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Things you only know if you're a drag king

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Written by
Cassidy Knowlton
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... according to Sexy Galexy, a drag performer for 25 years

Men can be drag kings, too.

“It used to be a woman who dresses up as a male persona for entertainment. Over the years that has changed a lot. I know there are some men who are doing the drag king look, and years ago there were a lot of F-to-M transitional performers who would classify themselves as drag kings. From my point of view, it’s taking on that male persona in the drag arena. Drag is an extended alter ego that is larger than life.”

You need a bit of hustle to make it in the world of drag.

“If you really want to go out there and work, you have to go out and create work for yourself. You go and find a hole in the scene and you go create something… The lines are so blurred now, there are a lot of opportunities for people to do all kinds of different things. There are a lot of queens out there who are happy to help with those opportunities.”

Why you should go a make-up beard over glued-on hair.

“When you stick on a beard or glue on hair, it feels like you’ve got glue all over your face all night. It’s so uncomfortable. Sometimes I wear a prosthetic beard, but it’s much better to get really good make-up.”

Getting ready takes a lot of time.

“Two to three hours. That’s from starting the face to getting the costume on. Then it’s a process after the make-up’s done: it’s getting dressed, it’s binding, all that stuff. I like to spend time on the make-up. I used to rush it, but it’s a nice process.”

The best way to get heavy-duty make-up off.

“I use coconut oil because it’s nice and soft for your face, it doesn’t dry out. A lot of people use baby wipes, but I smear my face in coconut oil and then I just wash it with soap. You add oil to it and it takes the make-up off straight away.”

Fake it till you make it.

“When I started, I was very, very shy and insecure… Once you’ve got a face on and you’re standing in a crowd, there’s no excuse to not talk to people. Because you’re dressed so outlandishly, people expect you to be outgoing. I asked people to help me learn how to have a conversation with people. I started learning the art of how to talk to strangers, how do you work a room, how do you start a conversation, how do you make people feel comfortable? I learnt all those things about how to step out into a room and no matter what’s going on internally, I can be that person.”

Check out Melbourne's best gay bars and queer parties. And find out where Sexy Galexy will next be performing.

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