Are Draq Queens Modern Day Versions of Blackface?

I don’t see any significant difference between Blackface and Drag queens. Consider their descriptions from Wikipedia:

Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes such as the “happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation” or the “dandified coon”.  By the middle of the century, blackface minstrel shows had become a distinctive American artform, translating formal works such as opera into popular terms for a general audience.


Drag queens are performance artists, almost always male, who dress in women’s clothing and often act with exaggerated femininity and in feminine gender roles with a primarily entertaining purpose. They often exaggerate make-up such as eyelashes for dramatic, comedic or satirical effect.

This makes me wonder if draq queens are modern-day, socially-acceptable forms of blackface.  In other words, a socially acceptable form of misogyny.


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3 Responses to Are Draq Queens Modern Day Versions of Blackface?

  1. RobertM says:

    I’ve wondered this myself. The Wikipedia article on drag goes on to say in the US it evolved within blackface minstrel shows. Mary Cheney tried to make this connection between blackface and drag a few years ago, to say drag is offensive to women, and of course she was roundly criticized because it turns out drag is different because it’s about empowerment and self expression.

    Besides that angle, the following opinion piece is somewhat illuminating about some of the other strife over drag, from the non-cis or non-gender-binary point of view. Short summary, it’s not inclusive of non-cis male performers.

  2. TFBW says:

    Sexual degeneracy gets a free pass from the kind of people who agitate about offensiveness based on race or culture.

  3. nsr says:

    It’s not what is said or done that matters, it’s who says or does it. Isn’t that the very definition of discrimination?

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