LETTER: A Love Song To Queer Performers
BY KAYLEE DUFF
The March issue of True Q Magazine is dedicated to performance and its queer participants.
Historically, queer culture has been intrinsically tied to performance arts of all different types. Musical theatre. Dance. Drag. Movies. Music. You name it, the LGBTQ+ community has probably left our mark on it. (Although the fact that those marks are historically swept under the rug, if you will, is a discussion for another month.)
So what is it about being queer that makes people want to put on a show? Most queer theorists have something to say on the subject. I think it’s rooted in our basic human instinct of protecting ourselves with masks and costumes, the desire to become another person. It’s defensive, evasive. It’s avoiding the problem (whether that be internal or external homophobia or transphobia) by escape.
But I think it’s become something more than that. Being a performer is also about being a part of something bigger than yourself. Whether you’re on a team, in a group or going solo, performing is about becoming a character beyond reality. Performing, especially in the queer community, has surpassed basic escapism by allowing us to find passion, beauty and excitement by giving others joy. Performing is letting loose. It’s entertainment. It’s expression in the most animalistic form.
The March issue is our love song to queer performers everywhere. We see you and we thank you. Whether you be a drag queen, a singer, a dancer or anything in between or outside of, we are taking this month to celebrate what that means to our community.
I have been both a performer and a consumer of performances my whole life, from dance and show choir to marching band and colorguard. Each of those outlets gave me the chance to find and explore my identity in a safe environment. On the stage and in front of a crowd, I was able to grow into the person I am today. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
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