12 Faces of Austin International Drag Festival
Article and photography by @chrisbogard_ for The Art of Being Queer.
Austin is not the first city that comes to mind when I think of prominent queer municipalities.
Despite its position in the heart of Texas, the Austin International Drag Festival transformed the southern city into the “Drag Capital of the World” for 3 days this past November.
The event was warmly received, with hundreds of drag performers of all nationalities strutting their stuff from the Main Stage Runway to the downtown streets.
Throughout the festival, the world of drag was celebrated by folx of all kinds, with LGBTQ vendors selling exclusive merchandise, meet-and-greets, and special performances by international stars like Art Simone, James Majesty and Ursula Major.
Compared to its mainstream counterpart, RuPaul’s DragCon, Austin DragFest was noticeably more alternative and rough around the edges. It became clear to me that Austin DragFest was created to celebrate anyone who loves drag and performance, unlike bigger cons that prioritize the fans of drag superstars. Festival attendees were dazzled by drag that they’d be hard pressed to find on the Pink Carpets of New York and LA cons—bearded queens, campy kings, and performers who embody the spectrum of gender expression. The result was a charming, refreshingly authentic environment that uplifted those expressing themselves through drag, regardless of gender.
The following photographs are a small fraction of the many faces that embodied the art of drag
at Austin International Drag Festival 2019.
Top left to right:
@ caitomatthews @kittennille