Venus Boyz | Chicago Reader

Venus Boyz

In this documentary look at drag kings—women who dress as men—almost all the subjects say they felt profoundly alienated from society before their makeovers. Director Gabriel Baur shows performers in action at a drag king night in New York and interviews several in depth, including Diane Torr, a sort of matriarch of the drag king world who clearly articulates the political agenda behind her parody of male stereotypes. Baur reveals the great diversity within this culture, which includes not only cross-dressers but also women experimenting with male hormone injections in an attempt to create a “cyborg” gender that blends male and female elements. All of this gender bending can get pretty confusing: in one hilarious segment a king describes following someone she thought was a sexy woman only to find out it was a man in drag; the two became close friends, though their gender preferences precluded the possibility of romance. In English and subtitled German. 104 min.

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