I was postering through the Castro yesterday evening for Fuck Shit, Let's Dance, and as I was about to tape a poster to a lightpole I noticed something; every other event that had postered that pole featured a drag queen. There was Suppositori Spelling on the Lucky Pierre poster (who, that night, actually played strip poker and we got to see how much of a boy she really is!); Heklina on the Bearracuda poster (which advertised a full-on drag show at midnight); the Monster Show with Cookie Dough at Harvey's; and two Trannyshack events, the Big Sleazy and the Trannyshack Reno show.
Now, granted, I assumed that the forces of Heklina were behind several of these posters, but it did stop and make me think about something I've been pondering for a while, which is the significance of drag to the San Francisco gay nightlife scene. Aside from these events, there's also Charlie Horse at The Cinch and other events at Deco and Aunt Charlie's Lounge, and drag shows have also been big parts of parties from Comfort and Joy and Honey Sound System; in fact, it seems that, if you don't have some kind of drag performer or performance associated with your event, you're missing an important component of what people have come to expect.
Now, I'm not being critical of this - Lord knows, after the dust-up with the furries, the last thing I need is a bunch of pissed-off drag queens on my ass - but I do find it curious, as I don't remember drag being such a big deal when I first moved here in 1999. I was later talking with a friend about this, someone who has lived here a lot longer than I have, and he confirmed that drag queens did seem to be a much bigger deal in the scene now than they were back then.
My theory is that it all has to do with the success of Trannyshack, and the number of Miss Trannyshack winners who have decided to use their title to further themselves in the nightlife scene, which is entirely appropriate. I think Juanita More is the first former Miss Trannyshack I became aware of as an actual promoter, and then there's Midnight Mass from Peaches Christ as well.
So, I'm curious to hear from you all about this; do you think that drag has increased in prominence in the SF scene over the past decade or so, and, if so, why? If it's because of Miss Trannyshack, do you think that, since it's now coming to an end, this will change the complexion (so to speak) of the overall scene? What do you think drag means for the scene in general?