BY JEFF SKINNER
I grew out my beard during No-Shave November, and got to explore a type of drag that was new to me.
Last month, I joined others and participated in No-Shave November. Many donate the money they save on not shaving to cancer research. I decided to use this month to learn more about myself, and experiment with a style of drag new to me — bearded drag.
It all started in October. I was scrolling through my social media when I saw a status that said bearded queens and spooky drag were not “real” drag. I thought to myself, “All drag is valid,” so now here we are!
You know and I know that there are many types of drag. Just to get some outsider advice, I went to a long time performer and friend, Brent Fabian. When I asked Brent what the different types of drag were, he responded: “Pageant drag, camp drag, drag kings, femme queens, male entertainers, burlesque queens, dancing queens, classic drag. All kinds.”
Brent is so right! So that’s why I didn’t shave during November. I wanted to make a statement and let everyone know all drag is valid. I went to a pageant with a glitter beard. I was shocked when people said things like, “I don’t like the beard look. I don’t get it!” So I responded to that person and said, “You’re the reason I am doing this look. I want everyone to know that all drag is valid, so for No-Shave November, I am doing bearded looks.” Of course, I got some great feedback, but for the most part people didn’t understand it or like it.
The whole month was rough, not just for my skin and my beard, but also for my emotions. There were times when I wasn’t accepted. People didn’t tip me because they said they came for a “drag” show, not a “freak” show.
But I continued to tell my story and deliver my message: All types of drag are valid. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beauty queen or scene queen or a bearded queen. You are valid.
Laughter & Love,
Jennifer Lynn Ali
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