ABOUT THIS BOOK
While drag subcultures have gained mainstream media attention in recent years, the main focus has been on female impersonators. Equally lively, however, is the community of drag kings: cis women, trans men, and non-binary people who perform exaggerated masculine personas onstage under such names as Adonis Black, Papi Chulo, and Oliver Clothesoff.
King of Hearts shows how drag king performers are thriving in an unlikely location: Southern Bible Belt states like Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. Based on observations and interviews with sixty Southern drag kings, this study reveals how they are challenging the region’s gender norms while creating a unique community with its own distinctive Southern flair. Reflecting the region’s racial diversity, it profiles not only white drag kings, but also those who are African American, multiracial, and Hispanic.
Queer scholar Baker A. Rogers—who has also performed as drag king Macon Love—takes you on an insider’s tour of Southern drag king culture, exploring its history, the communal bonds that unite it, and the controversies that have divided it. King of Hearts offers a groundbreaking look at a subculture that presents a subversion of gender norms while also providing a vital lifeline for non-gender-conforming Southerners.