Bursting the Bubble

At first glance you cannot decide if the person in front of you is male or female. They may be dressed like a woman, walk like a woman and sing like a woman, but in fact, it is a man — a drag queen.

Warehouse 29 (WH29), one of the Triad’s oldest gay clubs, has drag shows every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. As long as you are over 18, you will have no problem getting in.

Whether you are gay or straight, if you have not been to a drag show, you should consider it at least once in your life.

Watching drag queens is a form of gay football, because the performers are fiercely dressed, and extremely competitive. Dressed ranging from outrageously creative, to radically fabulous — drag shows are performed with music, props and choreography.

On any given Sunday, performances at WH29 are full of action, complete with amazing lighting, as beautifully dressed drag queens take over the dance floor. Every now and then they sweep to take the dollar bill from a member of the audience, and then return to performing.

As smoke pours on the dance floor, WH29 is usually filled with music, dancing and can be wonderfully hectic. However, when drag shows are being performed, all eyes are on the queens.

Greensboro is small, and in many ways being openly homosexual is not always safe. It is not a place where you can hold your partners hand in public, if you are the same sex, and be comfortable and safe. There is still a chance that you will be ridiculed or beaten up. Ultimately, that divide makes me feel less human — like my love for the same sex is wrong even though it is not.

Still, there is a diverse LGBTQA community in the Triad and that includes drag queens — those who spend their days dressed as men and nights as women. Though most queens are iconic and appear to be stoic, they still live divided as male and female.

Some queens are bankers by day, wearing business attire, and by performance time they are women. Others make drag their life; having extensive plastic surgery to make themselves look like women.

Queens that I have known have been ridiculed when out in public, shopping, and by their families. It adds another dynamic to ones coming out, like being gay is not bad enough, now they have to tell their families they are into drag. This is what I think about and drives my support of drag shows.

There is some stigma connected to gay bars, like they are dark, trashy places, where people only go to find sex. Or, that there are just old people hanging around, gawking. Sometimes the stigma is true.

However, WH29 is not a dark place where evils happen. It is a very chic, open, well-decorated club dedicated to serving the gay community, and the whole community, including drag queens.

Supporting their art, while showing the LGBTQA community that I am a part of that I support their work, our fight for rights and enjoying a show — is time well spent.