Lifestyle & Culture

ALL DRAG IS VALID

Up and coming ‘Bio Queen’ Sticky Waffles (aka, Yak’s very own Jayme Zimmermann) chats to two local queens, and shares her experience with preparing for a drag show.

Since moving to Newcastle last year, I’ve been mesmerised by the excellence of the thriving local drag scene.

Through going to the local shows run by Timberlina, I’ve met some amazing drag performers, some of which are ‘bio queens’- female performance artists who adopt the style typical of male drag queens.

Jasmin Montgomery is a 39-year-old bio queen who goes by the name of Fatima Bush.

“I think the term is divisive,” she says. “We do the exact the same thing as drag queens.

“I think it’s a bit outdated, but I’m not offended by the term. We still have to get in costumes, paint our mugs, and create performances.

“Drag queens aren’t like real women- we’re a hyper exaggeration of women- so I don’t think it’s any easier for us to do drag.”

Erin Phillott is also a bio queen who goes by ‘Foxxe Faux’.

The 21-year-old queen was the winner of Timberlina’s Drag Off 2019.

“Bio means to me that even though I don’t meet society’s expectations of ‘drag queen’ characteristics, it still provides me with a medium to do the art that I love,” she says.

“I tend to not want to use any category put in front of the name drag queen. I think of myself as just a drag queen.

“I tend to use the term bio queen to provide a bit of an out when people try to undermine what I do. They feel more comfortable with ‘bio queen’ rather than just ‘drag queen’.

“Some people just can’t wrap their heads around that girls are allowed and can do drag.”

I’ve learnt from this community that all drag is valid, and everyone who puts in the work and wants to perform can do that- it’s all about expressing your creativity through your performance style and costuming.

It was through this that earlier this year I decided that I was finally going to get up on that stage and perform at Blush: Hallo-Queen drag event at The Exchange Hotel on the 25th of October.  As a drag queen (or if you prefer bio queen that’s okay), I hope to express my creativity and show everyone what I’m made of.

Starting my process involved getting my costuming ready to perform.

I knew that drag was expensive but boy, on a uni budget it was a little difficult.

“You can spend as little and as much as you want,” Jasmin says. “You don’t have to wear a corset.

“I think that’s the good thing about drag these days- it’s so broad and you can sort of get up there and do whatever you want.”

This put me at ease when it came to sourcing the things I needed.

Quality does show and people again have preconceived ideas on drag queens,” says Erin.

“They expect you to look a certain way and have certain quality of items.

“When you’re just starting out you have no way to justify spending hundreds of dollars on one outfit, but there are ways.

“It’s important to put your money in the things you need most.

“Obviously, a wig- any wig is going to be expensive and you want one that’s going to stay on through your whole performance and look good and behave the way you want it to.”

So, for my first performance I have purchased:

A bodysuit: $27.50

Wig: $89 plus $15 shipping

Corset: I got to borrow some (Which is amazing)

I still have more to get but I’m glad the basics are covered. I have selected my performance songs and I’m currently working on my actual performance.

I’m so excited to be able to be given the opportunity to perform at Blush: Hallo-Queen.

Timberlina has been an amazing support for lots of drag performers and I feel honoured to be able to share the stage with them.

I invite everything to come along on the 25th of October at the Exchange Hotel. Come see me, Sticky Waffle- make it messy and get everywhere.

Feature Image: Foxxe Faux, Jayme Zimmerman, Fatima Bush
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