9 female drag queens breaking stereotypes in the world of drag

9 female drag queens breaking stereotypes in the world of drag

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A collage featuring nine different female drag queens on RuPaul's Drag Race, each showcasing a unique and elaborate makeup and costume style. The queens are depicted in various poses and expressions, highlighting their individual artistic aesthetics.

Female drag queens, which may sound contradictory at first, are an ever-present part of the diverse world of drag performance.

Traditionally, drag has been mainly male-dominated, with performers embodying exaggerated feminine personas. However, it has evolved into a stage for female drag performers to unleash their creativity and artistry, as well.

While evidence of female impersonation dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, mainstream drag culture was pioneered by Black and Latine individuals who held underground drag balls in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These drag balls provided a place for queer individuals to express themselves and push the boundaries of gender norms through extravagant clothing, makeup, and performances.

Drag queens and kings have since become iconic figures within the LGBTQ+ community, breaking down stereotypes, advocating for social change, and challenging societal expectations.

Let’s explore the contributions of female drag queens, their challenges, and the broader significance of their presence in the drag community.

Can women be drag queens?

The short answer is yes. While drag queens are most often associated with cis gay men who dress up in exaggerated, glamorous female attire and perform in drag shows, the art of drag is not exclusive to just one gender. Cisgender women (a.k.a. bio queens) and trans women have been a part of the drag scene for many years, and they bring their own unique style and perspective to this art form.

One of the main purposes of drag is to challenge gender norms by blurring the lines between male and female identities. Drag performers often use their platform to explore different aspects of gender expression, whether it be hypermasculinity or hyperfemininity.

In some cases, female drag personalities embody hypermasculine drag personas as drag kings, while in others they play with gender fluidity, and some even perform as drag queens, further embracing the traditional art form of exaggerating the female form.

There are even a few Reddit threads that explore the topic of female drag and further validate women’s abilities to perform as drag queens.

With the rise of RuPaul’s Drag Race and other mainstream exposure to drag culture, more people from all walks of life (including trans men and straight, cis guys) are becoming invested in this art form. This has led to more visibility and acceptance for both cis and trans women who do drag.

Below are a few of the most well-known female queens in the industry, each with their own unique style and story.

Kylie Sonique Love

Back in 2010, Kylie Sonique Love shook things up as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, when she announced her trans identity during the reunion episode. And in 2021, she made herstory by becoming the first transgender winner on the U.S. version of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.

Gia Gunn

Gia made waves on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014. She stole the spotlight with her voguing skills, wit, and her close bond with fellow trans contestant Laganja Estranja. On the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in 2018, she made history once again as the first trans contestant to return to the franchise after announcing her transition, solidifying her status as a trailblazer in the drag community.

Adore Delano

Adore’s television debut was on American Idol back in 2008, where she originally showcased her singing chops. But it was her unforgettable run on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014 that solidified her status as a drag icon, making it to the final three. She also returned for the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, where she voluntarily departed, placing ninth. Adore officially came out as trans in 2023.


Peppermint made history as the first out transgender woman to compete on Drag Race. As a contestant on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2017, she captivated audiences with her charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, ultimately securing her spot as the runner-up. After that, Peppermint made Broadway her stage debut in 2018, becoming the first openly transgender woman to originate a principal role in any Broadway musical when she starred in Head Over Heels.

Victoria Scone

Victoria Scone her mark in the RPDR world as the first cisgender female contestant on any series of the Drag Race franchise. Also a lesbian, she showed the world that drag queens come in all forms during the third series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2021. Her journey continued on Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. the World in 2022, where she proved to be a formidable competitor, consistently landing in the Top 2 and never facing elimination until the finale.

Kerri Colby

Kerri Colby is a fierce queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 in 2022. As a trans woman, Kerri’s journey has inspired and empowered others in the drag community. From helping fellow queens like Kornbread Jeté and Jasmine Kennedie navigate their transitions to providing clarity for Bosco in her own journey, Kerri’s influence reaches far beyond the RPDR runway. In 2023, she popped back onto our screens for a heartwarming moment on Untucked, sending love to her drag mother and season 15 winner, Sasha Colby.

Sasha Colby

From winning the prestigious Miss Continental competition in 2012 to clinching the crown as the season 15 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2023, she’s been dazzling audiences with her charisma and talent. Not only did she make history as the first-ever Native Hawaiian to sashay onto the Drag Race stage, but she also proudly claimed the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar, making her the first winner of Polynesian descent. And her impact doesn’t stop there—she even shared her wisdom at Vice President Kamala Harris‘s annual Pride Month celebration in the same year.

Clover Bish

Clover is a bisexual drag queen who shot to fame on the third season of Drag Race España in 2023. She made waves as the first cisgender female drag performer to sashay onto the Spanish reality series—and the second in the Drag Race franchise, after Victoria Scone.

Pandora Nox

Pandora Nox made the first season of Drag Race Germany her stage in 2023, becoming the German series’ first cisgender female drag performer and the RPDR franchise’s third after Victoria Scone and Clover Bish. Despite placing in the bottom twice, she earned a spot in the finale, where she clinched the crown, making her the first AFAB [assigned female at birth] and first lesbian winner in the franchise’s history.

Drag is an art form open to all

Throughout history, drag has served as a powerful tool for self-expression, empowerment, and resistance against societal norms. Female drag queens are a part of this revolution, challenging conventions and redefining what it means to embody femininity in all its forms.

Their presence in the drag community not only adds depth and diversity but also fosters a more inclusive and accepting space for all performers.

P.S. Are you a female drag queen (or know one) who deserves to be seen? Fill out this short Google form and tell us your story. We’re continually looking for amazing folks to build future lists of drag performers to feature on our site and social media channels.

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