A Los Angeles-based Uber and Lyft driver is using his platform to take drag culture out of the club and into his car.
Erik Koral, aka Erika Simone, is the force behind "Driving is a DRAG," a taxi service operated through Uber and Lyft. Koral uses his experiences while driving in drag to create a web series about the process, a project that he sees as "half entertainment and half educational."
"The first week I started driving in July of 2014 I did some more research on the company and read online that there are dozens of themed Lyft rides all around the country," Koral told The Huffington Post. "There is 'The Big Lebowski' where the driver dresses up as The Dude, there is 'Batman,' 'Harry Potter,' and an EDM-themed ride called 'Disco Lyft,' there is 'Hip Hop Lyft,' 'Karaoke Lyft,' etc. I thought to myself, how cool is this! You get to create your own original brand on top of their brand and platform and the company doesn’t care -- they actually encourage it."
Koral hopes to use his platform as the drag queen Uber driver to not only expose people to drag queens, but to provide an opportunity for education about the larger lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. He told The Huffington Post that particularly since Caitlyn Jenner came out, riders have been curious with questions about the many different shades and hues of the queer community.
"While the ride is always fun and games, something happened after the Caitlyn Jenner story broke," Koral said. "People from all walks of life wanted to know if I was transgender, or what the difference was between people that are drag queens, cross dressers or transgender. Because I am completely fearless going out there dressed up and very open about my sexuality (I am gay), I think that immediately breaks down walls and people then tell me very personal stories and open up to me about struggles they have faced in the past."
Check out the video above to see more from "Driving is a DRAG" or head here for from Koral.