Baker A. RogersJan 31, 2022
King of Hearts
Drag Kings in the American South
Rutgers University Press 2021
In this episode of the Queer Voices of the South podcast, John Marszalek interviews author Baker A. Rogers about their research on drag kings in the South and about their own experience performing as a drag king.
While drag subcultures have gained mainstream media attention in recent years, the main focus has been on female impersonators. Equally lively, however, is the community of drag kings: cis women, trans men, and non-binary people who perform exaggerated masculine personas onstage under such names as Adonis Black, Papi Chulo, and Oliver Clothesoff.
King of Hearts: Drag Kings in the American South (Rutgers UP, 2021) shows how drag king performers are thriving in an unlikely location: Southern Bible Belt states like Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. Based on observations and interviews with sixty Southern drag kings, this study reveals how they are challenging the region’s gender norms while creating a unique community with its own distinctive Southern flair. Reflecting the region’s racial diversity, it profiles not only white drag kings, but also those who are African American, multiracial, and Hispanic.
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Baker A. Rogers is an associate professor of sociology at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Baker is the author of Conditionally Accepted: Christians’ Perspectives on Sexuality and Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights (Rutgers University Press) and Trans Men in the South: Becoming Men.
John Marszalek III is author of Coming Out of the Magnolia Closet: Same-Sex Couples in Mississippi (2020, University Press of Mississippi). He is clinical faculty of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Southern New Hampshire University. Website: Johnmarszalek3.com Twitter: @marsjf3