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Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity

This article examines how the performative nature of gender is (re)produced by drag queens and analyses drag culture in Euro-American socio-cultural and political space. In this study, I provide an outline of a historical tradition of portraying femininity on stage starting from ancient Greece and until nowadays. The aim of this research is to investigate the evolution of female roles in European and American societies and the influence of these transformations on drag culture as well as to define the position of drag performative femininity within the framework of modern feminist and queer theories. The research methodology is based on a systematic approach to the study of socio-political and socio-cultural phenomena in their development and mutual relations grounded on the principle of scientific objectivity. In the course of writing of this work, I have applied comparative-historical, critical and chronological methods as well as feminist and gender approaches, based on the theory of gender performativity first articulated by Judith Butler – all of which allowed to conduct a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the phenomenon of drag culture. Conclusions of my study offer an overview of the development tendencies of drag cultures in the USA, Germany and Ukraine providing a new perspective on “staged” femininity, which appears as a result of intertwining gender, race, class and national identities and subverts gender roles imposed by society.

Femininity, Drag, Drag Culture, Gender, Gender Performativity

APA Style

Galyna Kotliuk. (2023). Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity. International Journal of European Studies, 7(1), 8-14.

ACS Style

Galyna Kotliuk. Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity. Int. J. Eur. Stud. 2023, 7(1), 8-14. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12

AMA Style

Galyna Kotliuk. Gender on Stage: Drag Queens and Performative Femininity. Int J Eur Stud. 2023;7(1):8-14. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20230701.12

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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