Drag queens have been serving “Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent” for years and now audiences all across the country are tuning in to see these vixens lip-sync for their lives on RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s hard to believe the current mainstream success of the art of drag when thinking back on the lack of acceptance of cross-dressing in American history. In fact, dressing in clothing associated with another gender was illegal.
While you may be able to name a handful drag queens of the top of your head, drag kings are a different story even though women have been donning suits and performing masculinity on stage since the 19th century. Hidden from the mainstream for most of the 20th century, their subculture was kept under wraps thanks to gay-owned taverns, cabarets, speakeasies, private clubs, and salons.
Here is a compilation of images of masculine drag from the past century.
[h/t Dangerous Minds]