Drag queen Scarlett Letter performs on stage during the GX4 Kitty Powers Drag Show.

For decades San Francisco has embraced drag performance, while most of America shunned it as perverse. Now, drag is veering into the mainstream with the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” earning an Emmy and a recent Fox remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” But in San Francisco, drag has remained subversive with a new wave of queens, to whom drag is more like punk performance art than glam dress-up. We’ll talk with San Francisco Chronicle style reporter Tony Bravo and local drag queens about the past and present of San Francisco’s drag scene.

Mentioned on Air:

SF’s New Wave of Drag Queens Rebel Against Glam

Tony Bravo, style reporter, The San Francisco Chronicle
Adam Lash, performs as Terri Waffle
Jon Louis, performs as The Divine Miss Bovine

  • Max Varázsló

    I’m glad there;s still some cutting-edge LGBT culture in San Francisco. Much of it has been driven out by gentrification, especially in the Castro and lower Polk St. The drag community should provide more cultural substance than just entertainment — or worse still, amusement — to the rest of the City. The struggles the community still has to go through to preserve its rights and dignity should be commemorated in their performance art.

  • Rina Faletti

    On a vacation to Provincetown this summer we arrived during Family Week when families and children were welcome to drag shows. Is there anything like Family Week in SF / the Bay Area?

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