Glamour Boutiques guide to what makes a Drag Queen and what makes a Crossdresser
There came a time in our lives when the call to dress and greet your feminine self became a reality. So much terminology exists today that many people are not sure how to identify themselves when asked or approached to discuss our lifestyle. Many people just call it “dressing in drag,” but that term itself does not define most of our community. “Cross dressing” itself is another vague term as it doesn’t explain who we are either.
The reasons why some dress in drag and others cross dress are totally different and while many uninformed people consider them one and the same, the two couldn’t be further apart.
To help our readers have a clearer picture of how to differentiate the two, let’s take a look at why the two are different.
To start, dressing in Drag at the extreme is ‘female impersonation on steroids’. Drag is an over the top appearance of a man dressing as a woman with heavy, crazy makeup and glitzy eye catching outfits. The wigs and jewelry are also very over the top. Drag is often linked to performance and the gay community. However, whilst many performers may identify as such, that is not always the case as some of our customers who perform in drag are heterosexuals who enjoy the artistic aspect of the Drag Queen.
That brings us to our next point. Drag is also considered performance art; very flamboyant both in presentation and performance. Those who dress in drag want the lights on them. They want to be on stage for all to see, while relying on campiness, glitz and glamour to show themselves off to anyone who’s watching. Look no further than RuPaul and his television show Drag Race to see a perfect example of being a drag queen and the culture surrounding it. Last year while being interviewed on The Real, RuPaul said: “Drag is really making fun of identity. We are shapeshifters. We’re like ‘okay, today I’m this, now I’m a cowboy, now I’m this’.
On the other side of the coin are those who fall under the term “crossdressing.” The phrase crossdressing walks a blurred line as the term itself doesn’t really define those of us that do dress. While Drag is more for the person dressing as well as an audience to admire, crossdressing is more personal and often very private, a lifestyle choice if you will.
Gender identity is a big part of this area of dressing as there are those who dress because they feel that call of a feminine side inside and feel more comfortable in female clothing and identifying as a woman as often as they can. Crossdressing can be as public or as private as you would like. Some rather stay behind closed doors and keep their crossdressing to themselves as that is what makes them comfortable. Others will dress and go out into the world so they can blend in and feel what it is like to walk around as a female essentially trying to pass as a woman without being noticed.
Crossdressers want to express their femininity while feeling normal in their own skin which is a large part of their desire to dress in the first place. Most crossdresser’s do not want to live full-time as a woman or undergo any surgical or medical intervention to change their male appearance permanently. For many who identify as heterosexual, their crossdressing is a part of their overall makeup and it sits side-by-side with their male expression and past-times. I.e. it is just a part of the overall mix of their life. Choosing to crossdress for the majority is not a form of performance or entertainment, unlike Drag.
In the simplest explanation, crossdressers want to just be themselves and blend in to whatever situation they find themselves in while drag queens have more of a “look at me” bravado to them wanting all eyes on their glamorous selves – they are performers.
But whether you choose to keep to yourself when dressing or get on a stage to let everyone see the Queen so to speak, we should all take pride in following our hearts and letting our true selves be who they need to be.
We would love to hear from our readers and customers who would like to share their stories with us.