Having gotten my gay on this month, everywhere from West Hollywood to Provincetown, and nowhere in between, I thought I’d seen it all.
Nope. I hadn’t yet attended the 14th Annual San Francisco Drag King Contest. It was an event that words cannot quite describe, but most of my photos came out blurry so I guess I’ll have to try.
Held at DNA Lounge (where they steal your water bottle at the door which makes me insane), the event was clearly the place to be.
The barn-like space was packed to the literal rafters with enthusiastic spectators. Many in the audience were dressed in drag. And I don’t mean they threw on some cargo pants. We’re talking full moustaches, beards, top hats, canes…
A number of looks involved very stylized man-clothes with exposed breasts (with tassels for modesty.) Several women were in uniform. I encountered a “cop” outside smoking a cigar with great bravado, but he wouldn’t let me take his picture for AfterEllen.com for fear of someone from work seeing. That would be kind of awesome if the very people he was afraid of at work were secretly in their cubicles reading AfterEllen.com.
He wasn’t alone in that concern. Several people said dressing in drag in public was a rare indulgence.
A good amount of gay men were in the audience as well. Very cool. The guys don’t exactly show up in droves for lesbian events in Los Angeles.
A panel of judges sat on stage, including Anna Conda, Jay Walker, Rusty Hips, and Simone de la Getto. The emcees were Fudgie Frottage and Sister Roma.
After a lengthy intro, a number of contestants competed for this year’s title. According to their website, SFDragKingContest.com, “contestants are judged on talent, creativity, studliness, sex appeal, originality, humor, make-up/facial hair and fashion.”
One potential king dressed as Hitler and did an elaborate strip tease down to a very buoyant sex toy. He was compelling but I’m not a big fan of the swastika, regardless of intent to mock ruthless dictators.
Another duo dressed as plumbers, complete with exposed butt cracks.
Why is it that when men dress in drag they deck themselves out in the most gorgeous outfits imaginable? All flowing hair and sexy heels, they often look more feminine than most females.
But no drag kings seem to want to emulate, say, George Clooney. When Hitler’s the hottest we can do there’s a problem, ladies.
Longtime drag king Delicio del Toro was the victor. Pasties were involved.
I think I exhausted myself enough to stay home for a while. So maybe next month will be about Los Angeles. This column being called "L.A. Scene" and all.