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The History of Drag Queens: From the Underground to Pop Culture Fame

July 13, 2022



Drag queens have been a staple in gay culture for centuries, but their influence has recently begun to reach mainstream audiences. What is it about drag queens that has captured the imaginations of people from all walks of life? Let's explore the history of drag queens and discuss how they went from being underground icons to pop culture superstars!

When it comes to the history of gay bars, New York City is where it all began. During the early 1900s, when gay clubs began to appear in major cities around the world, New York was ground zero for this movement. These clubs were often frequented by drag queens, who would dress up in extravagant costumes and perform for the crowds. Drag queens quickly became a staple of gay culture, and their influence can still be seen today.

The term "queen" was first used to describe female impersonators in the 1970s. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that drag queens began to be widely accepted by the mainstream. This was due in part to the rise of AIDS, which helped to break down many of the barriers that had been preventing gay culture from being accepted by the mainstream. In the 1990s, shows like "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "Paris Is Burning" introduced drag queens to a wider audience, and they have been gaining popularity ever since.

One of the most important moments in drag history occurred in 1969, when the Stonewall Riots broke out in New York City. The riots were a watershed moment for the gay rights movement, and they helped to propel the drag queen phenomenon. In the years that followed, drag queens began to appear on television shows, movies, and even in advertising campaigns.

Today, drag queens are hotter than ever. Continued thanks to shows like "RuPaul's Drag Race," which was pivotal to drag culture, there are now drag queens performing all over the world. From Las Vegas to New York, London to Tokyo, drag queens are becoming household names and their influence is only growing.

So what is it about drag queens that has captured the imaginations of people from all walks of life? Perhaps it's their willingness to push boundaries and defy societal norms. Or maybe it's their ability to make people laugh and have a good time. Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that drag queens are here to stay. Thanks for reading!So, there you have it! The history of drag queens is a long and storied one, full of ups and downs. But through it all, these fabulous performers have continued to entertain and inspire people from all corners of the globe. Here's to hoping that drag queens continue to thrive for many years to come!

Written By: 

Kollyn Conrad


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March 20th 2023

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