Drag King Practices and the Struggle against Cis-normativity:. Some Insights from the Italian Scenario

Michela Baldo, Olivia Roger Fiorilli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


“Drag Kinging” emerged in the United States in ‘80s as a practice enacted by people – generally, but not necessarily, assigned “female” at birth – who intentionally performed masculinit(ies) on the stage, in workshops such as the “legendary” Man for a Day by Diane Torr, or in different contexts and settings. At the end of the ‘90s drag King workshops and performances spread in various European countries. Drawing on our research and personal experience with drag Kinging in Italy, this contribution aims to develop some reflections on the relationship between “drag” and trans politics. Drag kings are “canonically” inserted in the “breathless list” (Connell 2012) of subjectivities forming the “transgender umbrella”. Nonetheless a number of trans activists and scholars have discussed the possible limits embedded in the idea of conflating different experiences and subject positions as well as the possible side effects of the political use of drag as an embodied practice that immediately highlights the “performativity of gender”, as in Butler (1990). Taking these critiques as a starting point, this article will try to explore the possibilities for anti-transphobic politics from the location of drag practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflections on Female and Trans* Masculinities and Other Queer Crossings
EditorsNina Kane, Jude Woods
Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (Print)1-4438-8285-2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2017


  • drag king practices in Italy
  • dragking and cisnormativity


Dive into the research topics of 'Drag King Practices and the Struggle against Cis-normativity:. Some Insights from the Italian Scenario'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this