Drag Kings Strut Their Stuff in Annual Contest
by David-Elijah Nahmod
"We look for talent," said Drag King extraordinare Fudgie Frottage. "We want them to be real. To bring their own 'cocktitude' to the stage and bring it out."
Frottage, along with Sister Roma, will be co-hosting the 19th annual San Francisco Drag King Contest: The Studliest Competition in the World on Saturday August 16 at SOMArts Cultural Center.
"The Drag King pageant is one of my favorite events," said Sister Roma. "I never knew lesbians had a sense of humor. They go for blood! They're out to win!"
Frottage explained, for the uninitiated, exactly what a drag queen is.
"It's a genetic female who dresses like a male in the style of a drag queen," he said. "It's an exaggerated persona, done for entertainment purposes. Kings go out of their way to accentuate eccentric male characteristics."
Drag Kings have never quite achieved the iconic status of their queen counterparts. "We're famous in our own minds, as we like to say" Frottage said. "The most famous is Murray Hill, who travels around as the MC for burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese."
Frottage found it easy to come up with his stage name. "I really like the name Fudgie," he said. "Consonant names always sound nice. I once had a faux drag queen persona. Her name was Rusty Scrotum, but I haven't done her in a long time."
"I've had a few drag king boyfriends," said Roma. "These guys are rowdy and fun. I know people are shocked even though it's our 19th year, but people have a good time and come away feeling good."
As this is a crossdressing show, Frottage also addressed the recent controversy surrounding the use of the T word.
"When a word is used in an endearing way, it's okay," he said. "It's ridiculous to police words not used in a hateful way."
The co-hosts will be bringing their colorful personas to the contest. Self-described as "the man with the biggest balls in show business," Frottage is "heavily influenced by the free love of the 1960s and the free love of the 1970s." He hopes to bring his Fudgie Frottage Revue to Las Vegas.
Sister Roma describes herself as "the most photographed nun in the world." Roma has co-hosted the main stages at SF Pride and Folsom Street Fair, and has performed around the world.
"I love to laugh," she said. "If you can make me laugh, I'm yours. I also like gifts of cash and jewelry and will accept bribes from contestants."
This year's contest offers a science fiction theme. Guest performers include Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Gos, Klingon Vanna White and Mo B. Dick.
"We're offering discount drinks to people who come in sci-fi drag," said Frottage.
The contest will benefit PAWS: Pets Are Wonderful Support, a service organization formed during the 1980s peak of the AIDS crisis. Its mission was simple, to assist people with AIDS keep and care for their pets, which might include providing food, vet care, and dog walks.
"It now extends to all life threatening illnesses and income issues," said Frottage. "It's a great organization."
The 19th Annual San Francisco Drag King Contest, Saturday, August 16, 9pm, $20-35. SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. www.sfdragkingcontest.com