Change Your World-NOT your Body

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FTM Transmen and Drag Kings

I've had a handful of questions in the form of comments which recently asked my position on transmen as drag kings. If you aren't familiar, drag kings are the equivalent of the drag queens we all know, only instead of males performing "woman", drag kings are females campishly performing "male". I place both "woman" and "male" in quotations because what is being performed by the natural bio male/female drag is an exaggerated caricature of "woman" and "man" based on stereotypical notions of woman/man.

That out of the way, I place any transman  who has had any kind of masculinizing cosmetic surgery and has/is injecting testosterone i.e. is no longer naturally female bodied by choice, in the same place as I place those same transmen who gate crash women's spaces. Simply put, transmen should be excluded as drag king performers and excluded from drag king contests. The fact that many transmen do get involved in drag kinging after chemical/cosmetic surgical help, that many insist they be allowed to perform as drag kings utilizing their female biology when it suits them, is an incredible insult and a slap in the face to the art of performance and to every woman on the planet.

It is one thing to make a mockery of yourself as a woman, it is another altogether to use that mockery as both a battering ram and an edge to gain entrance into our women specific spaces and over women specific contests/shows/performances.

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10 comments:

  1. It's another area where people want to have the cake and eat it too. They want to be considered men and identify as male, but they still want to call women's spaces - particularly gay women's spaces - their homes.

    Either you're a man or you're not. Bio-men don't dress up like bikers & cowboys and lip synch and dance to songs. It's a type of performance that was always the province of women. Drag is about "doing" the opposite sex, so if transguys are guys as they say, then they should dress up as women.

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  2. Right on, DD and Dirt

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  3. I think both Drag Kings and FtM's are simply masquerading as men. The FtM's made the unfortunate choice to attempt to live it as a reality, and it is sad to watch their YouTube videos. If they looked around in the real world, they would see most men don't get too hung up about hair, some actually have breasts but you'll still see them shirtless at the beach, etc. I've never heard of a man saying: "Gender is between the ears," which FtM's say all the time. It makes me cringe with pity when I hear a FtM say that they are "more of a man" than a man. I hope the trans trend ends soon.

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  4. Dirt, what's your opinion on drag kings?

    I don't like it either. I've been to a few shows with drag kings and, sorry, I can't enjoy women tying to act like men. Of course, it's all about steriotypes, because there should be no thing such as male or female clothes and behavior.

    But the fact that the whole fun is to pretend you're male for a moment it seems to me a softer version of transition. I can't see it as revolutionary as the drag kings and their public advocate it is.

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  5. definitely not. I think the whole dragkinging is one step to transition for most...they can 'try out' a fake male persona, and then see what it's 'like' to see if they want to go further. I did have a friend who identifies both as a Butch Dyke and as genderqueer, but NOT FTM, and she has a strong public dragking persona(where she goes by 'he' in that persona, otherwise in her daily life goes by 'she')and it angers her to get in her getup in her wild suits and drag makeup and put on facial hair, and all the work she does to get into that persona to have an FTM waltz along and win a contest cuz now they really DO appear male, with the help of testosterone and surgeries, as well as the male energy fueled by testosterone that they can now project in a very real way.

    In any case, why don't we see Butch Dykes AS Butch Dykes openly performing without having to pretend they're men at all??? Hardly ever...or quite rarely, with the exception of k.d. lang and perhaps Phranc. And yet, there's always something going on specifically for Butches who do the dragking performance thing...anywhere else, Butches are seen as 'too masculine', yet, Female, and still a threat....
    -M.A.
    P.S. I find Butches handsome and gorgeous in and of themselves without having to put on all that false male bravado and imitations, and we need way more venues for Butches to be OUR FULL DYKE FEMALE BUTCHY SELVES, just the way we are, whether as musicians, writers, movie or t.v. actors, ect. ect. without having to
    'male' it up or 'femme' it up to 'pass' enough either way to be employed and 'acceptable'.

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  6. I think that Trans guys should be excluded to perform as drag kings as drag kings are woman performing as men. If it's women performing as men then why should transmen be able to perform? I have always wondered about this and I am glad I came across this post, as I am sitting here reading a lot of your posts at the moment. We want to be perceived as men and be men so why should someone like me be allowed to perform as a drag king when obviously it's woman dressed up as men to perform? I don't think FTM's should be allowed to enter drag king contests or whatever. It doesn't seem fair to real drag kings. That would be like a man performing as a drag king or something.

    You can't claim to be a man and then expect to perform drag. I mean, you can't have your cake and eat it too...sorry guys!

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    1. I second that! It's called you want to be a man and treated as such then stop invading lesbian spaces!

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  7. Hey Dirt,
    I am a transman, but when I'm performing I just say I'm gender queer. I know that doesn't fit all transmen, but I agree that entering contests after using testosterone or having surgeries is a violation of competitions. I believe that there should be separate contests for men who have begun transitioning or even identify as men full time.
    I appreciate your insights into the lesbian community as most of my friends are lesbians. Keep up the conversation and just keep ignoring the idiots who don't believe in sharing ideas. Isn't silence the the worst form of oppression of all?
    Thanks,
    Theo

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  8. over a year later...

    the girl in the middle (left in second photo)
    made my coffee (in a shop) while she was transitioning

    so sad to watch

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  9. Dear DirtyWhiteBoi67,

    As much I hate your website for its man-hating, trans-bashing content, I would have to agree with this article. I don't understand why there are FTMs that want to perform as drag kings when they want to be treated as the men that they are. If they want to be seen as male, drag for them ought to be performing as women. Not to mention the fact that they are performing as male in an exaggerated manner which I find utterly retarded. I think that FTMs should be excluded from performing as drag kings especially when they start testosterone and/or have some kind of surgery. I could see why you are annoyed with them invading lesbian spaces when we all know that lesbians are women! Kudos to this article!

    -AnAnnoyedGayFTM

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