Nostalgia

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

by Todd Briscoe

1900s: It was a mainstream lark for a straight man to put on a dress and “play act” as a woman. It was not always associated with "sexual deviancy."

1900s: It was a mainstream lark for a straight man to put on a dress and “play act” as a woman. It was not always associated with "sexual deviancy."

1900s: Eltinge was even so popular that he launched his own magazine full of wardrobe and makeup advice for biological women.

1900s: Eltinge was even so popular that he launched his own magazine full of wardrobe and makeup advice for biological women.

1900s: Florin, pictured here, was another well renowned “female impersonator” in Paris, where there was also a flourishing drag scene.

1900s: Florin, pictured here, was another well renowned “female impersonator” in Paris, where there was also a flourishing drag scene.

1916: There is not much evidence of “drag kings,” but this photo does feature a woman in a gender-bending outfit, obviously poking fun at gender norms with her upturned pinky finger.

1916: There is not much evidence of “drag kings,” but this photo does feature a woman in a gender-bending outfit, obviously poking fun at gender norms with her upturned pinky finger.

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