Haus Of Jeckyll goes down the Rabbit Hole
Sunday, July 23 at 9pm
Menz & Mollyz Bar, 2182 Gottingen Street
Drag has always been a significant aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience, as it interrogates ideas pertaining to gender and identity. RuPaul's Drag Race (which recently completed its ninth season) has become a cultural phenomenon due to the show "lifting the kimono" on the world of drag. This past season's winner, Sasha Velour, has been praised for her conceptual take on drag, whilst runner-up Shea Coulee takes gender-bending to magical heights. Drag Race flawlessly illustrates that drag is a complex and multifaceted art form. Local drag trio, Haus of Jeckyll, delivers powerful performances and serves up routines as hot as the tea it spills.
House—a term that came out of queer ball culture, used to denote alternative families that are safe spaces—members Heckella Jeckyll (Haus Mother), Eden Disorder and Miranda Wrights, sow fabulousness and reap the adoration of fans. Have a look at their YouTube channel and you'll see three larger-than-life queens hitting their marks, in heels so high you'll need to pop a Gravol. However, it's not just entertainment, as drag is itself a lesson in queer history.
Citing the amazing LuLu Larude as the queen who paved the way for the trio and Eureka Love, Deva Station and Rouge Fatale as sources of inspiration and support, Haus of Jeckyll has witnessed the tremendous growth of the local drag scene: "There have always been drag families in Halifax, however, none of them has marketed themselves as a trio and created shows based on their family. We've made a name for ourselves and have noticed that other families have emerged and started to promote as a family."
Haus of Jeckyll does acknowledge the impact Drag Race has had. However, the queens note: "It will be up to us to really teach these new crowds the importance of the history of drag and where it all started. RuPaul's popularity allows new people to become involved, however, it is important to remember drag isn't something that's just started—it has a deep history within our queer community."
In the LGBTQ+ world, where a cis man being called a "sissy" can be a searing dis and being called "masc" the ultimate praise, drag proudly shames those who ascribe to these heteronormative gender ideations. Performative drag can be traced back to the Shakespearean era and over centuries, became a tool used by men to "pass" (as women). But now—finally—drag has become more mainstream and is seen for what it is—a political and thoughtful process ruffling the hegemony and re-educating the masses on identity and representation. RuPaul said it best: "Ego loves identity. Drag mocks identity. Ego hates drag."