[D]rag queens can move freely within gay male settings as long as they abide by the implicit rules of such circulation. What would happen if a drag queen was not on the stage but rather cruised one of the many dark corridors of K.O.X. in search of a sexual partner? That gay men can accommodate the presence of drag queens on stage does not mean that gender liberation has arrived. Indeed, relegating gender performances to the stage implies that gay men do not “perform” their identities: they are just are. This containment of gender transgressions can, in turn, work against transgender people in a variety of ways. Drag queens are reduced to entertainment, coifed personalities whose only purpose is to titilate the gay male viewer. Framed as pure spectacle, this negates a variety of reasons why people might choose to cross-dress in a club: an exploration of one’s gender identity, a gesture of political intervention, a creative solution to border, and/or a way to the pay the rent.
A restriction of drag queens to the stage also suggests that drag is something you do; it is not something you are.
Vivane K. Namaste in “Tragic Misreadings: Queer Theory’s Erasure of Transgender Subjectivity” from Invisible LIves: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgender People (via queerandpresentdanger)
GUUUUHH this is so important. love to everyone who has to leave their identity at home in order to get laid.