Reshaping Queer Culture: Meet Taiwan’s First Drag Kings

2019 Taiwan Pride: Queerness in Asia

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/21
By:: Darice D. Chang

Photo Credit: Cruisin’ With the Kings / Facebook
Darice D. Chang

Darice is a writer, artist, and educator-activist based in Taiwan. She speaks three languages and is usually getting paid to use one of them. In her spare time she enjoys the local music scene and promoting healthy ethical living.

Lezs Magazine, a Taiwan-based lesbian culture publication, brought the first professional drag king performer Wang Newton to Taipei for the 2018 Pride. Wang, who was born in Taiwan before emigrating to the United States at a young age, created the Newton character based on a caricature of Asian stereotypes.

“I don’t just gender fuck, I culture fuck,” Wang said. At its core, drag is a form of entertainment.

Photo Source: Wang Newton

Wang Newton poses in front of the Liberty Plaza in Taipei, Taiwan during 2018 Pride.

In April 2019, Taipei’s first drag king crew was formed by a coalition of queer women and genderfluid artists who were united by the love of masculine impersonation and performance.

I first met Skye Grimm, a Canadian drag performer, alongside boundary-breaking Kiwi Taipei Popcorn at the 2018 Spectrum Formosus, an annual queer art festival held in the Wenshan Mountains. At the time both were in talks about creating space for drag kings in Taipei.

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