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Drag Show Etiquette

Updated: Sep 1

As we come up to our fantastical High Tea with the Queens event on the 24th of June, we at RDQCA thought that it may be a good idea to provide any newcomers to the Drag scene with a little 101 on Drag Show etiquette.

We hope that a lot of this is common "live-show" sense for most people, but with the rise in discrimination against our 2SLGBTQIA+ Royalty, we want to make sure that everyone, performers and attendees alike, have a great time!


Don't get up in the performer's space

While usually the performer's stage is well-defined, sometimes (like at our upcoming High Tea) they will be asked to work through the room a little as well. If you are in their space by accident, someone will let you know!

Please do not get up in their space, make it difficult for them to perform, or otherwise try to take the audience's attention away from them. You and all the other audience members are here to see the Drag Royalty perform, and as cute as you or any of your kiddos may be, there is plenty of time for meet and greets after their performances!

Occasionally, a member of Drag Royalty will invite members of the audience onto their stage to join them in their performance. This is the only acceptable time for you to get in their space.

Joey Hunter from Scum Dumpster standing beside Karla Marx on stage backlit by purple and pink stage lights
Photo credit: Kiana Salzsauler

Don't touch the Royalty

We get it; these divas are gorgeous, and glitzy, and glamorous. But, as anybody who's spent hours doing themself up for a night out can attest, it takes a lot of effort to look that good.

Please keep your hands to yourselves, and if you have brought your children along, speak with them beforehand and remind them during that this is a look-but-don't-touch scenario (especially little kids.)

Occasionally, and only if consent is given for both parties performers may give members of the audience hugs, air-kisses, hand squeezes, etc. Please do not instigate any of these shows of affection unless clear consent is given and received by both parties.

A pink-adorned member of Drag Royalty checking her appearance in an illuminated mirror
Photo Credit: Wix Stock Media

Tip them!

Drag performances are a lot of work. Most Drag Royalty put in countless hours of work for their performances, and countless dollars getting their costumes just right (that hair, makeup and those dresses don't pay for themselves!)

If you are at a Drag performance, be prepared to tip the performers (please be kind and use bills; flicking coins is juvinile and can cause serious damage). Hold the tip out with an outstretched arm or toss it onto the stage/ put it into a labelled "tip jar." Do not make the performer "work for it."

We know you already paid to get into the show. That cost covers the venue, the catering, the tech, etc. It doesn't all go to the performers. A lot of the time, the performers don't see the door price at all. So bring some tip cash and make sure these Royals get paid!

A member of Drag Royalty in stylized Kabuki makeup and a faux leather bodysuit posing on stage while being backlit by blue and purple lights
Photo Credit: Kiana Salzsauler

Have fun!

The main point is to have fun at these shows! Drag Royalty put their hearts and souls into their performances, and it really shows. So cheer! Clap! Show them that you're enjoying their efforts! Sit back, relax, and enjoy yourselves!

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