You might’ve heard the term ‘drag queen’ somewhere. Quite possibly, it might’ve caught your attention while browsing the internet or watching television. Well, drag queens are the ones who imitate the females for the purpose of entertaining an audience.
There are many reasons why several individuals across the world take up drag as a profession. For some, it is more of a self-expression while for others it is purely for giving mainstream performances. In the past, most of the drag queens were men who dressed up as women.
Today, they can be of any gender or sexual orientation. Over the years, drag performances have gained immense popularity in some countries. The popularity of drag queens has now begun to rival even the celebrities from the world of movies. So, let’s take a look at some of the most charming drag queens of today:
Born Rory O’Neill, he is also known by the stage names Pandora Panti Bliss and Panti Bliss. Besides being a drag queen, he is also a gay rights activist. Born on the 16th of November, 1968, he grew up in Ballinrobe, located in Ireland’s County Mayo. Panti is considered one of the top drag queens in the country.
He appears at Shirley Temple Bar’s drag queen Bingo show held weekly in one of Dublin’s gay bars. He had also appeared as the hostess of the annual Alternative Miss Ireland pageant from 1996 to 2012. On the 30th of November 2007, he opened a bar in his name in Dublin called ‘Pantibar’.
2. Tyra Sanchez
This was the stage name of James William Ross IV. He won the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and was awarded the prize of $25,000. At the time, he was among the youngest contestants in RuPaul’s Drag Race. His first dance single titled ‘Look at Me’ was released in April 2011.
Sanchez released his second single on the 13th of October 2016 titled ‘Vogue’. Later, he lost interest in his career as a drag queen. This was the result of a heavy backlash on social media for his controversial Twitter posts. After a period of inactivity, he finally announced his retirement from drag in March 2020.
3. Vanda Miss Joaquin
Things were certainly not easy for this Singaporean drag queen at the beginning. A picture of him in the female costume appeared on the Malay-language local newspaper. Soon even his mother came to know about his ‘other’ life and disapproved of it.
By then, Azizul Mahathir had already become Vanda Miss Joaquin and was performing at the gay-friendly Tantric Bar. It has been over a decade since he embarked on his career as a drag queen in Singapore. Despite this, his mother still wishes that her son could’ve chosen something different as his career.
4. Courtney Act
He was first noticed by a wider audience while competing in Australian Idol’s first season in 2003. Born Shane Gilberto Jenek, he went on to become a popular Australian drag queen, singer, and television personality. He released the debut single ‘Rub Me Wrong’ soon after participating in Australian Idol.
The title track of his play, Kaleidoscope, was the official song of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Courtney uses the pronoun ‘she’ when referring to his stage name and ‘he’ when referring to his original name.