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So Many Movies Are a Drag


It's Pride month.

Did you know that according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), there are currently almost 500 pieces of state-level legislation threatening the rights of LGBTQ+ communities. (YES, it's 2023. And NO, we can't believe it either.) Many of these bills put restrictions on or completely ban drag performances. At the same time, gun safety advocates are fighting an uphill battle to ban assault rifles.

Because, apparently, drag queens are more dangerous than AR-15s.

But, we digress.

Drag is nothing new. In fact, it was employed in Greek and Roman comedies thousands of years before a little town called Stratford produced one William Shakespeare. And, it's not just that the Bard included characters who cross-dressed, virtually all of Elizabethan theatre was an exercise in drag. Women were prohibited from appearing onstage. So, Juliet, Miranda, Ophelia, Lady Macbeth ...? All drag queens.

Cross-dressing on film can be traced back to the earliest days of silent movies, and it's a familiar convention you'll find in more recent decades as well. So, if you'd like to stand up against the current tsunami of ridiculous and unnecessary anti-drag bills — and if you can't find a local Drag Queen Brunch or Bingo to attend — stream one (or all) of these titles.

And just remember, bigotry is the biggest drag of all.

Happy Pride from the Bs!


Some Like it Hot (1959)

In this classic, recently adapted into a Tony-winning Broadway musical, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon doll themselves up to escape the mob. This becomes a bit of a complication when Curtis's "Josephine" falls for Marilyn Monroe's "Sugar Cane."


Pink Flamingos (1972)

The legendary Divine starred in John Waters' trashy, campy, and (still) disturbing film about a contestant vying for the coveted title of "the filthiest person alive."


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

In this rock parody of low-budget sci-fi and horror movies, Tim Curry's "sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania" is a very tough drag act to follow.


Victor/Victoria (1982)

Julie Andrews, a screen queen in or out of drag, plays an underemployed entertainer who dresses up as a man who dresses up as a woman in order to work ... and becomes a Parisian nightclub sensation.


Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Another case of cross-dressing in order to get a job, nannying his own children after an ugly divorce, the brilliant Robin Williams brings new meaning to the Aerosmith lyric "dude looks like a lady."


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Just your typical roadtrip buddy movie, except that the three buddies making the roadtrip across the Australian outback are all fabulous! With Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, and Guy Pearce.


To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)

See description directly above, except replace the Australian outback with the American bible belt, and the stars with Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo. Oh, and Rue Paul has a cameo too.


The Birdcage (1996)

When the precious daughter of a conservative senator falls for the progressive son of a Miami nightclub owner and his drag queen partner, mayhem ensues.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

James Cameron Mitchell's rock opera follows the musical career of an "internationally ignore song stylist," genderqueer East German Hedwig, whose botched sex change operation left her with the titular appendage.


Kinky Boots (2005)

Lola, Chiewetel Ejiofor's larger than life working girl, becomes the unlikely business partner of a down-on-his-luck shoe manufacturer. Their odd couple collab and "kinky boots" take the fashion world by storm.



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