Streetalk June 22 2005

Is it a drag being a drag queen in Atlanta?

Frisky: Drag in Atlanta has lost its soul. Drag is not a gay thing anymore. It's catering more to a straight crowd. Gays used to support drag as an art form, but the straights treat it more as a freak show. And the performers need to go back to old-school drag, where it was high glamour. Despite losing Backstreet, the venues are still here. But the audience needs to see more effort from the performers.

Feleshia: To me, it's not about the money. It's about the show. Atlanta is the premier place for drag. We've got all the legendary performers here. You go anywhere in the United States and everyone knows their names. Look at the girls from Atlanta. The girls here are flawless. Any night of the week you can find a [drag] show. It may look like it's dwindling off, but it's not.

Desire: What happened in Buckhead should not have come down [to Midtown] and affected us, but it has. Buckhead is where the trouble was. But instead, some of the gay bars were the main targets. Atlanta used to be the big party city. I hold [Mayor] Shirley Franklin and some other City Council members partially responsible. A lot of the performers just quit or left Atlanta. The city nightlife is dying.