A faux queen, bio queen, diva queen, hyper queen or female queen is a female performance artist who adopts the style typical of male drag queens. A faux queen may be jocularly described as "a drag queen trapped in a woman's body". Other descriptions include "biologically challenged" drag queen, "female female impersonator", or "female impersonator impersonator".
Like traditional drag queens and drag kings, faux queens play with traditional gender roles and gender norms to educate and entertain. Faux queens can appear alongside drag kings at lesbian drag shows and are interchangeable with "regular" (male) drag queens as emcees, performers, hostesses, and spokesmodels.
For some it can be a way to redefine postmodern feminism; faux queen Ms. Lucia Love stated, "Drag queens would be nowhere without women." For others it simply is about dressing up and having fun.
In San Francisco, the first ever Faux Queen pageant was produced as a benefit by Diet Popstitute and the first title holder was Coca Dietetica aka Laurie Bushman. The Klubstitute Kollective was formed after Diet Popstitute's death to continue to raise funds and provide a space for the performers who, at the time, weren't always welcome in regular drag venues. Pageant organizer Ruby Toosday had "friends who got fired (from drag clubs) for being women...it seemed like we had definitely hit a nerve. Contestants were judged on drag, talent, and personality by an all-star panel of judges and the winner helped "femcee" the following year. The pageants were held from 1996 to 2005. The Faux Queen Pageant was resurrected in 2012 by former title holder Bea Dazzler, and will continue to be a yearly competition in San Francisco.
Fauxnique (dancer & performance artist Monique Jenkinson) became the first faux queen to win a major drag pageant—competing against male or MTF drag queens—when she was crowned Miss Trannyshack 2003. From Bust Magazine: "'(drag) comes down to a sort of self-awareness, a self-consciousness about playing around with femininity,' says Fauxnique. She adds that while drag for her is primarily about performance, it's also a 'rejection of traditional oppressive forms of masculinity—and that's part of an affinity with gay men as well. I wouldn't say every faux queen is a feminist, but I would say that a part of them is in some way.'"
In the 1970s and 1980s, Russian-born Brazilian faux queen Elke Maravilha became a popular TV personality after participating as a judge in Chacrinha and Silvio Santos talent shows. According to her, "many people think I am a transvestite. When they ask me this, I jokingly reply that I'm a man indeed. And of the most gifted ones".
The comedy films Connie and Carla and Victor Victoria both centre on faux queens, but the main characters of both films are women who are forced by circumstance to work as faux queens. They keep their gender a secret and impersonate men when off-stage, quite unlike their real-life counterparts.
San Francisco Faux Queens From Left: Kegal Kater, L'Ron Hubby, Trixxie Carr, Fauxnique, Hoku Mama Swamp, Holy McGrail at the Trannyshack Kiss Off Party August 23, 2008.
Russian-born faux queen Elke Maravilha became a famous TV personality in Brazil in the 1970s.
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- Diet Popstitute, aka Michael Joseph Collins; 1958 - 1995 Alvin Orloff
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- Neves, Carla (September 16, 2007). ""Quando me perguntam se sou travesti, digo que sou homem, e dos mais dotados", brinca Elke Maravilha" (in Portuguese). UOL. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- "Connie and Carla". Retrieved 2007-06-01.
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- Example of an FTM "Faux Queen" Persona How to Work It - TranÀpus Rex