These Drag Kings Are Here To Slay And You Better Get To Know Their Names
Much of the world has come to love the art of drag. Thanks to shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, more people than ever have at least heard of drag queens. However, representation is still lacking for drag kings – typically cis women and trans men dragging themselves up as ultra-masculine men. But drag kings are still severely under appreciated.
Drag kings need determination, individuality, charisma and kick-ass talent to make it to the top, and these women and trans men who embody these characters have it in spades. Some are character kings, embodying favorites from Peter Pan to Pitbull, while others are going for the most convincing – and sometimes thirst-quenching – transformation.
Plenty of them pay tribute to the drag royalty of the past, like Stormé DeLarverie, Vesta Tilley, Shelly Mars and Hetty King – pioneers of the artform.
Here are some of the best drag kings ruling the stage today:
Another king with an extremely clever name, this Los Angeles-based artist takes her drag to another level. Her looks range from apocalyptic to robotic, from sexy to horrifying. Landon also paints herself as celebrities, Disney villains, Albert Einstein, Jesus, among others.
She’s also the first Drag King to ever win a televised drag performance – coming in first place on the Boulet Brother’s Amazon Prime show, Dragula.
Another performer deeply involved with helping the public know more about drag kings (he and several others on this list are involved with The Making of a King documentary), this Inland Empire king can be found on the LA scene.
This classy Dallas king oozes easy sex appeal, and is often very outspoken about the drag king scene and gender politics.
An Austin, TX favorite, Papi Churro describes their style as “a little nerdy, a little gothy, a little punk rock.” And it’s pretty spot on. They’ve always embraced bright-colored hair and over-the-top clothes. Band shirts, shorts with tights or leggings with sugar skulls on them, Papi Churro often goes full-in on their Latinx heritage.
This king has credentials, having won several pageants, perhaps most notably Mister USofA M.I. 2013 and Mister USofA M.I. Classic 2017. Ivory loves to sport a nice suit, and with looks ranging from simple color patterns to complex designs, he always manages to look dapper.
This fairly new king from Oklahoma is making waves with his beautiful, dark styles, winning Mr. Oklahoma Bold and Beautiful Newcomer in 2017!
Drag performers come from all walks of life, gender presentations, shapes, sizes, abilities, sexual orientations and more. As audiences are exposed to the vast and varied styles of drag, acceptance will grow not only within the performance community but outside of it as well.
The emergence in popularity and visibility of drag king troupes such as Los Angeles’ Man Candy, Austin, Texas’ Boiz of Austin, New York’s Switch N’ Play and more serve to validate and showcase the fact that drag kings are an important part of drag culture.