Worldwide: Throughout History)
Carl Bryan Holmberg
The drag queen is neither a simple phenomenon nor is she isolated to the twentieth century. An important differentiation may serve as a preliminary guide to the world of drag. A real or fictive person who does drag on a regular basis may be considered a "drag queen, " a label particularly applied to a man masquerading as a woman. Someone fictive or real who dresses in drag temporarily, for convenience or necessity, is considered to be "doing drag." Both the drag queen as an ongoing individual profession and dressing in drag may offer comedic impact, serving to comment upon the plot of a story in which the drag appears or indeed upon the culture the drag queen reflects.
Wearing attire and cosmetics conventionally assigned to the opposite sex is nothing new. Boys and girls still sometimes trade clothing for Halloween costumes in traditional Ireland just as many of their ancestors did to celebrate the holiday in fun and prankery; this serves as a rite of reversal. Actors wore women's clothing in early performances of Shakespeare as well as in Japanese Noh drama and Kabuki theater. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis dressed in drag to escape trouble in Some Like It Hot, and Uncle Miltie appeared as Carmen Miranda on the cover of Newsweekin 1949. Yet some two thousand years earlier Euripides used drag in The Bacchae to criticize the then quickly growing threats of rigid sex roles enforced by patriarchy and military violence. Similarly, the title character in Aristophanes' Lysistrata wore full military regalia to defend