Three drag events featured in Borderland Pride's 2023 Pride festival
Borderland Pride stands in solidarity with the drag community at this time of increased political attack, misunderstanding, and misinformation about drag and drag artists. We are proud to offer three special events this month highlighting the art of drag performance and culture to both celebrate this art form and demystify it for the wider community.
What is Drag?
Many people are familiar with the concept of a drag queen – generally understood as male drag artists who portray exaggerated feminine stereotypes and characteristics through costumes and makeup. This type of drag art has been popularized by popular television shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race.
But what constitutes drag is far broader. Drag is a performance form that incorporates theatrical gender expression. Drag, as a general term for a performance style, incorporates many subcategories that interpret its basic elements in different ways – in the same way that dance may refer to ballroom, ballet, or tap. Drag often contains elements of comedy, dance, music, storytelling, fashion, cultural parody, and protest, though not necessarily all of them at once. As with any other art form, different types of performances are intended for different audiences.
Drag is a central aspect of 2SLGBTQIA+ cultural expression and has historically been connected to the development and cultivation of queer communities for hundreds of years. Some elements of drag have also been a mainstream form of entertainment for years, including in animated portrayals by Bugs Bunny and in family movies like Mrs. Doubtfire.
Local Drag Events
Borderland Pride invites all community members to come and show their support of the drag community this month – or just to experience drag performance for the first time and have a good time. We are offering 3 very special events:
On Saturday, June 10 at 7 PM, the Memorial Sports Centre will host SPLASH, a drag show fundraiser that will direct all ticket and bar sales to the Fort Frances spray park. Advanced tickets start at $20, with tickets at the door available for $25. All advanced tickets will be entered into a draw for 2 tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2023/24, sponsored by Molson Coors. Tickets are available online at www.borderlandpride.org/drag. A limited number of free tickets are available on request for those who might not otherwise be able to attend. Those tickets can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, June 11 at 11 AM, Mz. Molly Poppinz and Lady Fantasia La Premiere will be at the Fort Frances Museum for Drag Story Time, where they will read stories for children and families. Drag story times have exploded in popularity across North America for their ability to convey messages of inclusion and belonging to young people. This event is free to attend and no tickets are required. Information is available online at www.borderlandpride.org/storytime.
On Friday, June 16 at 7 PM, Mz. Molly is back for Pride Paint Night at the Métis Hall, where she’ll be instructing attendees through a painting project. Tickets are $35 and include everything you need. You can purchase them online at www.borderlandpride.org/paint.
All of our 2023 drag events are open to attendees of all ages and abilities; however, we note that the SPLASH drag show may include some mature content. Grown-ups are asked to consider whether the event is appropriate for young people in same way they would a “PG-13” movie.
“Drag is important to our local Pride movement for two reasons. First, it is an art form that, like any art form, helps to give us new perspective on the fixed categories of the world we live in and to push conventional boundaries and social norms. In this case, it challenges our perspective of gender expression. Second, drag celebrates difference and helps to share a positive message of inclusion and belonging. This is especially important for children and youth, which is why drag story time events have exploded in popularity with families across North America. We are proud to have a handful of drag artists with ties to our community who are doing this important work.”
- Douglas W. Judson
Douglas W. Judson (he/him)