Monday, August 13, 2007

Are drag acts and transgendered performers boylesque?

We have created a category of burlesque - boylesque - in an attempt to define our teasers by gender, however, where does this leave drag acts? Or transgendered performers? Is it fair to burlesque acts that identfy themselves as women and perform as women to categorize them with performers of the opposite gender?


Paris Green said...

I don't have an answer to this question, but I'm very interested to hear what others think about it. Belmont Burlesque was lucky to have worked with a really phenomenal female impersonator a few years ago, Madame X, here in Chicago. I don't think there was anything about her performance or her stage persona that would make me consider her a "boylesque" performer. However, if you want to get technical about it, she was, under all the fantastic wigs, dresses, makeup and singing (she sang her own songs and did a spot on Patsy Cline and Lena Horne, just to name a few) a man.

I'm probably a little more loose in my designation of pronouns then some. If someone presents themselves as a woman to me, especially on stage, I'll identify them as such. I think I'd have a hard time calling what Madame X did for my show boylesque.

Is there a definition of boylesque out there some place?

Holly Rebelle said...

Me and my assistant who is a gay male who identifies as a man have talked at length about this. He feels boylesque should be men dancing and teasing as men and not impersonating women. Not to say that there isn't a place for drag acts or transgendered acts. I dont' know what the definition of boylesque is, I just found it interesting to have had this discussion and would like to hear more about it as well.

Delirium Tremens said...

First of all I think the name "boylesque" is silly, but as it seems to be here to stay...

No I don't think they are. I think they are burlesque (there were transgendered burlesque performers back in the day) or drag performers in a burlesque show. The differentiation is not based on whether or not they are technically trans or not, but rather on the type of act and persona they have.

To me Rose Wood is a burlesque performer. And I know she considers herself as such. And like the previous commenters, if someone IDs as female, that is good enough for me :)

why does this category even have meaning??

Anonymous said...


salacia said...


playing dressup=drag (no matter the gender)

Seeing boylesque at 40 deuces tonight..curious as to the outcome!

Max said...


Here @ sf Boylesque, we consider Boylesque to be the performance of masculinity. We utilize performers of all genders in our productions.