The drag trend has exploded ever since RuPaul first entered the showbiz industry and continued with several Netflix shows dedicated to the movement, explaining the most common types of drag queens and showing their lives.
Effervescent, feminine, extra, and with a flair for drama, drag queens are impossible to ignore. Whether you like them or not, they can easily drag (sic) you into their flamboyant and colorful universe, where you will learn that every hive has its Queen Bee.
Most drag queens adopt a completely different persona not only when they are on stage but in their personal lives also, while others prefer to only do it occasionally. Regardless of the frequency, here are the most common types of drags you will see in every show, as well as some others who may not be found on the streets or in the typical clubs.
What are Drag Queens?
Believe it or not, the drag trend didn’t start or ended with RuPaul. Although he remains the most popular drag figure in the world, dressing up and using exaggerated makeup for entertainment purposes is an ancient art and has been around for centuries, if not thousands of years.
Generally speaking, a drag queen is a person, usually a male, who uses stage clothing and makeup to exaggerate female gender roles for entertainment purposes.
Historically speaking, most drag queens have been men dressed as women but the other way around is also possible. In modern times, drag queens have been often associated with the gay movement and culture, but they can be of any sexual identity or gender.
People in the drag industry often perform live on stage, with shows including lip-syncing, live shows, dancing, and other forms of art. The most common places where you can meet drag queens include drag pageants, gay pride parades, and other specific venues like nightclubs and cabarets.
As we previously mentioned, people who partake in the drag activity vary by gender, race, type, culture, profession, and social environment. Although you can find many drags active in the showbiz industry, including singers, dancers, and professional makeup artists, some choose this type of activity only occasionally. Here are the most common categories.
The Faux Queen
We open the discussion about different types of drag queens with the Faux Queen. The reason why she is called “faux” is that, mainly, you encounter a real woman attracted by the drag world who will use traditional drag queen style to exaggerate her looks.
Biologically speaking, the Faux Queen is a female but this doesn’t mean she won’t go the extra mile to transform into a completely different persona, generally a drag. The term is used loosely nowadays because it may vary, depending on where you live.
She still uses makeup, wigs, and clothing specific to the drag world, but she can be often called out by the other members of the drag community. However, many choose not to question and offer their full support to all other people who actively take part in the drag transformation process. A popular example of a Faux Queen can be seen portrayed by Holy McGrail in the movie “Connie and Carla”.
The Androgyny/ Genderf**k Drag
The androgynous drag queens carry a set of both masculine and feminine characteristics, so it is quite hard to fully understand them at times. They are also known as the “anti-queens” even though they tend to be extremely artistic, constantly questioning gender boundaries. When it comes to their sexual identity, fashion, lifestyle, and gender, these drag queens are often ambiguous.
Depending on the person, this type of drag queen doesn’t necessarily prefer to be called by the pronoun “she”. One example of an androgynous drag is Nina Flowers.
The bearded drag queen is everything the name suggests. She is a subset of the androgyny drags and often sports facial hair as a sign of masculinity, despite wearing heavy makeup, high heels, and fitted dresses like females.
If you follow the international European music contest Eurovision, chances are you heard about Conchita Wurst. She was the winner of the 2014 edition and she was one of the most controversial contestants in the history of the show, to say the least.
The Fish Drag
The name of Fish Queen derives from the “catfishing” term, which is luring people in. In this case, drags are trying their best to look as close as possible to authentic women. They are known to be very polished and take their drag seriously. Although makeup and female clothes are still used, the achieved look should be as natural as possible to a woman who enjoys being feminine.
Yes, we can still talk about wigs, hair extensions, and fake eyelashes, but the achieved look is more elegant and classy. There are numerous examples in the industry, starting with RuPaul and fashion mogul, almost-billionaire Jeffree Star.
The latter is known for constantly using face contour and makeup to turn into a woman although he doesn’t fit the box of regular drags. Jeffree continues experimenting with makeup and wigs and can often be seen wearing female clothes at public events. However, he has a more athletic personal style, as much as you could be wearing luxury brands and couture sneakers and tracksuits.
The Club Drag
Arguably the most fun drag in the industry, the club drag queen is the person who draws inspiration from the 80s and 90s dancing clubs. She slays “Drag Balls” and remains the most popular type of drag due to her extravagant style.
According to statistics, most people who know little about the drag minority, often envision a club drag when they are asked to describe members of the community.
That being said, every cabaret, nightclub, and gay club counts for at least 10 Cher drags at any time, each imitating another stage in the artist’s life. Think feathers, sparkle, glitter, exaggerated makeup, wigs, high heels, sequins, and everything extra. And, have we mentioned glitter? Because there is glitter everywhere.
The Goth Drag
Perhaps the most underrated drag in the business, the goth one manages to draw attention to her looks and style in a unique manner. Forget about vibrant colors and eclectic fashion, as goth queens are all about black and dark colors.
A goth drag is dark, gloomy, and takes inspiration from classic goth and horror movies. She dresses as she came straight from a Tim Burton movie set, and Halloween is her favorite time of the year. Most goth drags are attracted to extremely pale complexions, so you’ll often see them sporting white faces and very dark themed makeup.
The Pageant Drag
If you’re into beauty competitions and pageant shows, there is nothing more entertaining than watching ladies from the drag community competing against each other for the supreme title. Most of the pageant drags take contests extremely seriously, which means they spend thousands of dollars on costumes, makeup, hair extensions, shoes, and clothes in the attempt to be the best.
These beautiful ladies take “fish drag” to a whole new level, coming up with extremely polished and elegant versions of themselves.
You’ll often see them sporting elaborate gowns, lavish heels, and jewelry, and, if you’re not familiar with the trend, you will mistake them for real females. And who can blame them given that they are judged on every small detail, which means perfection is a way of life?
The Camp Drag
The “fun ones”, camp drag queens often use makeup as a form of exaggeration, satire, and ridicule, deliberately making themselves look like clowns. They are known for being brutally honest and choose insult comic-like techniques, to tell the truth just the way they see it.
Camp drag queens are very funny and humorous in their daily lives as well, which is why their comedy shows are always on point and genuine. Some of them even compete in stand-up comedy shows or have their own platforms through which they express their humor and tell their jokes.
The trans drag
A trans drag is typically described as a man who, despite starting a gender transition from male to female, still enjoys dressing up and acting like a drag queen. Some of the people never fully transition but still choose to take transitional steps to become more feminine, and this includes growing their hair long and having breast implants.
Some people who choose to begin their transition from male to female are often exposed to the drag culture as a first way to embrace their desired feminine form and learn to play with makeup, dresses, and heels. As mentioned earlier, some never fully transition but turn out to become really good at what they do.
The fluid drag
Finally, a fluid queen is one who enjoys experimenting with different styles of drag and doesn’t stick to just one. Her style is influenced by many events and takes time until she finds her uniqueness. The fluid queens tend to be extremely versatile in style and performance, and every appearance is chameleonic.