Exploring masculine identity through drag – photo essay

Yas Necati takes Angela Christofilou on a journey through the transformative process

Angela Christofilou
Friday 08 March 2019 15:47

Drag isn’t just about queens, it’s about kings too and exploring masculine identities.

It’s about expressing different aspects of gender and discovering different ways of being and seeing. It’s about anything we want to be. I had the pleasure of photographing Yas Necati recently at their house transitioning into their drag king act Tarkan and it was a wonderful process to document. I was invited in and taken on a journey.

“I feel like drag for me is just an extended way of me exploring my own ideas of gender and my personal gender identity,” Yas explains.

“Obviously being a gender and performing a gender are two very different things – but in performing manhood and masculinity it’s allowed me to be more open and accepting of my femininity too – something that I used to shy away from in a quest to be ‘butch’.

“I feel like that experimentation has been really freeing for me, and contributed to me recognising that I’m non-binary – that I’ve never really sat at one end of the spectrum or the other.

“My drag king act is Tarkan, who is a Turkish pop star, most famously the singer of ‘kiss kiss’. Being a Turkish person born in the UK, it’s nice for me to explore Turkish culture through queerness and gender. My act is a melting pot of so many different parts of my identity and I feel lucky to be able to get on stage and perform it.”

For more of Angela Christofilou’s work you can visit her website here

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