The Art of Drag — a performance of exaggerated gender expression intended to highlight the performative aspect of gender –has never been more popular or controversial than it is today. This program, presented by ASU faculty member and Drag Story Hour Arizona president David Boyles and local drag legend Felicia Minor, will discuss the history of drag and what it is like to be a drag performer today. First, Professor Boyles will give a brief history of the art form of drag performance, told through the stories of a dozen of the most important figures in drag history, from William Dorsey Swann, who was born into slavery and went onto become America’s first known drag queen, to Jose Sarria, the San Francisco drag performer who became the first openly LGBTQ+ person to ever run for public office. Then, Felicia Minor will discuss her nearly 15 years as a mainstay of the Phoenix drag scene and what it is like to be a drag artist in 2023.
This program is cohosted by Arizona Humanities and Burton Barr Central Library as part of the Representation Matters series.
David Boyles (pronouns: he/they) teaches writing and rhetoric at Arizona State University, where they also developed the Discovery Seminar course, “Speaking OUT: LGBTQ+ Youth in Pop Culture and Politics.” They are co-founder and president of Drag Story Hour Arizona and were honored for their contributions to the Phoenix LGBTQ+ community with the 2022 Phoenix Pride John Bircumshaw Community Spirit Award. They are also the author of the recently published Young Adult novel Life is a Banquet.
Felicia Minor is a vibrant and talented drag queen, entertainer, co-host, producer, and social media guru. She has won various titles and awards, including Miss Gay Supernova USofA Newcomer 2011, and Fascinations Best Drag Queen honor at Raven Events’ Annual Red Light District Costume Ball. Felicia co-hosts and produces the popular YouTube show, “Let’s Have a Fefe” with Arizona’s Most Decorated King, Freddy Prinze Charming. She is also a storyteller for the Drag Story Hour Arizona chapter and currently serving on the board of Drag Story Hour’s national chapter. She has also been featured as the official billboard diva for the LGBTQ Consortium and participated in RipplePHX’s Ripple Briefs campaign. Felicia has participated in “Jail & Bail” with the local March of Dimes chapter and is always eager to do more to make a positive impact on the world.