A daring, larger-than-life stage presence and an unfaltering obedience to style are part of what has made the drag scene a long-running tradition in cities across the country, even here in the buckle of the Bible Belt.
"You can put a dress on, do up your hair and think you're grand, but when you are on that stage, you're there to entertain," said David Clark, general manager of The Copa. "If you want to live your life in drag, that's fine, but if you want to get up on that stage and entertain, you have to do something to make people pay attention."
"The drag scene is growing. There are a lot of new people doing it," said Brett Alan Young, owner of show bar The Boom. "I think it's because there are so many theater schools around here that are doing really good theater. Some of these kids get out of school and realize, 'I'm not going to be a Broadway star because I dance very well, but I can't sing. I'm not going to cross over to this area that I thought I might.'"
This underground scene has been around for decades and will continue on so long as its members continue to yearn for a reality a bit more glittery than the norm.
"We have teachers, we have people who work in Ballet Oklahoma, we have 'costumists,'" Young said. "It's fun to put costumes on and play dress up all the time. "¦ I love to be able to say, 'OK, I'm going to create something new this week. I'm going to emulate a Doris Day movie.'" "Charles Martin