QUEENS OF THE NIGHT
“UNLIKE ANY OTHER FORM OF ART AND ENTERTAINMENT DRAG IS EXPANDABLE TO THE NTH PO ER AND THAT S HAT MAKES IT UNIQUE AND UNBREAKABLE.”
DRAG IS AN ART form pertaining to dressing up as especially in the heart of Manila. “I remember telling myself the day I started watching Rupaul’s Drag Race back in 2011: This is going to be mainstream. And look what we have here—it’s crazy and beautiful.” Young drag queens like Prince De Castro drag scene.
But drag isn’t a new art form here. Here, we have centuries’ worth of drag herstory.
J. Neil Garcia writes in Male Homosexuality in the
Philippines that “gender crossing and transvestism were cultural features” in early Philippines. Spiritual leaders like the babaylan practiced drag. They gained “social and symbolic recognition as ‘somewhat women’” during the early years of our nation.
Everything changed when Spaniards found this culture years of colonial rule. The 1960s Gay
Life in the Philippines been negative, but it is difficult to trace.” But the queen known as Crispulo “Pulong” Luna still practiced crossdressing during the American occupation.
In J. Neil’s book Performing the elf ccasional Prose, he wrote about how Pulong discovered the infamous Victoria Studios where he had his portraits all dressed in baro’t saya to Japanese geisha robes.
Markova (aka Walter Dempster Jr.) became prominent during the Japanese rule. But they were far from tolerated as they were tortured and raped by soldiers. “Every day, 20 Japanese were raping us. Imagine! We could hardly Ronald D. Klein.
accepting as it is now today yet and gay culture in the Philippines had come. All of these events aren’t remembered by a lot of queens today. Yet, these people the thriving culture they’re living in now.
“Unlike any other form of art and entertainment, drag is and unbreakable.”
Filipino drag culture still persists and evolves as time goes by. Colonization gender identity. It resulted in our passive- aggressive tolerance for the LGBTQ+ community, and our blurred definitions of bakla, drag queens, and transgender.
always been a part of us. As the international drag queen Rupaul Charles once said: “We were born naked and the rest is drag.”