International Drag King Community Extravaganza is dedicated
to artists, theorists, performers and activists participating
in and contributing to a growing international drag king
community. My personal involvement with IDKE began in
2005 when I joined the IDKE 7 committee hosted by Gender
Play Cabaret in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My contributions
to IDKE 7 fostered my interest in the world drag king
community and paralleled my own artistic inquiries into
femaleness and gender.
My last body of work explored notions
of identity, and self acclamation, specifically as it
pertains to the word “butch” and
what it means to women who embrace the term within a specific
generation of the queer community in the city of Vancouver.
While painting portraits of women who identify as butch,
I discovered their contributions to feminist and gay rights
activist movements in Canada as well as how their identities
created discussion and conflict within those movements.
I was interested in exploring the correlation between these
butch women and my own sense of identity within a queer
culture and community.
There are obvious links between this
thematic and my recent interest in the drag king community.
Both explore gender in performance or appearance, often
through the creation or physical manifestation of self-identities
and a performative character. Both the naming of the
self (as found in the self proclamation of a butch) and
the performance of an alter ego/gender (as may be done
through drag king performance) challenge status quo norms.
I have begun exploring the different identities visible
within my own queer community and how they change through
time amidst constantly changing political landscapes.
I participated in the 8th annual International
Drag King Community Extravaganza (IDKE) in Austin Texas
Territories: Gender Exploration Down South”. At
IDKE 8 events I invited drag performers to have their
photos taken. Each participant filled out an identity
information questionnaire that was used as a source for
the information found on the trading card. Each king
was given licence to creatively express his/her/their
identity however he/she/they desired. The information
located on the back of each card is unique to each king.
Statistical information such as the king’s name,
their preferred identity, sexual orientation, height,
eye colour as well as a personal anecdote or quote are
Ideas of fame and pop icon attraction are explored
as each king posed for the photograph in performative
character. The Drag King Trading Cards incite the idea
of the drag king as pop celebrity or icon, giving these
individuals star status and valorizing their commitments
to activism and gender performance.
My intent is to continue this project.
If you are interested in participating please contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for visiting