Nostalgia

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

by Todd Briscoe

1937: Female impersonators, such as Billy Richards, had to keep up their styles and trends as much as any other woman. It could be an expensive career.

1937: Female impersonators, such as Billy Richards, had to keep up their styles and trends as much as any other woman. It could be an expensive career.

1939: Drag's place in society continued to evolve as the '30s turned into the '40s. This infamous photo of a drag queen being arrested shows how the mere act of cross-dressing could still be a punishable offense.

1939: Drag's place in society continued to evolve as the '30s turned into the '40s. This infamous photo of a drag queen being arrested shows how the mere act of cross-dressing could still be a punishable offense.

1940s: Though the perceived threat of homosexuals was becoming more and more taboo in society, female impersonators still had a place in entertainment.

1940s: Though the perceived threat of homosexuals was becoming more and more taboo in society, female impersonators still had a place in entertainment.

1940s: Drag balls went further and further underground to avoid police harassment. The days of the “Pansy Craze” were no more.

1940s: Drag balls went further and further underground to avoid police harassment. The days of the “Pansy Craze” were no more.

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