ShayShay is a well-known drag performer in East London. They grew up in Silicon Valley with supportive parents: an Irish mother and a Japanese-American father. After moving to London they came across drag and discovered they enjoyed presenting androgynously. This eventually led them to the discovery of nonbinary identities.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
|«||Society might lead us to believe that there are only men and women, a binary. We know this to be a farce, both sociologically and biologically (shoutout to my intersex siblings!), yet that gender binary is still oppressive and omnipresent. Rejecting this binary is built into the foundations of drag. Drag allows you to break down gender norms into tiny pieces and then mix and match them anyway you want, or even throw gender out the window completely. Seeing that gender roles can be so easily dismantled and rebuilt simply by dressing up made it so apparent to me that gender itself is just a social construct. Doing drag reinforced my belief that ‘everything about gender is made up.’ All the ideas about how to be a man or what makes a woman have been socially constructed.
Drag is inherently political because it is a huge middle finger at all notions of gender norms. And in that way, it is a powerful tool for exploring one’s gender. There is a huge amount of trans people in the drag scene. Some started doing drag before coming out as trans, and for many, doing drag is part of their transition process.
All drag performers, and fans of drag, should be fighting for trans rights. Not only because we owe the early drag scene and inception of the Stonewall riots to transwomen, specifically transwomen of colour, but also because trans people, especially trans people of colour (POC), who have been dealt a challenging hand that sadly comes with so much unjust hate and violence.
References[edit | edit source]
- Jones, Dylan (12 October 2017). "ShayShay: The East London drag star talks America, beauty ideals and cultural appropriation". QX Magazine. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- "Life Stories: ShayShay – Co-founder, The Bitten Peach Collective". Wearecolourfull. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- Heathcote, Craig (18 November 2018). "Beyond the Margins | SHAY | Gender fluidity". Vimeo. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- "Drag Artist "ShayShay" Highlights Four Essentials To Understanding Drag". REFORM THE FUNK. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- Rasmussen, Tom (10 October 2018). "How to Run a Truly Inclusive Club Night". Vice. Retrieved 6 May 2020.