Lacey Lou and Georgie Bee are two of a new vanguard of female drag artists – and have been accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ by male drag queens who have made their careers by dressing up as women.
The pair are among a number of women working as drag queens who are, in fact, women, reports The Telegraph.
But there has been a backlash against this new variety of live performer. Male drag artists cite women like Lacey Lou and Georgie Bee as purveyors of ‘cultural appropriation’.
Female drag artists like Lacey Lou (pictured) have been accused of ‘cultural appropriation’
RuPaul Andre Charles, of the show RuPaul’s Drag Race, proclaimed drag was a male only act – and that women would probably be barred from competing on his show.
The American drag artist, 57, is often credited with bringing drag into the public eye with his programme, which pits queens against one another in a series of challenges.
He claimed women drag artists lack ‘danger and irony’ – in part because men dressing in women’s clothes is an overt rejection of masculinity.
Georgie Bee (pictured) said male drag artists have told her she is ‘not a real drag queen’
Lacey Lou is Birmingham’s first professional female drag artist
Female drag artists say the furor highlights sexism in the gay community
Both performers say RuPaul’s claims are misogynistic, that he has sold out and has failed to pay attention to the drag community.
Lacey Lou, Birmingham’s first professional female drag artist, says his comments exemplify sexism in the gay community.
‘There are a lot of male drag queens who think drag is only for men. But, it’s really the idea of playing on gender,’ she said.
‘There is a lot of misogyny in the gay community, which I found really surprising when I started working as a drag queen. You would expect a suppressed community to understand what it feels like to be disregarded.’
Lacey Lou runs a club night at The Nightingale pub in Birmingham
Georgie Bee was the first female drag queen to win Sink the Pink
RuPaul is considering banning female drag queens from his show, RuPaul’s Drag Race
He has hosted the programme since 2009 and won two Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2017
She added a person’s gender should not prohibited them from taking part in an art form that mocks gender.
Lacey Lou started performing five years ago and now runs a number of events across Birmingham.
She used to admire certain male drag queens but found it difficult to come to terms with how they thought she was not ‘a proper drag queen’ because of her gender.
In 2016 Georgie Bee became the first female performer to win the esteemed Sink the Pink drag competition in London.
She says that being a drag queen is all about feeling like one.
Georgie Bee said: ‘You absolutely do not need validation from RuPaul. They would ask if I was a woman. When I said yes, they’d say: ‘Well, you’re not a proper drag queen then.”
Georgie Bee works as a shoe designer by day, and was crowned Miss Sink the Pink two years ago
Lacey Lou works as a wig designer when she is not performing
RuPaul said that female drag artists lack ‘danger and irony’