Organisers say Cairns’ first “drag school” was such a success last year that it will return in 2019 to train a new group of budding drag performers.
Late last year, community group Cairns Drag partnered with the Queensland AIDS Council to run an eight week series of free drag workshops, where a group of budding performers could develop their drag skills.
The course covered clothes, hair and make-up skills as well as drag history and self-confidence for the performers.
And in December the queens presented a special charity extravanganza to show off what they’d learned and raise money for World AIDS Day.
Cairns Drag co-founder Stuart Crockart said the workshops allowed anyone to come along and learn how to become drag queens or kings.
“To our knowledge there was nothing like this available in any regional town across Australia,” he told ABC News.
“Trying to break into drag is extremely hard.
“It’s quite daunting, people [are] concerned how the public will take it, how their family will deal with it.
“They needed a safe space where they could explore this whole concept with the right teachers and mentors to help them along their journey.”
Crockart said they’d had a lot of support from Cairns drag performers and they were planning to run more workshops this year.
“Drag needs to be out and easily accessible for everyone to try,” he said.
Drag King Leonardo da Inci, the alter ego of Indigenous student Maddi Sivyer, was among the performers who took to the stage for the charity event.
“I’m so grateful for all the love and support in our Cairns Drag family,” Leonardo told QNews Magazine last year.
“I’m ordinarily quite introverted and dislike social settings but becoming a drag king has enabled me to create a persona who is confident and outgoing, which has helped me step out of my comfort zone and try new things,” Leonardo said.
“As a uni student who spends what feels like every waking moment keeping up with assessments and study, as a chronically ill person, and as a young queer person, it’s been such a relief to find a group of people with whom I can connect and create and maintain strong reciprocal relationships.”
To find out more about Cairns Drag, visit their Facebook page here.