A Reyt Queer do were Reyt Good!

This week saw us produce our first in a new party series, called A Reyt Queer Do. With music, food, dancing and drag kings, we brought together a diverse group of people for a very fun night full of queer festive cheer.

Hosted by king Sammy Silver, (see photo above) the night was all about giving new drag kings a chance to try out their acts in front of an audience. And what an audience it was! So much cheering, clapping and general enthusiasm, us Northerners really gave a fine welcome to the talent.

_MG_8902
Tofu Weiner is so chill his hair goes horizontal..

Making their debut were Sheffield – based Tofu Weiner and Crispin Creame, supported by fellow Yorkshire king, Jack Strap. Zayn Phallic, fresh from the London scene, whipped the crowd into a frenzy, while Sammy Silver charmed the socks off everyone with his warm hosting style.

_MG_8930
Zayn Phallic: living his best life

The vegan and veggie tapas went down a treat, and The Old Workshop looked lush, with added handmade festive decor, from yours truly. Our audience had really made an effort, with many people in drag, some so well put together, they could have been mistaken for one of the performers! After the cabaret we danced the night away, with many not wanting to leave. It was brilliant.

_MG_8877
The Old Workshop was jam packed with fabulous folk!

We just want to say a huge thank you to all the drag kings for their energy, and in particular, well done to the new kings, who were so brave to perform to a packed venue. HUGE thanks to our new volunteers; it was great to have more support in running the event. And finally, a massive thank you to our audience, for your enthusiasm and generosity. Through our Christmas raffle and donations through Tickets for Good, you helped us raise £109 towards our accessible fund. This is wonderful and will help us fulfil our aim of bringing in discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes for our events in 2018.

We’re thrilled to be ending 2017 on SUCH a high. YAAAASSSS! We can’t wait for our next event – The Revival: Women and The Word on 27 January. See you there!

PS: We’ll be posting more pics of A Reyt Queer Do #1 on Facebook, probably before the year is out. ‘Like’ our page to get notified as soon as they go up. But here’s few highlights below! Here’s wishing you a restful and happy festive break.

_MG_8703
Andro & Eve co founders, Rhiannon and Katherine, love a pair of braces..
_MG_8837
TEAR IT OFF CRISPIN! TEAR IT OFF! Crispin Creame gets mansformed.
_MG_8806
Jack Strap, with fresh tat, on the mic.

And here’s our beautiful audience, having a reyt good time!

_MG_8666

_MG_8747_MG_8814.jpg_MG_8765.jpgAll photos by Charlotte Victoria Lake.

Drag Kings: Lets break this down

We write this post because, yet again, the Drag Kings we work with have been done a disservice by the media. Sadly, this time it is Sheffield independent publisher Now Then that has pretty much failed to represent what a Drag King is while promoting our next event A Reyt Queer Do. While we’re very happy that the work we’re doing gets exposure, we cannot have the drag kings we work with be described as ‘women in men’s garb’. At best the phrase is reductive, at worst it is insulting.

If you’re sat thinking, ‘hey, thats what a drag king is right?’ then please read on.. Because that description does such a disservice to a scene that has traditionally embraced a wide range of gender identities, and often provides an outlet for creative expression for queer people who may not feel welcome in mainstream ‘gay’ venues. Yes, 19th and early 20th century music hall stars like Vesta Tilley or Hetty King were women impersonating men, but the UK Drag Scene now, is very different and so much more exciting. As London scene star Benjamin Butch puts it,

“A King show will overturn any expectations you may have, we are performing gender to introduce a position from which perspectives can be viewed differently”. 1

To break it down. You may perceive a person as ‘female’, but that doesn’t mean that is their gender identity. Ask before using a pronoun that misgenders a person. Many Drag Kings are trans, meaning their gender identity does not align with the one they were assigned with at birth. Generally a Drag King will perform as a ‘he/him’ on stage, but that does not mean they become ‘she’ offstage. This is similar to the Drag Queen scene where..

‘To many queens past and present, the distinction between gender performance and gender non-conformance is blurry, if it exists at all’. Alex Varman. 2

It is because of gender pioneers like Leslie Feinberg, Marsha P Johnson, Miss Major  and others, and the work of nights like Bar Wotever’s Non Binary Cabaret, and Boi Box’s weekly drag king open mic, that we have a UK Drag scene that plays with and critiques gender and celebrates trans identities. Our aim is to make a space for this wonderful scene to flourish in Yorkshire. To widen access and be part of the network of regular drag nights like Kingdom in Brighton that help spread the appeal of Drag Kings outside the UK’s capital city.

And while we’re at it. The term bio queen is gross and misogynistic. As performer Rodent Decay said ‘If you’re policing the genders of the performers you’re completely missing the point of drag’ 3. This piece also gives a broader discussion of the importance of women to the evolution of the drag scene.

For further reading we recommend this piece published earlier this year in ID magazine. Get to know and love some of the most interesting Drag Kings on the UK Scene right now! Sure to be appearing at a Sheffield venue near you sometime soon..

1.. From ID Magazine piece by Caryn Franklin.
2… From The Establishment piece by Alex Verman.
3. Taken from an article ‘No Girls Allowed on HSKIND by China Deathcrash

Keep in touch

Sign up to our newsletter to keep up-to-date with our latest news, events and offers.

Donate

Your donation will be used to help us continue to support queer artists and culture.

  • £ 0.00