Another one of my silly rants coming up... I just can't seem to grasp "gay culture" at all.
Honest question, not trying to be smart I just simply don't understand it -- how did a man dressing up as a woman and miming to ****e pop music for an audience of men who are attracted to men ever become a staple of "gay culture" ?
I'm a man, I'm attracted to men... so lets go and watch a man dressed up as a woman singing female pop songs? What?
Is it supposed to be ironic? Are we laughing at the stupidity of it all or actually supposed to be admiring how "fabulous" "she" looks? Neither is actually something I'd be bothered doing for hours on any night out.
I've been told to loosen up and not be so closed minded... enjoy the cheesy pop and drag queens, these people do more for my rights than I ever would (that one particularly vexed me but that's another thread).... really though? Is pop and drag an inescapable part of "gay culture"? That really makes me sad.
I'd consider myself open minded enough with regards music... love everything from classical, old school rock and roll, electronica, post-rock, bit of hiphop, metal, ska, reggae.. I'll give pretty much anything a listen so long as I can get some sense of integrity and passion from the artist. But I have a hard time seeing pop (most pop, anyway) as anything other than product. The people who make it are largely inconsequential. The people who sell it are manipulative c**ts who know exactly what they're doing. And the fact that all this has become so ingrained in this culture of a minority group that I'm supposed to be a part of just pisses me off. I feel sorry for the seemingly majority of gays for being led on by this targeted marketing (as I see it) and their subsequent inability to appreciate and feel real music by real artists. And sicked that I'm associated and have to put up with this crap by proxy.
Or am I just no fun and I should "come to terms with my sexuality" and learn to love the pop?
tl;dr -- I was in a "gay club" last night. FFFFFUUUUUUUUUU...
On the music note I can't agree because I love absolutely everything from Dubstep to Classical to Metal to those Cheesy Eighties to Electro....
But as for Drag Queens? Well, I really don't get it either. I guess you could say that they are very "out there" and visible. They're very "we're queer and get used to it". But I don't get it either.
Also, I was going to ask some of the Trans members here recently whether Drag Queens offend them? Surely they are making a mockery of actual transgender people?
EDIT: Just remembered that on a very drunk night I once did drag at a house party. It was just a bit of fun. There was no eh, "reasoning" behind it.
That was me yesterday morning. I hate gay clubs so much. Gay-Friendly is the way to go.
Splitting this question into its component parts -
1. Do I, as a trans person, find drag queens / kings offensive?
Yes and no.
No, I don't find drag queens / kings offensive, because they are expressing who they are, and I completely respect that.
Having said that, there is an unfortunate phenomenon out there where trans gets equated with drag, even in the LGBT community. I was once in Pantibar on a Thursday night and, during the interval in the Panti show, an American guy came up to me and started chatting to me. One of his first questions to me was - "when are you on stage?"
So long as the drag artist doesn't portray themselves as being representative of the trans community (they are representative of only a part of the trans community), then any equating of trans and drag isn't really the fault of the drag artist, but rather of the sterotyped views of trans people that are out there. Having said that, I believe there is a degree of responsibility on drag artists to combat those stereotypes whenever possible and appropriate.
I will say this, though - one of the artists in the Panti show is billed as "Ireland's best transsexual". That really really grates on me. Shame on Rory. I think that helps reinforce stereotypes, and I'd expect better than that from a leader in the community.
2. What do I make of drag shows in general?
They are "interesting". At this stage, I'm utterly tired of hearing the same thing over and over again in the Panti show. I don't "get" a lot of the shows, but they can make a nice backdrop to a good night out.
3. The whole gay culture and drag phenomenon
Drag is considered by many (myself included) to be an aspect of transgender, so drag belongs in the LGBT scene as much as I do.
I completely understand why gay men wouldn't "get" the whole thing of drag. However - trust me - there are plenty of gay men who love a feminine man.
In the transgender community, there are men who are euphemistically referred to as "admirers" - they are men who are specifically attracted to transgender (CD, TV and TS alike) women, and many of them are actually gay men.
4. The music
I don't know my music, but to be honest the music in most drag shows I've been to so far has been poor. I think the music thing is more about the carry on of the artists on the stage than it is about the actual music.
Surely drag queens are as much a part of the trans (transgendered) community as transsexuals? And as such are just as representative of it as transsexuals? Also, can't drag queens be transsexual or even genderqueer? I've met at least one who would fix the "transsexual" label. I don't think there's anything about being a drag queen which excludes you from being transsexual, genderqueer, transvestite or even straight.
I cannot represent drag queens any more than a drag queen can represent me.
There are fundamental differences between drag queens, crossdressers, transvestites and transsexuals. I don't like being mistaken for a drag queen any more than Rory would like to be asked when he is having the operation to remove his bits.
My point about being uncomfortable about the "Ireland's number one transsexual" remark is that it uses "transsexual" as a marketing thing.
Drag Queens are very repetitive. "Ohh suits you Sir!" Funny for a few minutes but the one dimensional humour soon wears off. Like Deirdre, I find it annoying that people mistake Drag Queens with transsexuals, though I find it even more annoying when people mistake fetishtic transvestites with transsexuals. Having said that, I've realised that Drag Queens and transvestites are not the ones to blame, it's the fault of people who are too lazy to understand the difference. But it is pretty sad that Miss Panti referred to himself (I say him as I'm assuming he identifies as a gay male?) as a transsexual.
I see. Fair comments.
No offense but I was hoping this thread wouldn't get sidetracked into a "how drag queens relate to trans*" discussion.
Yeah? Maybe I should loosen up slightly re: the music. I'm just really passionate about good music and hate to see it treated, advertised, bought and sold just like any other product. Also the repetitive nature of most modern pop is really grating.
That Beyonce 'Ring on it' song? It's fun every once in a blue moon, sure, but it's the same one or two lines to the same mind numbing keyboard beats repeated over and over and over and over. Give me a break ffs.
Also I'd make a distinction between cheesy eighties pop ballads and modern pop. Nice thing about the 80's is that it's 20 - 30 years ago! We can cherry-pick the best bits and totally forget about the rest.
That'd be one of my theories alright. You've been called 'sissy' so much you basically snap and say "oh, you think that's sissy?! Check THIS out!". Commendable enough but in 2011 I'd be inclined to just say get over yourselves, tbh.
I've got nothing against fun or men dressing up as women for whatever reason... just wonder why it's so inescapable on the 'scene'.
Because we live in Ireland and our scene is very monocultural - Its heavily dominated by stereotypes of cheesy pop and drag Go to the large cities like New York, London etc and the scenes there are much much more diverse
I wonder will the new club that Panti is involved be any different?
Yeah? Must check that out sometime. Only out-of-Ireland gay pub or club I've been to was in Prague and yeah, that was pretty much the same as it is here.
It's Panti, so I can only doubt it.
Fwiw though, even if i can't stand the drag queen song-miming, PantiBar is still probably best of the bunch. Rory seems to do a good job of being a sort of community figure-head and at the best of times it's a comparatively decent and relaxed place to be.
I've never got the appeal of drag queens either. I'm all for hearing cheesy pop on a night out, but I don't want to hear it being either mimed or tunelessly warbled by a man in a dress. And the "comedy" aspect of it seems very repetitive. If a drag queen wants to make political commentary or clever social satire, I'd be all for it. However, it just seems to be a lot of "dick" jokes.
I don't go ever go "on the scene" anyway so I'm not subjected to it. But it most get very old and irritating for people on the scene who don't get the appeal of it.
What's the story with this new Panti club just out of curiosity? Is it just like the Panti bar but more of a night club sort of thing?
have a look at GCN online november or december issue and it gives you more info about Pantis new club - I think Rory knows quite well that people want something different to cheesy pop and drag and may surprise you goodshape
Well I have to agree with you on the music - it's always been pretty woeful pop. Always the same songs week-on-week but yet the enthusiastic shriekings (yes, they were actual shrieks) that some of these songs got made me despair that they'd ever change it.
I'm not sure if you've ever tried "Q & A"? It was designed to give an alternative. It's rarely on now though and I do think they've diluted the "alternative" angle and gone much closer to pop in recent years.
Years ago we had Sharpshooters in Eamon Doran's. Ah to be in a gay club and dance to NIN's "Head Like a Hole" or Pearl Jam's "Alive". Alas, it didn't last...
I'll also agree that I don't drag acts remotely entertaining, for many of the reasons stated above. I'll put this, and the music, to something I just will never really get and one of the reasons why I'm not bothered with the gay scene in general.
Went to Q&A once or twice but pretty sure I must have missed it's good days. Particularly the second time I went, I think it was Veda (a drag queen) on stage playing what sounded very much like pop music to me. Or, at best, the most very obvious and safe indy.