Introduction 4 Background 4



Download 471.22 Kb.
Page1/24
Date07.08.2018
Size471.22 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   24

Contents





Contents 1

Introduction 4

Background 4

Methodology 6

Data Analysis 10

The Path to Be Taken 11

Chapter 1: Drag as Creative Expression 13

Introduction: What Is Drag? 13

Types of Drag 15

Performing Career and Lifespan 19

Foundations of Drag as an Art Form: Naming 29

Foundations of Drag as an Art Form: Music 30

Foundations of Drag as an Art Form: “The Face” 32

Conclusion 34

Chapter 2: Institutions in the Halifax Drag Community 35

Is There a Drag Community? 35

Institutions of the Drag Community 37

ISCANS 39

Bars and Drag in Halifax: Clientele and Venue 47

Bars and Drag in Halifax: Venue and Performance 58

Bars and Drag in Halifax: Divisions between Downtown/Uptown Queens 59

Fundraising: A Call to Action 63

Value of Fundraising for a Performer’s Career 67

Conclusion 69

Chapter 3: Interpersonal Relationships in the Drag Community 70

Gossip and Communication 70

Generation Gap 76

Kinship: Families of Origin 79

Kinship: Drag Families 82

Drug and Alcohol Consumption 87

Conclusion 91

Chapter 4: Diversity in the Halifax Drag Community 93

Performance of Gender — On Stage 93

Femiphobia 104

Drag Kings’ Experience 110

Relationships between Drag Queens/Kings and Heterosexuals by Gender 117

Race and Ethnicity 120

Class and Drag 121

Conclusion 125

Chapter 5: Drag in the Halifax Regional Municipality 127

Region and Drag 127

Halifax as Urban Space and Its Relationship to Drag as Expression of Sexuality 132

Halifax and Other Urban Centers: A Comparative Assessment 141

Conclusion 150

Conclusion 152

Appendix A 155

Questions and Topics Used in the Interview Questionnaire 155

Works Cited 158



Introduction 1

Background 1

Methodology 3

Data Analysis 7

The Path to Be Taken 8

Chapter 1: Drag as Creative Expression 10

Introduction: What Is Drag? 10

Types of Drag 12

Performing Career and Lifespan 16

Foundations of Drag as an Art Form: Naming 26

Foundations of Drag as an Art Form: Music 27

Foundations of Drag as an Art Form: “The Face” 29

Conclusion 31

Chapter 2: Institutions in the Halifax Drag Community 32

Is There a Drag Community? 32

Institutions of the Drag Community 34

ISCANS 36

Bars and Drag in Halifax: Clientele and Venue 44

Bars and Drag in Halifax: Venue and Performance 55

Bars and Drag in Halifax: Divisions between Downtown/Uptown Queens 56

Fundraising: A Call to Action 60

Value of Fundraising for a Performer’s Career 64

Conclusion 66

Chapter 3: Interpersonal Relationships in the Drag Community 67

Gossip and Communication 67

Generation Gap 73

Kinship: Families of Origin 76

Kinship: Drag Families 78

Drug and Alcohol Consumption 84

Conclusion 88

Chapter 4: Diversity in the Halifax Drag Community 90

Performance of Gender — On Stage 90

Femiphobia 101

Drag Kings’ Experience 107

Relationships between Drag Queens/Kings and Heterosexuals by Gender 114

Race and Ethnicity 117

Class and Drag 118

Conclusion 122

Chapter 5: Drag in the Halifax Regional Municipality 124

Region and Drag 124

Halifax as Urban Space and Its Relationship to Drag as Expression of Sexuality 129

Halifax and Other Urban Centers: A Comparative Assessment 138

Conclusion 148

Appendix A 151

Questions and Topics Used in the Interview Questionnaire 151

Works Cited 153


Introduction

Background


This thesis explores the intersections of drag as a creative art form with expressed norms, behaviours and structures of a community. The interest of this work for scholars in Atlantic Canada studies, regional studies, cultural studies, and sociology, is the synthesis of these forms of culture. Drag combines two forms of identity: as creative expression, it is a gender bending performance art; socially, it signifies one form of gay and lesbian identity.

Drag’s subversion of essentialist notions of sexuality and gender can be one form of cultural expression (there are others, such as folklore, feminist folklore, and political comedy) that challenges hegemonic representations of Atlantic Canada. The art of drag, with its sometimes rough expression of sexuality, its graphic representations of the human body and its challenge to the binary conception of gender, provides an oppositional form of expression. It can encourage people to re-consider as individuals and as a collective society, what being Atlantic Canadian means. This thesis will bring into consideration and discussion what drag is, what the drag community is, and how this community relates to the larger subculture known as the gay and lesbian community.

To date, what has been researched on drag queens has primarily located drag in a cultural and theoretical viewpoint, rather than focussing on the norms and behaviours of drag performers. Judith Butler in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex locates drag within the notion of performativity of gender wherein “...Acts, gestures, and desire produce the effect of an internal core or substance, but produce this on the surface of the body, through play of signifying absences that suggest, but never reveal the organizing principle of identity as a cause” (173). Butler treats the drag queen as a theoretical category to be conceptualized, rather than a human individual who exists within the “social.” In Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety, Marjorie Garber subsumes the drag queen in the category of cross-dresser and transvestite, then further submerges her into the literary realm.

This thesis incorporates a variety of theoretical perspectives on the study of drag. In 1972, Esther Newton published the first study dealing with drag communities. Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America, based on Newton’s research in the late 1960s, was a revealing look into the world of drag queens. From the highs of performing, to the limitations created by legal and social repression, Newton reveals an important aspect of drag (and gay) life that existed in what historian John D’Emilio in Making Trouble: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and the University has described as an environment of social and legal repression. Prior to the Stonewall riots in the United States and decriminalization of sodomy in Canada in 1969, Newton argues that the drag queen community existed in a culture of secrecy. D’Emilio describes this secrecy as necessary; since the prevailing sanctions on gender and sexual deviance in 1950s America were both legal (imprisonment) and social (stigma, loss of work, family, housing). Newton’s study did not present psychologically well-adjusted persons; most of the participants she discussed had transient and vulnerable lives. Since she conducted her research thirty-five to forty years ago, there is a historicity to the study that limits its contemporary usefulness. However, Newton’s methodology of qualitative interviewing and field observation is sound. In the late 1990s Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor studied drag queens in the community of Key West. Entitled Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret, their work was the first significant study of drag to be conducted since Newton. Rupp and Taylor reveal the full aspect of social life for drag queens in Key West; they examine the artistic performances of drag, interrogate tensions and relationships within the community of drag queens, as well as with gay men, lesbians and heterosexuals, and discuss the relationship of the geography of Key West to the existence of a drag community. Rupp and Taylor review the structure, systems and practices of the Key West drag community and locate drag as a form of performance that challenges binaries of gender and sex. Little or no study of drag communities in Canada has been undertaken so far. This study, therefore, is the start of the development of a literature on drag in Canada, and in it concepts of drag as oppositional will be applied to drag in Atlantic Canada.



Download 471.22 Kb.

Share with your friends:
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   24




The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2020
send message

    Main page