- Helena Darling
"My mother calls it the gender frick show," says local drag performer and Gender F_ck co-founder Rhett Slutler. Slutler's saucy alter ego, Billie Coquette, will perform a "queerlesque" number at this Saturday's Gender F_ck show at Menz and Mollyz Bar. The show also marks the infamous gay bar's 11th anniversary.
"I love burlesque but I've never felt comfortable doing it because I don't identify as a woman," says Slutler. "When I host as a [drag] king there's definitely a lot more pressure to put on that masculine persona. You get to the Gender F_ck show and you're like, 'Here I am, world!'"
Slutler and Bobby Sparkles created the variety show—which features drag, burlesque, singing and dancing—to centre and celebrate trans performers, who can feel invisible in the binary drag scene. Saturday's co-host, singer and songwriter Kadence, attended the first Gender F_ck show in November 2014, won the dance off, and has performed at every show since.
"For me, as someone who identifies as non-binary, and someone who is a non-binary performer, it's the one place I can go where I feel like I'm not put into a drag king or a drag queen category," Kadence says. "It's another realm."
"We don't tell people that they're doing it wrong," says Sparkles, noting that a lot of queer and trans people use drag or others types of performance to explore their gender identity and expression. "It feels very liberating," he says of being on the GF stage.
Saturday's show will feature established performers such as Felix Stätic and Tai Europe, Menz's Mr. Fall Fest Manny Dingo, as well as three brand new performers.
According to the Facebook event, the show will also be an explosion of feels and glitter. The message? "We're here and extremely queer," says Slutler.
Saturday, January 30, 8:30pm
Menz & Mollyz Bar, 2182 Gottingen Street