Sasha Velour is a Queer drag queen and performing artist living in Brooklyn , who was recently crowned winner of Ru Paul Drag Race Season 9.
The reasons why I experienced an immediate emotional connection with her lie in the fact that she seeks to develop a spooky and more conceptual persona, moving away from the mainstream and camp / fishy version of drag culture (in drag’s jargon the controversial adjective fishy indicates a drag queen who opts for a really feminine and polished look).
“There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively constituted by the very expressions that are said to be its results”.
(Butler, 2010: 25 )
Mostly inspired by Judith Butler’s seminal book Gender Trouble, Sasha aims to question gender stereotypes through an eclectic practice, which combines writing articles for her zine Velour the Drag magazine, doing powerful and spectacular lip-sync performances and primarily being the host of the Nightgowns show in Brooklyn.
During the show, Sasha embodies the role of curator-facilitator to create a safe space where artists from different backgrounds (drag queens, drag kings, horror drag, bearded queens , bio queens) are enabled to express themselves to a non-judgmental and supportive audience.
- Bromwich, K. ‘Sasha Velour: Drag is darkness turned into power’, The Guardian, [Online] Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/oct/29/sasha-velour-drag-is-darkness-turned-into-power-rupaul-drag-race-interview [Accessed 22 November 2017].
- Butler, J. Gender Trouble. New York and London: Routledge.
- Sasha Velour. (2017). Sasha Velour | “This Woman’s Work” | NIGHTGOWNS. [Online Video]. 20 January 2017. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIm9mp5eiVs [Accessed 23 October 2017].
- Velour The Drag Magazine. 2015. Velour The Drag Magazine. [Online] Available from: http://thedragmagazine.com/issues-1/. [Accessed 23 October 2017].