The ‘Shit Cis People Say’ Alphabet: Q is for “Queen, Drag”

Welcome to another episode of the Shit Cis People Say Alphabet! Today:

Q is for ‘queen, drag’

The persistence with which cis society in general continues to conflate trans women with drag queens is infuriating. But also admittedly complicated. I am not even going to attempt a thorough cover of this topic. The purpose of having this post in this series is really just to say: trans women are not drag queens, (unless they are performing as such in a drag show.)

“Trans woman” and “drag queen” are entirely different concepts.

Trans women are women whose parents/guardians thought they were boys when they were born, and usually for quite a long time after that.

Drag queens are people who have developed a flamboyant lady persona for the purposes of (usually comedic) theatrical shows. The overwhelming majority of drag queens are cisgender men (so, neither trans, nor women!) And in fact, drag shows are often misogynistic,  anti-femme, and/or trans-antagonistic, although I don’t think they are inherently any of those things.

The vast majority of drag queens are not trans women. And the vast majority of trans women are not drag queens. Stop conflating these two, very different, categories.


Check out the rest of the “Shit Cis People Say” alphabet!

One comment

  1. I guess we should forgive initial ignorance, as folks cant be blamed for how they were brought up. Not everyone knows the reality of how gender can be a variety of things. I certainly didn’t!
    Things are changing. Even if its not as fast or a completely as we would wish.
    At age 12, one of my sons told me (in that tone children use when believing that they are educating their obviously ignorant parent) that “Some people move around in themselves and choose to be boys or girls. Some of us are stuck as the same thing. And some men dress up as women to make fun of them.” After a pause, he then added “but not the Dame”. He’s had a head start on many of us, as he had a friend at primary school that has always called themself a “boy-girl”.
    I thought his comment was very astute and thanked him for the lesson! 😉
    The reference to Dames is about the Dame in an English panto. While some commercial pantos may use a drag queen for this role, the Dame (a woman played by a man) is a celebration of over the top mothers and man-chasing women. I have never liked drag as it demeans women, but have always cheered the Dame. As do all my English female friends and acquaintances (including the one who’s birth name was male). I do hope the tradition continues.
    Oh, and when he was 16, the Dame caught him up in her arms and danced him around the theatre Stalls, to his initial embarrassment and then delight. He was a celebrity at school for several days after….

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