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Drag Beyond Metronormativity Experiences of Drag Performers in Small Towns and "Ordinary Cities"
AuthorLanderos, Steph O.
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Rural towns and small cities are not typically perceived as welcoming or safe environments for LGBTQ people. However, many LGBTQ people do live in rural towns and smaller cities. In this study, I interview 18 drag performers from Ordinary Cities (OC) and Small towns (ST). My findings show that drag performers in OCs are more likely to feel unsafe within queer spaces than performers from STs. Participants of color in both ordinary cities and small towns reported experiences of tokenism and racial exclusion. Finally, my findings show that drag kings in both settings were the most likely to experience exclusion from local drag communities. I use these findings to argue that rural towns and small cities can be welcoming and safe environments for queer folks—specifically drag performers. Additionally, these city/town settings can impact the safety of performers dependent on availability of queer space.