Express Yourself!  

Channeling the great Ru Paul, Drag Kings and Queens ignite the crowd at the 5th annual Wig Wars.

By: Alyssa Parking, Contributor

On October 21st 2017, Thunder Bay Drag Kings and Queens lip-synced for their lives at the 5th annual Wig Wars hosted at Black Pirates pub. 8 Kings and Queens performed with hopes of becoming the 2017 Ultimate King or Queen. The first two rounds featured powerful performances that spread laughter, tears, and elation across the entire pub. King Fitz N Cider and Queen Sharon Selfies rose to the top of the competition for the night, both taking home championship titles. Their dedication to their personas and to their own sense individuality is undisputable. Both have shown their commitment to the art form that is drag performance.

PC: Alyssa Parking

Wig Wars continues to evolve and develop, asserting its own place in the drag community. Founder Jimmy Wiggins told The Argus: “every year the crowd gets bigger and bigger and the competition gets stronger and stronger. When people see or hear about a good show, they want to know when the next one is. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a cast of performers that bring their A-game every time. They’re passionate, creative and just want to entertain the best the can. Mixing all these elements together is what has made Wig Wars the biggest drag competition in Thunder Bay.”

After standing in the crowd at a Drag Performance, it does not take long to understand that drag is not simply a past time—it is an art form. Through song, competitors brought feelings of excitement, sadness, humor, and pride. Their tireless efforts and commitment to the craft is evident in the obvious care taken to choosing their songs, outfits, makeup, hair and everything in between. K. D. Dieter (Kenya Rami) told The Argus that, “drag is not only a way of expressing yourself, its kind of saying ‘fuck you’ to gender norms. It’s really getting to look in the moment and really experience life and I feel like that’s the really great part of doing drag. There are so many different styles of drag [and] I feel like just being able to express yourself in the way you want to is amazing.” As the popularity of drag and drag culture grows, Drag Kings and Queens will continue to sashay their way into the forefront of public spaces. For many, drag is a form of political assertion that the LGBTQ+ community has a rightful place in dominant popular culture.

PC: Alyssa Parking

Wig Wars will continue to be an important piece of the Thunder Bay community as the definition and image of drag continues to grow. Wiggins notes that drag in Thunder Bay, “has evolved dramatically from being strictly female impersonation where the goal is to look “like a woman” (or a man for the kings) to embracing it as a true art form. Drag queens/kings no longer have to fit the mould set by past generations and are far more free to express their versions of exaggerated femininity/masculinity through alternative drag. And although I very much respect and appreciate the old school of drag, Wig Wars has helped bring the new school to the forefront in TBay.” Just as Drag Kings and Queens continue to expand their own sense of identity, Wig Wars will continue to grow, with changes for the sixth annual Wig Wars 2018 already on the minds of competitors, contributors, and admirers alike.

Black Pirates Pub will be hosting their next drag night on November 11th with WERQ Drag and DJ Show.