Bishopsgate Institute, the UK’s largest queer archive, is accepting donations to help preserve the drag king scene following a successful sell-out event last week to celebrate its first-ever donation drive. Rather than monetary donations, the institute is in search of archive material donations from drag kings such as show scripts, garments, show flyers and tickets.
Dragging the Archive was hosted in partnership with Louche drag magazine, and was designed to celebrate the important contribution of drag kings to LGBTQ+ culture and equality. The event included panels discussing the history of drag kings, make-up tutorials, badge making, and performances from drag kings such as CYRO, Hardik Mistry, Frankie Sinatra, Orlando and the Pecs drag group.
Stef Dickers, Special Collections manager at Bishopsgate Institute, said that the archive hopes to “record this valuable history [of drag kings] for generations to come”, with the Pecs troupe adding: “Drag Kings still have to push for the same level of validation and recognition that some other areas of the LGBTQ+ and drag community receive and archiving our history’s is a key step in that. If we don’t archive ourselves, our rich and important narratives can be lost.”
Donations of materials can be accepted at any time by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a donation. Those wishing to view the Special Collection archive can book a slot at https://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/archives.