pageants such as Miss America. An example of pageant queens are Vicki Vincent of St. Louis who competed 9 years until "she" won Miss Gay America in 1989. Khrystal Leight - a Bette Midler impersonator- Victoria Lace from New York who thrives on the USofA system ; Asia O'Hara and Whitney Paige of Texas and finally Erica Andrews from Texas who holds almost every gay pageant title from Miss USofA to Miss International Queen. These Drag Queens are known nationally as pageant queens and compete yearly in national pageants to promote and improve their female impersonation career.
- Post-modernist drag queens; an example would be The Divine David, who regularly performed in London during the 1990s in clubs such as Duckie, in South London. He used an extreme form of presentation, with make-up that was applied roughly and then smeared across his face. His act was designed to make the audience feel extremely uncomfortable about any preconceived ideas of acceptable subject matter for a drag queen to tackle. One show included cutting up a pig's head and throwing the pieces into the audience. As such, the act bore close similarities to performance art of the 1970s.
Some members of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community criticize drag queens and their participation in pride parades and other public events, believing that this projects a limited and harmful image of gay people and impedes a broader social acceptance. Others see this point of view as misplaced misogyny or an intolerance of the diversity and history of the gay community and the role drag queens played in kick-starting the gay rights movement in the 1970s. Still others simply regard drag as traditional fun that need not be politically analyzed.
Some feminists believe that drag promotes harmful stereotypes of women, though others see drag as a critique or "subversion" of gender roles. Some drag performers may regard their acts as a satire of femininity, or as a form of social criticism. Others may view it as entertainment, an art form, or simply fun.
Drag queens are sometimes rejected by parts of the transgender community—especially, but not exclusively, by many transsexual women—because of fears that they may be stereotyped as drag queens. Canadian transgender activist Star Maris wrote a song entitled "I'm Not A Fucking Drag Queen" which expresses this viewpoint.
 See also
- ball culture
- drag king
- drag pageantry
- list of transgender-related topics
- list of drag queens
- Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
- Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
- Stonewall riots
- Imperial Court System
 External links
- Comprehensive Drag Artist Information and Discography
- Alex Serpa - Celebrity Female Impersonator
- - Khrystal Leight, the Bette of the Midwest
-  Video from Halloween Street party at West Hollywood
-  - 'Funny Girls' drag cabaret burlesque showbar in Blackpool, UK
-  - DJ Zoe, drag compare of Funny Girls (Blackpool, UK).
-  - 'The Pink Mirror' - a film on Indian drag queens
|This article is based on a GNU FDL LGBT Wikia article: Drag_queen||LGBT|
|List of gender identities and gender roles|
|androgyny | boi | cisgender | female | genderqueer | intersex | male | pangender | third gender (fa'afafine, fakaleiti, hijra, kathoey, khanith, mukhannathun, muxe, sworn virgin, two-spirit) | transgender (transman and transwoman)|
|Also: butch and femme | castrato | cross dressing drag king and drag queen | eunuch | gender bender | ungendered and genderfuck | womyn | yin and yang|
|Related topics: gender identity disorder | gender neutral third person pronoun | transsexualism|