Atlanta-based drag performer Brigitte Bidet is a classically trained dancer who has found freedom and fulfillment in drag. Drawing on an impressive dance and performance background, as well as a love of early 2000s pop culture, Brigitte inspires others to embrace their true selves.
Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Joshua Rackliffe, aka Brigitte Bidet (@brigittebidet), never felt he could fully be himself. Now, he uses his drag alter-ego to celebrate all the things he felt he had to hide as a child.
“Brigitte’s aesthetic is very Y2K. I’m super influenced by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Pink, and rhinestones,” Joshua told In The Know. “I love to channel all those girly gay things that I couldn’t wear when I was little.”
Joshua recalls feeling like an outsider as a child. “Growing up gay in the suburbs of Atlanta was challenging because I felt like I was the only person like me,” he explained. “I would get bullied for being gay and being feminine, and all of those things are what makes my drag amazing.”
Now, Joshua celebrates the things that make him different. “To be able to reference that time in my life where I felt like I couldn’t be myself, but now to have that as an aesthetic for a drag character is like the ultimate empowerment,” he told In the Know.
Joshua went to school for dance before becoming a drag performer. Though he loves dance, Joshua feels that the world of drag is more exciting, and appreciates that drag can be meaningful without taking itself too seriously.
“I came from this world where every piece of art had to have so much meaning behind it,” he told In the Know. “Now it’s like if I want to just dance to Britney Spears for 3 and a half minutes and do a split… there is commentary on society; there is pulling apart gender and class.”
Ultimately, for Joshua, drag is all about community. Brigitte has helped Joshua find himself, but she has also helped him empower others. Through drag, Joshua has gotten involved in political activism, and has started mentoring other aspiring performers.
He told In the Know, “I’m in a place now where I can share my own experiences with people and help them discover themselves, too.”
In The Know is now available on Apple News — follow us here!
If you enjoyed this story, meet Astala Vista, the self-proclaimed ‘crazy cat lady of drag’
More from In The Know: