The history of Drag is an evolution from a common theater practice to an award-winning form of entertainment that has gained legitimacy both on a national and international stage.
The first person to describe himself as “the queen of drag” in the U.S. was William Dorsey Swann, born enslaved in Hancock, Maryland, who in the 1880s started also hosting drag balls in Washington, DC attended by other men who were former slaves, and often raided by the police, as documented in the newspapers.
Drag as an art form has exploded largely thanks to the life and career of RuPaul Andre Charles — arguably the most famous drag queen in the world today. RuPaul’s current claim-to-fame is his tenure as the host and face of the reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race which has changed the history of drag.
2021 Schedule of Events
Friday, Oct 1st – Dragtivism: LGBTQ Town Hall – Community & Drag Leaders from Berlin, Colombia, Cuba, L.A., Miami and more, coming together for a virtual and in person conversation on laws, rights, challenges, and what we can do to make life better for all.
Saturday, Oct 2nd – Art Diva Bus Tours – Visit the Halls of Drag Gallery Exhibit, featuring some of South Florida’s most infamous costumes, and the Divas that made them come to life, incl. continental breakfast & Q&A.
Wednesday, Oct 6th – American Drag Artist William Dorsey Swann – Interpretive performance at the historic Hampton House (setting for One Night in Miami movie). An American gay liberation activist in the 1850’s. Born into slavery, he was the first person in the United States to lead a queer resistance group and the first known person to self-identify as a “queen of drag”. Choreographer Randolph Ward creates an Interpretive performance in Swann’s memory. Performance & Reception. Presentation of CAŌBA Video Archives Project, LAHLO Men’s Apparel Fashion Show… and Premium Open Bar!
Friday, Oct 8th – Dragalympics – Roller Derby Wars & SelfieThon… Cheer on your favorite Drag Stars as they compete in roller skates, high heels and more – for Cash, Crown & your eternal love.
Roller Skate Contest, Lip Sync Death Match, 24+ Selfie Rooms, Celebrity DJ at North Miami’s Dezerland. Also featuring indoor skating & Selfie Colosseum… and Premium Open Bar!
Saturday, Oct 9th – Art Diva Bus Tours – Visit a local drag bar for a behind the scenes rehearsals, dressing room, and one-on-one with the Divas for Q&A… and maybe get a Drag Makeover!
Friday, Oct 15th – Night of a 1,000ish Stars Concert and Drive-In Movie! Featuring music, dancing & DJ, Freestyle Queen Cynthia, (DreamBoy, Change on Me), Patrick & the Swayzees (from Key West), Richie Rosario, Imperium the First, DJ Rene Rodriguez… MC’s CC Glitzer, John Buckley & Kishi Chad. Concession stand, & the original Miami campy drag movie, The Birdcage! $40 per car.