In drag: visibility and invisibility in rural/regional spaces

Year: 2016

Author: Charlton, Emma

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Over the last two years there have been four drag shows in the rural/regional community of Warrnambool. These events have been organised by young people with the support of a youth organisation, and young drag kings and queens have taken the stage while their friends and family look on and participate as the audience. This presentation considers the impact of this series of drag shows on the individuals participating in the shows, their family members in the audience, as well as other audience members and the broader community. These drag shows are a manifestation of what gender diverse young people in a rural and regional places want, do, are. They draw attention, and are a part of the contemporary landscape of schooling and sexualities. What is it about drag shows that resonate with these young drag kings and queens and the audience? What relationship do these events have to their everyday lives in schools, TAFE, university, amongst friends, out and about, and at home? How might these events be understood? This research is being conducted in anticipation of the third Schooling and Sexualities Conference. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the initial conference. That first conference looked at schools, the social construction of sexuality, teaching about sexuality and teaching against homophobia. Ten years later the second conference looked at sex/ualities past and present, in schooling contexts, and in teacher education. This third conference similarly considers the past, the present and the future of schooling and sexualities, and these drag shows are a unique representation of a present.