Spaces that center and uplift Black performers create a magic you can feel. Meet seven of Washington D.C.’s drag and burlesque performers bringing palpable Black queer joy to the stage.
Minutes before I saw Poison Ivory pour champagne down her back and watch it drip between her legs, I knew seeing this black burlesque performer would evoke Power.
I moved to California from Shanghai at fourteen and threw myself into learning how to be an American. It’s a lot like doing drag.
“I couldn’t help to associate this perception of my ‘powerfulness’ in drag as belittling my power when I dress and present as feminine.”
I looked less and less like my mother— the image of womanhood I grew up with — and I was scared. Was she disappointed that I wasn’t like her? Did my femininity disappoint her? At the same time, I worried about being too masculine: people would know I wasn’t straight. I was angry: my mother taught me to be proud of who I was, but what if who I was becoming wasn’t good enough?
“Simply put – it’s more than a show; it’s a movement.”
Who better to decide the best movies featuring trans women than the trans women who watch them?
When you watch these videos, imagine that they are a subversive act poking fun at masculinity while simultaneously, maybe, being incredibly hot. I promise that it will make the problematic less problematic, the weird a little less weird, and the leather pants as queer as they’re supposed to be.
“We’re here on our own terms; we’re not waiting around for the colonial gaze to acknowledge us. In so many spaces, we are pushed out, marginalized – but actually, really, we have a lot of collective power.”
“We’re born naked and the rest is drag”