Nostalgia

54 Rare Historical Photos Of Drag Queens Before It Was Safe To Be Out!

by Todd Briscoe

1800s: In the 1800s, the term “drag queen” becomes more specific, referring to any man who dresses as a woman in a theatrical and professional setting.

1800s: In the 1800s, the term “drag queen” becomes more specific, referring to any man who dresses as a woman in a theatrical and professional setting.

1800s: Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton shocked Victorian London when they dared to leave their home as “Fanny and Stella.” They were the first men to openly walk through the streets in women’s clothing and shocked society so much that the police launched investigations that were normally reserved for extreme criminals.

1800s: Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton shocked Victorian London when they dared to leave their home as “Fanny and Stella.” They were the first men to openly walk through the streets in women’s clothing and shocked society so much that the police launched investigations that were normally reserved for extreme criminals.

1800s: Because no law specifically forbade “cross-dressing,” men found in women's clothing were usually arrested for “the abominable crime of buggery” or for prostitution.

1800s: Because no law specifically forbade “cross-dressing,” men found in women's clothing were usually arrested for “the abominable crime of buggery” or for prostitution.

1883: Drag was perfectly acceptable as a theatrical device. In fact, it was still more respectable for a man to play a woman in drag (such as these three Yale students) than for a woman to pursue a career as an actress.

1883: Drag was perfectly acceptable as a theatrical device. In fact, it was still more respectable for a man to play a woman in drag (such as these three Yale students) than for a woman to pursue a career as an actress.

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