In a country where homosexuality is still looked upon with derision and where people from the LGBTQ community are still considered criminal if they commit certain sexual acts, there are some brave icons who have started a conversation and given people the courage to be who they are through their drag. While the country’s drag culture is not as strong as it is in the West, there are some Drag Queens who have broken glass ceilings all through their lives.

Living legend RuPaul once famously said: “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag”. These artists take it a step further and use their bodies and outfits to create identities they relate with. They use cosmetics, clothing and other miscellaneous items to craft a persona that they believe resides inside them. Drag, as an art form, may not exist as vociferously in India as it does in the West, but it is not a demure whisper out here either. It is loud, ferocious and extremely brave. Keshav Suri has to be credited for a lot of this, to be honest. He has been instrumental in bringing famous drag queens like Violet Chachki to India and has given them a platform to perform. Kitty Su continues to be a playground for the most diverse crowd in India – gender fluid and unbelievably fierce.

Meet some of India’s most famous Drag Queens:

Maya

 

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Laila Gulabi

 

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Sushant Divgikr / Rani Ko-HE-Nur

 

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Mark Mascarenhas / Marca MUAH

Kaajeerai

 

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Prateek Sachdeva / Betta Naan Stop

 

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Slowly, but steadily, the drag culture in the country is opening up and it is truly a joy to behold. 

(Header credits: Instagram)