Kings performance drags – By Jean Strout

This year?s gender-bending Sager Symposium kicked off with a workshop on how to look and act like a dude. The four members of the Philadelphia-based drag king troupe The Diablos spent Friday afternoon employing an array of drag king tools on a group of students to show how the transformation to masculinity occurs. They began with the process of binding, which is the flattening of a woman?s breasts to create the appearance of a man?s chest. They demonstrated on several audience members using Ace bandages and a back brace. Next, they presented a few squishy, flaccid penis-shaped objects used for packing ? the creation of that oft-envied bulge. ?It?s interesting the array of things people like to put in their pants,? drag king Woody Valentine said, suggesting socks and apples. The most dramatic transformation occurred with the addition of facial hair to a volunteer from the audience. Using spirit gum and synthetic hair, Valentine applied a trucker-esque goatee on Madalyn Baldanzi ?08.

Although the female-to-male wonders the group worked were remarkable, the Diablos tend to concentrate on dressing in drag for performances rather than on a long term or less theatrical basis. Some people enjoyed this format more than others. ?I think they were very involved and excited about the topic itself, and showed us examples ? it was fun and interactive, and I liked it a lot,? Sasha Shahidi ?09 said.