Drag queens and artists celebrate what family means to them

For Mother’s Day, we bring together drag queens, artists, and performers to discuss what sisterhood, mothers, and queer culture has done for them and their craft

The bond between mother and child is seen as an important and formative relationship. Whether it’s your biological mother, adopted, chosen, or anywhere in between – we all know the power of a strong matriarchal figure, and will all have one that immediately comes to mind. Before continuing, stop what you’re doing and take the time to thank her. 

To celebrate mothers of all kinds this Mother’s Day, we have gathered together drag mothers, daughters, sisters, chosen families, and all round fabulous queens in the form of Lagoon Femshayma, Ore-Ho, Petite Lamé, Hermione, Shea Khan, and Mahatma Khandi, to discuss their respective drag relationships and how it has impacted their craft. 

“The importance of drag family – predominantly like a drag queer family to me – is ensuring that you share your knowledge and share the past, and look out for the future for these kids out there in these streets,” explains Mahatma Khandi. A sentiment that is echoed by Ore-Ho, who adds: “Having a drag family makes it that much easier. Like the discussion about tucking… that was fun.” 

While traditionally, a drag mother is the first person to put you in the drag, the eclectic group shows that what defines a drag mother is completely up to the individual. As is the case for Lagoon Femshayma, who credits YouTube and Leigh Bowery for helping foster her creativity. “Nobody’s really done it better in terms of reimagining the ways to see the world and interpret the world,” Lagoon says. 

No drag relationship is the same, as is illustrated by drag sisters Hermione and Petite Lamé, who recount the story of the time they met – it’s a tale that involves eating roses and throwing up. “She slapped me in the face with her tits and it was love,” Lamé jokes. Similarly, Mahatma Khandi laughs while explaining that the relationship between her and her drag mother – her mother – and with her own drag daughter, Christina Pringle, has taught her: “How to breathe in a corset, how to eat in a corset, (and) how to have sex in five pairs of tights.” 

Like all mothers impart, there are nuggets of wisdom the queens have to share to their children and anybody who wants to partake in drag in the future. “Don’t focus too much on being conventional and things you might see on TV,” muses Shea Khan. And perhaps the best advice for starting drag is from Petite Lamé: “Find your steps, find your friends, and do drag in the way that makes you feel most comfortable. There’s no right way to do drag. The only wrong way is being mean to other people.” Can I get an amen

Watch the video above.