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Mine Egbatan

“Drags are significant signs of gender as a construction by challenging the idea that gender is categorized into only two as male and female.”

These drag competitions confront gender binarism by entirely skewing the boundaries that separate male and female. Unfortunately, while this blurs gender lines, in a way it takes the ball culture a step backwards by attempting to imitate, through drag, typical gender roles in a society that has rejected them up until this point.


“Wanting to look like what they are not in real life is important to understand how they desire to conform to the norms of heterosexuality.”

This brings to light the underlying desire of the ball queens to conform to the lives of the same people that have continually ridiculed and abandoned them. In addition, this ties into one of the episodes of the film, where Venus and Octavia are both talking about their hopes and dreams. Both of these point to the deep seeded desire of the queens to live what is seen as “normal” live, despite all the things holding them back. This is seen through their expressed hopes and dreams as well as the nature of the ball culture overall.


“By achieving realness, they can be visible in society and have what they do not have in their current situation.”

While it’s only natural for them to desire this, it also works against their cause. This also brings society’s norms into perspective by putting them under a microscope and subjected to the scrutiny of ball culture. This challenges what is seen as “normal” in modern society. And if they can “have what they do not have in their current situation”, then by achieving realness, are they also achieving this dream of normality?