Why are some gay guys attracted to drag queens?

RuPaul, perhaps the most famous drag queen of all. (Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)
RuPaul, perhaps the most famous drag queen of all. (Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)

I googled the question: Why are some gay guys attracted to drag queens? I mean, it seems odd to me that men whose sexual orientation is gay would be entertained by draq queens offering exaggerated performances of femininity.

Or spoofing femininity . . . Indeed, maybe it has something to do with that.

I don’t think there is one answer to my question, which has been asked by many people before me. Some of the answers provided by gay men in various forums were enlightening. They range from gay men love the theatrical parts of a drag queen’s show to they see drag queens as an example of how fluid gender presentation can be .

My biggest concern was that there might be some form of patriarchal misogyny going on, that femme women in general were being mocked and belittled by both the draq queen performers and those who support them.

Because, let’s face it: femme women do come under fire from a lot of people these days, including other women — i.e. feminists and butch — who see such “trappings of femininity … as painful high heels, makeup and clothing that clearly mark us as ‘women’ ”,  to paraphrase Julie Bindel, as playing in to a patriarchal plan to make us all look like sex objects for the gratification of men.

Draq queens often do look like exaggerated sex objects, and gay men flock to see them and applaud them. Yet, I don’t see many gay men applauding the everyday, plain-jane transwomen for their courage. In fact, in some gay forums, I’ve seen gay men speaking disparagingly about trans people in general. (Yes, I know that transphobia exists within the LGB community.)

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not criticizing gay men. I’m just trying to understand something that seems contradictory.  So, I’m hoping readers can help me out here. Why are gay men attracted to draq queens?

— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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