Queens Dating Queens - Kind of a Drag?

by Gerry Visco

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday May 14, 2011

Being a drag queen is far more complicated than just what brand of lipstick or pantyhose to buy. When a gay men dresses in drag, is he doing it as a form of self-expression, as part of a performance, as a persona, or for sexual reasons? Gay men are normally attracted to other men; does putting on a dress and makeup change things? And if two men dressed as women hook up, do they count as gays - or as some snide gays deride, as lesbians?

In the gay world, drag queens are expected to go out with more masculine-appearing men. But when that expectation is violated, it is sometimes met with derision or surprise. Still, some drag queens are attracted to other drag queens. And these "ki kis" (pronounced kai kai) - defined by Urban Dictionary as drag queens having sex - are often alluded to with an amused or slightly negative tone.

What's So Funny About Drag Queens Hooking Up?

Well, the outfits for one. And then there are the often-outsized personalities. A group of local drag queens and drag performers shared their thoughts on the pros and cons of dating other queens, and whether they received flack from the community. Their answers shed some light on why there aren't more drag queens dating each other.

Tyler Stone, performer and DJ, is no drag queen, but occasionally wears fishnets and high heels as part of his glam rock performances. Stone has dated a few drag queens, and found the negative attitudes from his gay friends disappointing.

"You'd expect more tolerance for people to experiment with sexuality. Gays fight prejudice from the uptight straight world, but then will turn around and call two drag queens lesbians," said Stone. Some people call two drag queens going out together "lipstick lesbians," a term also used to describe two femme women, and which can sometimes be looked at askance by the lesbian community.

Drag performer Epiphany Get Paid, who is considered quite fetching as both a queen and a boy, has had negative experiences dating other drag queens. Two of her boyfriends became drag queens while they were dating her.

"I'm attracted to twinkie guys, who happen to make beautiful queens. They just saw how much fun it was for me and decided it was for them, too," she said. But she admitted that the "drag jealousy" surrounding being a drag mom and daddy in the sheets grossed her out. For a time, Epiphany Get Paid dated Chelsea Butterscotch, who describes herself on Facebook as a hooker and balloon artist, 6'9" and a "whole lot of woman."

Lady Bunny, one of the most famous drag queens of all time, said she was not interested in having sex with other drag queens. "I am definitely not experienced in that area. Sahara Davenport and Manila Luzon from 'Drag Race' are boyfriends, so you might want to ask them," she said.

The Drag Race Duo

Luzon, the wife of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 2's Davenport, is very committed to her ki ki relationship. "Our relationship is really great because we share a passion for drag, we love being creative together, and we have doubled our wardrobes," said Luzon. "The worst part is that our apartment can become a disaster really easily: rhinestones embedded in the carpet, wigs everywhere, sequins in every nook and cranny. It's like an episode of 'Hoarders: Drag Edition!'" she said.

"Our relationship is really great because we share a passion for drag, we love being creative together, and we have doubled our wardrobes," said Drag Race star Manila Luzon.

Luzon admitted she used to hide all of her wigs, high heels, and sequin dresses in her closet, just in case she decided to bring someone home with her. Five years ago, she met a boy at a bar. They hit it off and began seeing each other. "After a few weeks, we discovered we were both drag queens," said Luzon. "By that time, it was too late. We were hooked on each other!"

It's Not About Sex, It's About Art!

Drag performer MargOH Channing, who transforms herself into Liza Minnelli, discussed the pros and cons of two queens dating. "I think the biggest issue would be finding a drag queen to date," said Channing. "Part of being a drag queen is getting attention. Although it's not a nice thing to say, in many cases we're egomaniacs. I think we'd give each other flack in the form of a catfight. I had friends that were drag queens and in a relationship. I remember one saying to the other, 'I love you as a man, but as a drag queen you're a bitch.' They eventually stopped doing drag together to save their relationship."

Isis Vermouth, a makeup artist and drag performer who splits her time between Poughkeepsie and New York City, sees drag as an art form, and is turned on by someone who has the courage to expose themselves.

Channing also said that for her, drag contains no sexual element, but is rather her way of expressing herself artistically. She's dated guys that became drag queens but never actually had sex in drag. "I dragged my gayiancť MAN-ee Champagne into a drag character named Dusty Plains for a spell. We've sometimes had to undress each other out of drag after a drunken night."

"But I'll take my men on the bottom - in a jockstrap," added Channing. "I bet you'll find a lot of drag queens are dominating and selfish tops. Ask Lady Bunny! Oh no; she just hops! I have to confess I do have a crush on Lady Bunny. I think she is pretty, and I'd do her if I weren't married."

Legendary drag performer Shealita BaBay lives in Albany, and adopts the comical guise of a crazy, old, right-wing Christian woman, spouting homophobic slurs. "I'm not opposed to two drag queens dating, but it can be challenging," admitted BaBay. "I have done only a few queens - not many, though. I find myself falling for the person, but hating their drag side. It's like one is always trying to outdo the other."

Porsha Driver, who used to call herself Angel, questions how a drag queen could get turned on by seeing their significant other as a woman. She sees some positives, however. "You get to share everything from wigs, make-up, heels, bad attitude, and even good tuckers," said Driver.

Channing agreed, saying, "The one pro to me would be having someone to share your pantyhose with. They're getting expensive! But the con would be finding a size-20 drag queen that to share with that I'm attracted to. I love twinks!"

Although gay society puts pressure on having to butch it up to be attractive, many drag queens are tall, powerful gay men, who just happen to be wearing a dress and makeup. The recent media attention on drag queens could eventually result in more tolerance for ki ki couples. But the diva-like persona that goes hand-in-glove with being a drag queen can make it a challenge to date another diva without fighting over who will get the most attention, and over who will wear the Louboutins.