"Spread more love and less legs." - Gentleman Gaga
1. What does "Drag" mean to you personally?
For me drag is a medium to express my inner creativity and bring my creativity live for a better visual experience for me and my audience .
2. When did you start doing drag?
To be very specific, the first time ever I did drag was, when I was in the 3rd grade and right after that back in 2015 until now .
3. How did you start doing drag?
I always loved dancing, painting, listening to music, making crafty things and participating in various art and dance competitions right from my school days. Not forgetting to mention my love for belly dance which literally got me into the drag world.
4. When was the first time you performed in drag?
When I was 8 years old, in the third grade I became a fairy for the Christmas Day celebration at my school.
5. How would you describe your drag style?
Very FISH DRAG, polished, sophisticated, sheek and classy. For an artist like me, too much is always too less. Hence I need more glitter, jewelry, highlighter and hell lotta drama .
6. Criticisms either make you or break you. What were some critics you got when you started?
First of all people yet aren't aware of the term Drag and secondly in a country like India people still consider drag as either cross dressing or call us transgenders.
7. "Relevance of drag in India." What do you think?
The internet is definitely helping understand the drag culture but people need to be educated not just about drag but there are many terms which creates confusion for one's who don't belong to the LGBTQIA+ community.
8. What the initial reaction of your family and friends when you told them about you as a drag performer?
More than calling myself lucky, I feel more blessed to be accepted as a Gay child by my family and friends and always being supportive towards achieving my goals.
9. "Drag is political." Do you agree?
The term Drag was born for entertainment purpose but just like any art form, drag is a political statement because it was considered a crime to see men dress like women. Many drag queens had to fight against discrimination and homophobia just to work and pursue their passion in performing.
Present your thoughts on the same.
10. Do you feel drag needs to be inclusive? Why or why not?
Of course yes! Drag needs to be inclusive as it has been a part of the Indian culture for a very long time. While the first motion picture of India "Raja Harishchandra" was being made in the year 1913, Dadsaheb Phalke couldn't find any woman to play the lead character in the film. He even considered going to the red light areas, but women refused as they considered acting less reputable than their profession. Therefore he had to cast men to play female roles... slowly , Drag became a part of the entertainment industry.
11. Were you ill treated/abused because you perform in drag? Please share your experience if comfortable.
Apart from receiving random sexual dm's I have never been abused for my drag persona, may be :)
12. What is your vision through the art of drag?
My artistic vision for drag is, firstly this artform should be respected and valued, even by the one's who don't prefer showing any interest towards drag. When it comes drag, there's so much to offer to the audience only if they start believing the artist and their artistry.
13. A message you'd like to give to young drag artists.
First and foremost, make sure your very passionate and ambitios towards drag.
Don't be too hard on yourself, take one step at time as you need to understand and enjoy the beautiful process while getting yourself into drag.
And spread more love and less legs, unless it's for a dance move.
Follow Gentleman Gaga on Instagram to support her and see her upcoming work at https://www.instagram.com/gentleman_gaga/
About author : Miss Bhenji is an Indian aesthetic drag queen. She's a dancer, actor and a comedian. She's based out of Nagpur and her interview talk show is called Baatein with Bhenji. Baatein with Bhenji was an initiative taken by Miss Bhenji to interview the queer artists of India to give them exposure for people to learn more about them.