Lauren Franco : Drag Queen

Sarah Ziskind, Sports Editor

  The art of drag is something which has become increasingly popular with the help of social media and shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”  Though drag is just now getting mass attention, it is actually something which has been around since ancient Greece and medieval England. In the history of theater, men dressed in wigs, makeup and dresses performed the parts of female characters due to women’s lack of authority within society. The term “drag,” however, was not used until the 1800’s within gay culture. The art of drag has since spread within all communities and genders though there is currently debate whether or not female drag is valid.

  Here at West Ranch, Junior Lauren Franco, has proudly immersed themself within drag culture. They are making it known that drag is an art which can be enjoyed by all.

  “Technically, the first time I got in ‘drag’ was during  PE in the seventh grade when I put traffic cones on my feet and pretended to be a drag queen.” The humorous yet empowering act sparked something inside of Franco. It wasn’t until later that Lauren’s slight curiosity would turn into a large part of their life.

  “Drag has made me more joyful and confident in everything I do, whether that be theatre or makeup or my taste in people and clothing and life.”

  Lauren’s genuine love for drag did not come about so smoothly. After years of denying their true self the freedom of expression, Franco finally gave in and followed their passion of drag.

  “I think once I let myself realize all types of drag are valid, my drag character really blossomed and became something I can do that is 100 percent who I am.” Now a proud member of the drag community, Franco speaks out against hate and ignorance toward drag through their social media.

  “I really hope that within the queer community all styles of drag are given a little more respect and value,” said Franco. “I’m not gonna deny that the concept of drag is complex and hard to understand, but what I wish for is that someone else will find expression and happiness like I have.”

  There are many misconceptions about drag, especially considering it is still growing in popularity. Franco hopes that people will be fully understanding of how accepting and diverse the culture can be.

   “The top two misconceptions that I always hear are that, one, ‘Men who do drag are just trans women’, and, two, ‘Female drag is easy’,” said Franco. “I guess I’ll just debunk the first by saying, gender is a spectrum and it’s kinda gross to devalue trans women by assuming that they’re just men in dresses, and the second by saying that drag is wildly difficult and straining no matter what sex you were born as.”

  Drag is indeed incredibly difficult. It takes practice to learn the routine for drag makeup. Eyebrows must be glued down and eyelashes must be glued on. After that comes, what can take up to hours of, adding glitter and contour to exaggerate your face’s natural features. When in full drag it takes major confidence to perform lip syncs and dance in front of audiences. A full face of drag uses up a lot of energy as well as money. Once the show is over it is time for clean-up, which takes over fifteen minutes.

  Though there is much progress to be made within the drag community, Franco still has much they currently appreciate. Lauren wants their message to be heard: “It’s important to be inclusive because in a community where everyone is so often left out, being appreciated no