What's a Drag Queen Without Make-Up? 'Half' Portraits Give Us a Peek

For a year, photographer Leland Bobbe sought out drag performers on Facebook and asked to shoot their portraits.  The result was the series, "Half Drag." From day one, it created a sensation that stunned the photographer.

Why does it capture people's imaginations?

Bobbe told VITAMIN W,  "People had never seen anything like it before. I approached these as beauty shots as if I was shooting a female and the male side came along for the ride. Seeing both sides in one image is quite startling to most people." The images reveal just how artificial gender can be.

Of course, the idea that all people have both sides is a pretty old one--dating to Plato's Symposium

The original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, of which the name survives but nothing else. Once it was a distinct kind, with a bodily shape and a name of its own, constituted by the union of the male and the female: but now only the word 'androgynous' is preserved, and that as a term of reproach.

It makes us wonder what would it look like to see women in half male-drag?

Posted with permission of the artist.  See more of Leland Bobbe's work--including his controversial shots of "Fifth Avenue Women" at www.lelandbobbe.com

Or purchase prints at zenfolio.


Viki Villaness