Adam @ 'Kinky Boots' - I was a closeted little gay boy

What’s it about?

Some boozy ladies and how #KinkyBoots helped me love myself.

My experience.

Sitting down in my seat at Kinky Boots I was immediately confronted by the sound of a group of six women seated directly behind me, clearly from New Jersey, and clearly just coming from an elongated boozy brunch in Hell’s Kitchen. Pam, the one sitting in the center, had dragged them to the theatre to see it (I don’t know if that was her name, but it seems correct).

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They were loud, drunk and excited to watch some drag queens SLAY. I don’t blame them — what’s the point of a 3pm matinee if you’re not gonna do boozy brunch before, right?

I had seen Kinky Boots before in the summer of 2013 and, at the time, I was a closeted little gay boy who had never seen a man in a wig and thigh-high patent leather heels. I don’t remember much from that first time I saw the show except for leaving the theatre with a giddy joy I had never experienced before. Was this what it was like to be gay? And if so, how could I join the club?

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Five years later, sitting in front of Pam and her five Jersey besties yelling back and forth even though they were crammed right next to each other, I came into the theatre with a different set of expectations. Not only because I had seen the show before, but because over the past five years I’ve been entrenched in the culture of drag queens that Kinky Boots dips its toes in.

Kinky Boots is, at its heart, a show about coming to terms with gender expression. Underneath the glitz and glamour of the character of Lola and her show-stopping drag numbers (I mean c’mon! Sickening! Jerry Mitchell choreo! We love!) is the story of a how a bunch of cis, white, heterosexual factory workers learn to love and accept the art of drag.

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With RuPaul’s Drag Race winning Best Reality Show at the 2018 Emmys, the art of drag has definitely entered the mainstream. And rightfully so! Drag is for everyone! Children, parents, grandparents, straight and gay alike! Alyssa Edwards even has her own show on Netflix now (which you should definitely watch, it’s called Dancing Queen, it’s basically Drag Race and Dance Moms combined, the absolute best combination).

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