Merrill Reiter

University of Missouri

With this project I mean to give you a small glimpse into the complexity of a drag performance and why drag culture is important to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. A drag queen is a man who dresses and acts like a caricature of a woman, often for the purpose of entertaining. This transformation is more than makeup, sequin dresses and dancing-it is perfection, talent, patience and activism. The foundation of drag is family. Every person has a drag mom, drag names are chosen with family members and some families use the same last name, which gets passed down from queen to queen. A drag mom is a mentor who guides their daughter into the drag career. These photographs were taken in Columbia MO and all but one was taken at SoCo Club, the only club in town to host drag shows. While Columbia's drag scene may be set on a smaller scale, it is vibrant, full of passion, energy and artistic expression.