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Masters of Drag

In this digital series, New York's sweetest drag diva Peppermint tells the story of pioneering American drag artists. In the process, she demonstrates how drag is a performance art form that has thrived in this country for generations, entertaining LGBTQ+ and general audiences alike, and providing the former with an important outlet of self-expression.

Video thumbnail: American Masters William Dorsey Swann: The first "Queen of Drag"

American Masters

William Dorsey Swann: The first "Queen of Drag"

Born into slavery, Swann was the first known person to identify as a “Queen of Drag.”

William Dorsey Swann: The first "Queen of Drag"

Video thumbnail: American Masters Crystal Labeija: The Queen Who Reinvented Ball Culture

American Masters

Crystal Labeija: The Queen Who Reinvented Ball Culture

Crystal was a proud Black trans woman, a drag mother and, a pageant girl.

Crystal Labeija: The Queen Who Reinvented Ball Culture

Video thumbnail: American Masters Jean Malin: Queen of the Pansies

American Masters

Jean Malin: Queen of the Pansies

Jean Malin was one of the first openly gay performers in the Prohibition era.

Jean Malin: Queen of the Pansies

Video thumbnail: American Masters Flawless Sabrina: Queer Icon and Star of 'The Queen'

American Masters

Flawless Sabrina: Queer Icon and Star of 'The Queen'

She was an artist, activist, gay mother and mentor to hundreds of queer youth.

Flawless Sabrina: Queer Icon and Star of 'The Queen'

Video thumbnail: American Masters Joan Jett Blakk: The drag queen who ran for president

American Masters

Joan Jett Blakk: The drag queen who ran for president

She ran for president in lipstick, heels and eyeshadow.

Joan Jett Blakk: The drag queen who ran for president

Video thumbnail: American Masters Jose Sarria: Legendary Drag Queen and Queer Activist

American Masters

Jose Sarria: Legendary Drag Queen and Queer Activist

Sarria was a legend of the San Francisco drag scene.

Jose Sarria: Legendary Drag Queen and Queer Activist

Video thumbnail: American Masters Gladys Bentley: Drag King of the Harlem Renaissance

American Masters

Gladys Bentley: Drag King of the Harlem Renaissance

Gladys Bentley was a musician and drag king who was a part of the Harlem Renaissance.

Gladys Bentley: Drag King of the Harlem Renaissance

Video thumbnail: American Masters Julian Eltinge: Female Impersonator of the Vaudeville Era

American Masters

Julian Eltinge: Female Impersonator of the Vaudeville Era

Julian Eltinge was a female impersonator who was once America's highest paid performer.

Julian Eltinge: Female Impersonator of the Vaudeville Era

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