In Prof. Wills’ unit we watched the documentary “Paris is Burning,” which focuses on drag queens living in New York City and chronicles the evolution of “ball culture.” I chose to write about my interpretation of the quote “everybody’s in drag– just like in real life.”
The documentary spends a fair bit of time on the expanding list of categories people walked at balls. Among those categories were “passing” ones— for “women” and for “men,” as society at the time viewed them, a “businessmen” one, and many many more. Both looking and acting the part was essential to win the most points. To a lesser extent, this occurs on a broader scale in “real life”— life outside of balls, the drag scene, and even the larger LGBT+ community. In “real life” people dress and act to fit into categories they’ve assigned to themselves or have had assigned to them. We all perform our constructed identities, and in this way we all wear drag.