On the Science of Changing Sex

Are Drag Queens and Homosexual Transsexuals In The Same Spectrum?

Posted in Transsexual Theory by Kay Brown on April 9, 2023

Back in the ’90s, when I was teaching about our history, a gay man boldly asserted that since he had been an amateur drag queen that he and I were similar. I chafed at the suggestion that his dressing up in a costume for a few hours a week for a year was anything akin to my living full time as a woman since I was a teenager.

But recent online squabbling about the erotic role of “homosexual transsexuals”; HSTS being obligate bottoms and “avoidant” vs. a small minority claiming that HSTS can also be tops has me asking the question, “Are drag queen and HSTS in the same taxon / spectrum?”

There are those that would say, of course they are, because they are both “homosexual”. But given recent studies that very strongly show that there are two different discernable subpopulations of androphilic males, with different etiologies, biodemographics, behaviors, and even biomarkers, is this true?

Before continuing, if you haven’t already, please read the following essays so that the rest of this essay will make sense (Yes, I know that’s a lot of reading homework):

HSTS are more likely to exhibit the Fraternal Birth Order Effect (FBOE)

FBOE is caused by maternal immune system and does effect first born males

FBOE is associated with being shorter than average (on average)

HSTS are Bottoms & “Avoidant”

Common Correlations between HSTS and Bottom Gay Men

2D:4D Digit ratio supports the two type taxonomy

2D:4D Digit ratio difference between Top and Bottom Gay Men

After reading this, it should be clear that there is significant evidence that at least the majority of HSTS come from the “bottom” subpopulation of androphilic males, which is very likely etiologically (perhaps even taxonicly?) distinct from “tops”. But what of Drag Queens?

Here, there is less published studies from which to marshal solid data and evidence. We are left groping for data from anecdotes and stereotypes, the worst and lowest form of evidence, if evidence it can be called. Yet, we can sometimes glean some indications.

One of the problems with delving into this question is that historically, HSTS often took jobs as “female impersonators”, performing on stage in a similar fashion as drag queens. Even today, some putatively HSTS use drag shows and contests (e.g. Ru Paul’s “Drag Race”) as a launching pad for careers as entertainers. But a key difference is that they choose to transition full time and upon casual observation, appear to fit stereotypical HSTS profiles while those that don’t fit a very different stereotypical profile.

So lets talk about the stereotypical drag queen. He is significantly taller than average for a man. He is also a “top”. Some even suggest that they are “catty” or “bitchy” (more so than an average gay man). Although perhaps this last is merely apocryphal.

Consider the ur drag queen, Ru Paul himself, who stands 6’4″ tall. This may be an outlier but examine the contestants of his show, many of whom are also well above male average (for the US, that average is 5’10”). Some are shorter, at about 5’7″ to be sure. So, it is true that drag queens tend to be taller than average? We simply don’t have any good statistical data.

The next question is whether draq queens are tops or bottoms. Here we have a very powerful community stereotype that the typical drag queen is most definitely a top. From an online article posted by a gay man attempting to dispel “myths” about drag queens,

5. All drag queens are tops.

OK, I’m hoping everyone reading this knows what I mean by “top,” so I’m not going to explain. Anyway, I never knew about this myth until after getting involved in the drag community, and it definitely is not true. I know several drag queens who are not tops. That’s all I’m going to say on this topic!

Ummm.. so he knows “several” who aren’t. That is another way of saying that most are in fact tops in his experience. Stereotype confirmed.

Getting back to the topic of whether HSTS and drag queens are in the same subpopulation. What scanty evidence we have says, no; No they aren’t. But what of those who claim to be HSTS and to be tops?

I’m reminded of something that I heard on occasion in the late 1970s (before the HIV/AIDS epidemic reduced their numbers), when HSTS gathered at various late night cafes and diners (some sex workers on a break, others just coming for the company), speaking of someone I wasn’t familiar with, “She’s not a transie… she’s just a drag queen!” At the time, I put it down to being a bit catty perhaps. But then again, perhaps it had a grain of truth. That some folk that better fit the category of “drag queen”, top, more masculine, taller, older when they began their career of dressing as women to enter the company of HSTS on the street… that perhaps even today, some “drag queens” seek to live as “trans”, get breast implants, perhaps facial surgeries (FFS), etc. and of course top men who seek out “girl dick”, for fun and profit. And perhaps some insist that they are HSTS, because they are in truth ‘homosexual’.

Further External Reading:


Further Reading:

Essay on historical recognition of three types of clinical candidates for SRS: transsexual (“true” = HSTS per above), transvestite (AGP), and homosexual (= drag queen per above).

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