Behind the Drag aims to showcase the off-stage lives of some of America’s most talented drag queens. The intimate series gives us the opportunity to meet the people behind our favorite over-the-top drag queens.
“It’s very important to speak your mind and to exercise your right to put yourself out there. Because if you live your life [internally], when you die, no one will really know who you are or what you’re about,” The Vixen said.
Anthony Taylor from Chicago, also known as The Vixen, is known and often celebrated for speaking up, especially when it comes to being Black in the world of drag. While on Season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” The Vixen confronted the issue of race on the show and within the audience head-on with Ru.
Now, The Vixen continues to celebrate Black women in her long-running show comprised of Black drag queens—male, female and transgender. “I use my show, Black Girl Magic, to uplift [Black women], celebrate them, and also give them a space to be exactly who they are without pandering to anything else,” she said.
The show is held at Roscoe’s in Chicago’s Boystown, an area which The Vixen said was previously a very segregated area. And that makes it all the more special. “To have a show that celebrates Black drag queens in the heart of an area that used to be very controversial and not very open-minded is progress,” Taylor said.
Anthony Taylor wasn’t always this fearless force though, he admitted.
“The Vixen is powerful, aggressive, a feisty, feisty person,” he said, adding that “being The Vixen has really allowed me to tap into a personality that I didn’t think I had. I’ve always been a little bit afraid to speak out. In the beginning, I thought drag queens weren’t allowed to say this. I thought I, as a Black kid, wasn’t going to be able to speak out or make a difference in these ways.”
He says drag queens are a “beacon of adversity,” calling on their strength back in the day to go outside in a wig and heels and make themselves not only visible but a target.
Today, The Vixen believes drag can and should be enjoyed by everyone.
“Regular people can look at drag queens and get that confidence and say, ‘you know what? I just need to go out because there’s a good time being had without me,'” The Vixen said. “I hope people leave my show feeling like I can do anything.”
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