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Houston’s Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning

Houston's Drag Illusion Performers Proudly Showcase Their Beards Glittering With Real Meaning For A New Generation Of LGBT Pride.

HOUSTON — (March 14) — From big and beautiful hair to mugs that have been painted for the gods, the art of drag has been a staple in the LGBTQ+ community for decades. For many, drag has become an escape from their daily lives allowing them to transform into fabulous and divine drag performers.

It’s an expression of art with inspiration drawn from those before them and also their own originality. When most people think of drag they think of a man who is a female illusionist. However, the drag scene in Houston and across the state has shown us that there are many facets to the art of this centuries old profession.

“Freedom of expression and creativity. For me drag is an outlet to be as flamboyant as I can be without being judged.”- Barbara Coa, Houston Drag Performer

In Season 8 of Dessie’s Drag Race at Michael’s Outpost, the Houston drag scene was introduced to two very intriguing and talented queens who brought something a little different to the table. The wigs, make-up, costumes and high heels were all there but these two beauties decided to keep their full beards instead of shaving like most queens do. Looking around the audience during each of their performances you could read how each person felt. Confused, intrigued, oddly satisfied and definitely wanting more. Unbeknownst to LGBTQ+ youth, beards in drag have been around since late 1969, notably as performed by The Cockettes and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.


 


 

I sat down with a few of Houston’s bearded drag queens as well as some of Houston’s most well-known and successful drag queens to get more insight on why bearded drag has once again returned to popularity.

BLACKBERRI

About Blackberri

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Blackberri3-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning
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Blackberri-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning

SJ: What does drag mean to you?

BB: “For me, drag is an expression of someone’s artistic vision. When I am performing I am showing the world my fantasy persona.”

SJ: Why is it so important for you to have a beard?

BB: “In the bear/cub community everything is hyper masculine, so for me to be able to keep my beard while being feminine was very liberating.”

SJ: What has been the response since you have started doing drag as a bearded queen?

BB: “Most people are confused until they actually see me perform and then they are able to look past the beard. I also have a lot of people tell me that they never understood bearded drag until they saw me perform so that’s always nice.

SJ: Have you faced any sort of adversity? Either from your friends or family or possibly a show director?

BB: “For the most part everyone has been very supportive. There are 2 bars I know I can’t get booked at because of my beard but I’m continually breaking barriers so I’m optimistic that it could happen in the future.”

SJ: Lastly, do you have anything you want to say to other bearded drag queens or just non conforming LGBTQ peoples?

BB: “Just keep living your truth. If you do that you will always be successful.”

KLONOPIN KARDASHIAN

About Klonopin

blackberri-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen3-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning
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blackberri-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning

SJ: What does drag mean to you?

KK: “Drag to me is gender as a performance/visual form of art. It’s the ultimate commentary on gender and as there are many types of drag, there are as many discourses on gender through this art form.”

SJ: Why is it so important for you to have a beard?

KK: “It is important for me to have a beard because my drag is a juxtaposition of the ultra feminine and the ultra masculine. I want to create my own definition of androgyny and for me that means performing as a bearded drag queen.”

SJ: Would you ever consider competing in one of the big pageantry systems? America, USofA, Continental? Why or why not?

KK: “I would never do a pageant unless it was specifically a bearded pageant. For one, I am not interested in that style of drag. It’s not for me and I would be occupying space that isn’t welcoming to me or one that I belong in.”

BARBARA COA

About Barbara

barbara-coa-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen3-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning
barbara-coa-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen1-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning
Barbara-coa-about-magazine-bearded-drag-queen-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning

SJ: What does drag mean to you?

BC: “Freedom of expression and creativity. For me drag is an outlet to be as flamboyant as I can be without being judged.”

SJ: Would you ever consider competing in one of the big pageantry systems? America, USofA, Continental? Why or why not?

BC: “If the opportunity comes along, why not? I think a bearded queen can be just as beautiful and competitive as a queen who doesn’t have a beard.”

SJ: Lastly, do you have anything you want to say to other bearded drag queens or just non conforming LGBTQ peoples?

BC: “Don’t stop! Saturate the night with beards, beer and LOVE!”

After getting to know these bearded ladies a little better, I was interested to see what some of the more established queens in Houston thought about this new wave of drag queens who were getting so much attention. I sat down with Houstons very own, Dessie Love Blake and Cyn City to get the 411.

DESSIE LOVE BLAKE

About Dessie

dessie-love-blake-about-magazine3-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning
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SJ: Who was the first bearded drag queen you ever saw live and what were your initial thoughts?

DLB: Blackberri and Klonopin Kardashian. I was very intrigued and open to the idea. I was excited to see a new twist to the art form. Blackberri is a genius on stage. She has a way of drawing you in even in the simplest ways. That is a true entertainer, beard or not.

SJ: The winner of Dessie’s Drag Race Season 8 was a bearded drag queen. Since you don’t choose the winner alone, what were your thoughts and did you think she would have a successful show?

DLB: I fell in love with Blackberri instantly. I knew she had the charisma, stage presence and talent to go a long way. I didn’t know if she would win in the end but she did with a UNANIMOUS vote! She now has a full time gig every Tuesday night at Michael’s Outpost and I see no signs of it slowing down. I will note that she is the FIRST drag race winner to have her show make it past the allotted trial period they are offered when they win.

SJ: Lastly, do you have any last thoughts for bearded drag queens both local and afar?

DLB: “I would say this just like the Queens, Kings and Male Entertainers, you have to pave your own road. If they come to the stage polished, well rehearsed and professional, I believe the sky is the limit. I do believe that they can’t always be about the “in your face, hairy, half naked comedy. It can work on occasion but to be constantly booked and remain relevant, they will have to be multi dimensional as most good entertainers are.”

CYN CITY

About Cyn

cyn-queen-about-magazine-300x300 Houston's Drag Performers Showcase Their Beards With Real Meaning
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SJ: Who was the first drag queen you ever saw live and what were your initial thoughts?

CC: “Blackberri was the first bearded queen I ever saw live and she has been giving me life ever since that day. It took me a second to take it all in at first though. When I hear the word “drag” I think of men impersonating women. So to see someone in hyper feminine make-up and a full beard really caught me off guard. After about 30 seconds of her performance, I was hooked!”

SJ: Do you feel like bearded drag queens have a place here in the Houston drag scene?

CC: “I don’t feel as though they have a place in the scene, but they are definitely making a place for themselves in the Houston drag scene.”

SJ: Lastly, do you have any last words for bearded queens both near and afar?

CC: “I would definitely tell all bearded queens to KEEP BEING SICKENING! You have chosen an aesthetic that makes people look twice and really open their minds to how they view drag. You have an opportunity to change drag as we know it and take it to a realm that is fantasy, fierce and FUN! Keep being true to yourself and showcasing your art.”

I think it is fair to say that no matter how we saw things before, that is all changing whether we are ready or not. Life and drag are similar in that we all have an opportunity to create the world we live in. We can live our truth and people will either accept or not. To my furry friends who are just starting out in drag or have been doing it for some time now, I am here for it! And it appears everyone else is as well.

Drag Legend Chad Michaels Set To Perform In Houston

World's Premier Cher Illusionist Chad Michals Perform Houston

World’s Premier Cher Illusionist Chad Michaels Set To Bring Amazing Show To Houston

Hitting The Stage At Rich’s Nightclub In Midtown On Friday


 

HOUSTON — JAN 21 — You do not become the world’s premiere Cher illusionist over night and you certainty do not win RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race by being an amateur. These are two key elements Chad Michaels can explain to you. The drag-starlette arrives in Houston for a performance at Richs nightclub in Midtown to kickoff next weekend.

The rise to fame has been many years in the creation for Chad. One of the many milestone was the opportunity to team up with Drag Diva RuPaul on “RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4.” The national spotlight allowed Chad to create his own identity in the main stream pop culture. It was not long after, he was named one of the ‘World’s Ten Best Drag Queens.”

Unlike many, Chad Michaels does not have a female stage name. He chose to use his real name many years ago. Chad being his first name and Michael is his middle name.  Chad is legendary in West Hollywood. Know as the producer of the award winning DreamGirls Revue  at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood.

Standing over six feet tall in heels and known by many as Cher’s body double, Chad has over two decades in the business of drag and entertainement. With time and talent comes skill, and opportunity. Chad has worked with industry favorites such as Cyndi Lauper and Elton John.

Michaels’ reflection of Cher has lead to many national news outlets and tabloids accidentally using photos of him as Cher in numerous Cher TV biographies. Do you think you can tell Chad from Cher? Try to here.

Michaels has been featured on numerous television productions such as The Cher E! True Hollywood Story, The Cher A&E Biography, MAD TV and E! Talk Soup. When Michaels competed on Drag Race in 2011, she was praised by Mama Ru for elevating the competition forever, and was cast as Professor Chad Michaels in RuPaul’s Drag U.

Chad performs at Rich’s Nightclub on January 27, click here for event details.

South Beach Nightclub Does Mannequin Challenge

South Beach Nightclub Does Mannequin Challenge
South Beach Nightclub Does Mannequin Challenge

The Mannequin Challenge landed in one of Houston’s LGBTQ+ nightclubs over the weekend.

The viral Internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins invaded South Beach Nightclub on Thursday night just in time for the weekly event ‘So You Think You Can Drag.’

The video shoot by Houston personality Morena Roas features many LGBTQ+ personalities and the community like Kofi, handsome gay couples, hetro couples kissing, and South Beach employees, all in a state of frozen, on the dance floor of the mega club.

Funny remark at 0:26 time stamp as the videographer apparently says “Oh Shit.” Shorty after, ‘So You Think You Can Drag’ host Kofi breaks the silence and the crowd cheers.

It is believed that the phenomenon was started by students in Jacksonville, Florida on October 12, 2016 according to Wikipedia. The initial posting has inspired works by other groups, especially professional athletes and sports teams that have posted increasingly complex and elaborate videos.

Official FACE Awards Nominations Released In Houston

2016 FACE Awards Nominations Announced in Houston

The 2016 FACE Awards Announced The Official Nominees For The 5th Annual FACE Awards Today.

HOUSTON — NOV 11— The LGBTQ+ FACE Awards today announced the nominees in grand style from Houston headquarters of CBS Radio. Sarah Pepper of Houston Hot.95.7, and Lauren Kelly of Mix 96.5 had the honors of announcing the twenty-one category list of Houston’s best of. Joining them, Joey Guerra of the Houston Chronicle. To cast your vote visit www.faceawards.org

FACE Awards kicked off their annual voting season today launching their new website, where anyone can vote for their favorite community personality. The voting last for two weeks, then the votes are tallied up. The winners will not be announced until the FACE Awards live ceremony in December.

Avenue 360 Health & Wellness presents the 2016 FACE Awards brought to you by Smirnoff Vodka takes place on Monday, December 12, 2016. The CBS Radio ‘Hot’ Red-Carpet Preshow starts at 7PM.

 

Volunteer Of The Year
Fran Watson
Travis Nixon
Jeffry Faircloth
Sarah Pepper
Monica Roberts
Tammi Wallance

Activist Of The Year
Ashton Woods
Lou Weaver
Dee Dee Waters
Robin Mack
Mike Webb

Non-Profit Of The Year
The Montrose Center
Houston Gay Kids
The Diana Foundation
Transgender Foundation of America

Entertainer Of The Year
Cristina Wells
Joey Taylor
Mel Rose
Leo King
Wendy Taylor

Bartender Of The Year
Chris Tyer for Richs Nightclub
Sarah Tompkins Gutierrez for Ripcord
Christopher Hunter for Guava Lamp
Jake Quinney for JR’s Bar & Grill

Event Of The Year
LGBT Pride Parade Celebration,
The Diana Awards
Rainbow on the Green
Annual Girl Jam
Dessie’s Drag Race

Business Of The Year
Bohome Bar
ORYX Wear
Crew Staffing
George County Sports Bar
Crocker Bar
Adam/Eve

Barista Of The Year
Bryant for Stabucks Montrose
Kent for Stabucks Montrose
Forest for Stabucks Montrose
Cheryl Jacobson-Custer for Stabucks Montrose

Social Media Personality Of The Year
Jessica Davidson
Morena Roas
Harper Watters
Antonio Arellano

Best Actor, Actress of the Year
Mark Ivy
Mitchell Greco
Teresa Zimmermann
Dylan Godwin

Business Owner of the Year
Julie Mabry for Pearl Bar
Irwin Palchick for F Bar Houston
Bailey Moore for State Farm Insurance Montrose
Dianna Wilde for Floss Dental Midtown
George Konar for George Country Sports Bar

Politician Of The Year
Kim Ogg for Harris County District Attorney-Elect
Alan Rosen for Constable Precinct One
Sylvester Turner for Mayor of the City of Houston
Garnett Coleman for State Representive
John Whitmire for Texas Senate

Nightclub Of The Year
Richs Nightclub
Crocker Bar
South Beach Nightclub
F Bar Houston
Neon Boots Dancehall

DJ Of The Year
DJ Athenz
DJ Jimmy Skinner
DJ Joe Ross
DJ Patrick Ukemi

Restaurant of the Year
El-Tiempo
BB’s Café
Little Bigs
Pepperoni’s
The Breakfast Klub

Creative Artist Of The Year
Charlie Cole
Justin Conely
William Loyd
Kobi Davis

Journalist Of The Year
Joey Guerra
Steve Campion
Nancy Ford
Ernie Manouse

Community Personality of The Year
Ty Frazier
Kofi, Alexye’us Paris
Duckie DuJour
Violet S’Arbleu

Personal Trainer of The Year
Michael White
Dwayne Cookson
Cody Soutar
Mario Romero

Real Estate Agent of The Year
Bradley Miller
Jeremy Fain
James Wooley
Gary Ismail

Philanthropist of The Year
Monica Roberts
Veronica Simms
Paul Pettie
Tanner Williams
Gary Wood

Drag Performer of The Year
Chloe T. Crawford
Lady Shamu
Laisha LaRue
Kymber DeVine
DeyJzah Opulent-Mirage

To cast your vote for one of the above names, please visit www.faceawards.org