By RACHEL CLARK
At the peak of the pandemic every industry was impacted, including Sydney’s drag scene. With limited opportunities, many decided to create their own stages with the use of social media.
Clubs and theatres being shut down left many without work. But, the drag queens of Sydney didn’t hang up their heels and lock themselves away. They adapted, and technology became the key to survival. Through social media they were not only able to perform, but reach their audiences.
As restrictions tightened across the city Faux Fur, a drag queen based in Sydney’s Inner West, had many performances cancelled or postponed. Not to be deterred, she decided to find other ways to interact with her fans, mainly on social media where she created a thriving platform.
“Through online media I could still develop my creativity through still remaining relevant,” she said.
Social media provided a way for not just Faux, but many other drag queens to connect with their audience in just a matter of seconds providing a glimpse into where their lives were at.
Online drag communities have flourished within the midst of the pandemic, taking to Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram to perform and compete. These platforms also increased connectivity with other queens in the community, as many were left very isolated and split from fellow queens.
“We were reaching out to others to support mental health and not losing hope, doing what I could from my home,” explains Miss Veeta, a Brisbane-based drag queen.
Finding new ways to connect with her fans from home, Faux Fur used social media to create Faux Mondays, an IGTV live show on Instagram.
“[We] immediately sought ways to support each other and promote each other, so as to come out the other side of the pandemic in a stronger situation,” says Faux Fur.
As restrictions have begun to ease many queens are starting to see a change with not only the venues, but also attendees.
Miss Veeta expressed how the drag scene hasn’t returned back to normal overnight. As audiences return slowly there appears to be more new faces appearing each night to watch stunning queens dazzle the stages.
The adaption and development to the new norm displays how much the drag scene has evolved during these highly uncertain times. The support and commitment to the community during this time was stronger than ever, and will hopefully follow into a post COVID-19 world.
Most of the queens are hopeful for the world of drag. With more opportunities becoming available, they are able to bringing joy and smiles to audiences faces; while also remaining fierce.