Meet Kizha Carr, the bearded drag queen who’s exploring gender expression through drag

Kizha Carr is a New York City-based drag performer and self-proclaimed “bearded queen” who draws on ‘90s cartoon superheroes for inspiration to create powerful looks that explore the concept of gender. 

Terren Wooten Clarke, aka Kizha Carr (@thatbeardedqueen), describes his drag alter ego as “an energetic queen” and “a good time gal” whose drag is based on humor.

Terren grew up in Oklahoma and initially moved to New York City to perform in “The Book of Mormon,” before realizing his true calling: drag performance. 

Carr told In the Know that he became disillusioned with the world of professional theater, which he found overly political. He began performing drag while still working on Broadway, and quickly rose to fame in the New York City drag world. Eventually, he left Broadway altogether and began performing in drag full time, forming a drag family called the House of Carr. 

Drag became both a creative outlet for Terren and a way to explore his own gender expression. He developed a unique aesthetic that drew on the ‘90s superheroes he idolized as a child.

“I remember watching those cartoons and being like, ‘I want to be that. And so my drag has turned into that,” Terren told In The Know. “It’s about being powerful. It’s about being strong.”

Terren grew a beard as a way to play with the concept of gender. He told In the Know that becoming a bearded drag queen fundamentally changed the way he viewed his own drag performance.

“I realized that my drag wasn’t about female illusion,” he explained. “I love playing with the gender fluidity of it. It’s so important to me because it’s helped me realize my own gender expression.” 

For Terren, Kizha is more than a character. She has helped him express himself more fully in his everyday life. 

“You can exist on a plane that gender is a construct, and it is fluid, and we all deserve space regardless of where you land on that spectrum,” Terren explained. 

Drag has brought Terren greater understanding of himself, but it has also helped him find friends and a community he adores. His drag family, House of Carr, provides him with a level of understanding he doesn’t always get from his biological family. 

“My chosen family is very important to me,” he told In the Know. “There’s support where we have each other’s backs, we’re there for each other, [and] we’ll do whatever it takes.” 

Terren told In the Know that joining the world of drag has changed his life for the better. It has helped him express himself creatively, explore his own gender expression, and find a community that wholeheartedly embraces him. 

As Terren puts it, “Drag is everything.”

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If you enjoyed this story, meet Astala Vista, the self-proclaimed ‘crazy cat lady of drag’

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