07/11/2013 05:06 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Reasons to Do Drag (PHOTOS)

Peter Verbrugghe

You do drag for the first time because you want to be called "fierce," an adjective you will never be called unless you do this. You do it because you're brown, and even in New York City, where you have seen everything, you have very rarely -- maybe twice in a decade -- seen a brown drag queen.

You do drag because you really want to be on that boat invading the Pines. You want to do the fucking invasion, even though you realize later that there's only so much rage you can carry with you in a sequined (and slitted, à la Jolie) dress and six-inch heels in a post-DOMA world.

You do drag because you know you will have another secret to keep from some people (you don't know who you are), and it's perversely delicious. You do it because you're curious and nervous in anticipation of the look on the face of the Macy's salesgirl when you ask her if you can enter the dressing room on the women's floor. (No look was offered. She had seen too much too soon to be stirred in the least.)

You do drag because even though you have deactivated the settings on Facebook that allow a picture you're tagged in to get to your timeline without you permitting it, you know that Zuck's peeps have a loophole that will get your picture in -- and that is also perversely delicious.

You do drag because your best friend told you that the only version you should attempt is the grotesque one, and he said that scoffingly. You do it because you want to say something scoffingly while in drag, even though you're unclear why.

You do drag because you want to experience being on a boat full of men in drag, charging toward an island where a drag queen was refused entry into a bar 35 years ago, and where today, eager volunteers hand out free drink coupons just because you're wearing a dress. You want to experience firsthand, on July 4, this shiningly clear marker of the slow and hiccupy but sure and substantial progress that this country has made.

And you do it because when you moved to America and saw a drag queen for the first time in your life in Tulsa, Okla., there's only one word that entered your head: "Fierce!"


Invasion of the Pines 2013