Nostalgia

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

by Todd Briscoe

1920s: Noted drag queen Harry S. Franklyn was another popular performer during the Pansy Craze of the 1920s.

1920s: Noted drag queen Harry S. Franklyn was another popular performer during the Pansy Craze of the 1920s.

1920s: Vander Clyde, or “Barbette,” was a vaudevillian sensation. She traveled around the States and Europe with her infamous aerial act, which featured death-defying trapeze stunts in full drag. At the end of her act she would remove her wig and strike a masculine pose.

1920s: Vander Clyde, or “Barbette,” was a vaudevillian sensation. She traveled around the States and Europe with her infamous aerial act, which featured death-defying trapeze stunts in full drag. At the end of her act she would remove her wig and strike a masculine pose.

1930s: This photograph shows the spread of the Harlem ball scene to urban Chicago.

1930s: This photograph shows the spread of the Harlem ball scene to urban Chicago.

1930s: Mainstream society was still enjoying comedic drag queens such as Frances and Lonas though balls were emphasizing more glamour and lifestyle.

1930s: Mainstream society was still enjoying comedic drag queens such as Frances and Lonas though balls were emphasizing more glamour and lifestyle.

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