Snook by Frederike de Jonge Make-up & Styling by
de Jonge by Nixou, Hair & Make-up by Nickie Nicole,
Dress by The Frollicking Frocks’
by Frederike de Jonge
Arquette Drag Celebrity
of course for a person to find transgender inspirational
it is not essential to BE transgendered. Over the years
I have met thousands of creative transgendered people
AND those that are inspired touse their talent around
transgender subjects but are not transgendered themselves.
They are photographers, fashion designers, film makers,
painters, writers, poets, performers. I asked some of
these talented people to contribute to this book. I asked
them to tell us about their thoughts and experiences in
this context and to show us some of the results of their
skills. Their contributions follow.
first met Frederike de Jonge from Holland in about 1995
at The WayOut Club. She asked to take pictures in the
club. I made the mistake of publishing this picture without
giving credit to Frederike in my fourth book. She strongly
protested and taught me a strong lesson. Since then we
have become good friends and she has contributed many
pictures to my books including two covers. In the 10th
edition of The Tranny Guide Frederike gave me a fabulous
set of photos taken with ‘celebrity tranny’ Alexis Arquette.
Of Alexis Frederike said “He is a very talented and rising
star. Watch out for him... While visiting LA I could not
have asked for a better or lovelier host!!
asked Frederike to answer these questions:-
inspires you to shoot pictures with a TG theme?
love photographing people who stand out in a crowd and
make a point of doing so. My thoughts on style, image
and content are continuously challenged by the people
I meet and the subjects I choose to shoot.
would you say is the aspect of TG that you want to capture
of all the aspects you could choose, I'd like to say I
capture the very essence of TG in my images. I like to
present it in a very glamourous way, applauding and celebrating
their beauty. The other style in which I work tends to
you have other subject matter that you specialise in or
are you just totally eclectic?
don't have a subject matter as such. I guess describing
me as totally eclectic is not far off the mark. That said
though, the last couple of years my subject matter has
been within the field of drag queens, goth, vampire, gay,
fetish and cities.
introduced you to the TG scene?
started my career photographing gigs e.g.: Iggy Pop, Marilyn
Manson, Nina Hagen, Henry Rollins, etc. After about seven
years of this I suffered a total creative block. There
is only so much you can do within a live performance of
a band. Transformations were always interesting to me
and one day I asked a friend if she knew any drag queens.
One thing led to another and I nearly became a full-time
drag photographer. I am very grateful for this change,
since I have captured some of my best work during this
would be your dream outlet for your pictures?
be part of the Magnum agency in Paris, producing my own
books and exhibiting my work worldwide.
from the 'He or She' Book - To see more articles from
this book click here www.wayout-publishing.com/heorshe.htm
pictures by Frederike De Jonge
interviewing Raven Snook and Andy Freeze
is not gender-bound, it is a state of mind”
To me drag is not gender-bound
it is a state of mind. I have met several women (born
gender female that is!) who are, in my terms, a drag queen,
(including myself). Some male “drag queens” say women
do not have enough drama or glamour to be drag queens.
I say – what about the women so many drag queens impersonate?
A few names come to mind: Diana Ross, Marlene Dietrich,
Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, Cher, Joanna
Lumley, Madonna to name but a few.
my last visit to New York I met up with Raven Snook (‘Designated
Diva’ drag performer) and Andy Freeze (make-up artist
& self-proclaimed drag terrorist) for a photoshoot and
some chit-chat on the essence of drag.
What makes Ravens ‘Designated Diva’ a drag queen?
Raven has always been a girl with a little bit of flair....
A little bit’? Excuse me... Cher is a girl with a little
bit of flair!! I have always identified with drag queens,
in terms of glamour and in terms of what I think looks
interpret femininity as what drag queens do – as opposed
to what “women” do. Gender lines are getting blurred and
I’m sure that ten years from now men and women will be
wearing some stupid minimalist, gender neutral look. However
I’m still gonna be hockin my glitter lipstick!
What would be your response to a male “drag queen” who
says women can not be drag queens?
What is a drag queen?.... For
some it may mean some nasty bearded guy who just throws
on a dress, does that really make him a drag queen? For
me it totally does not! Drag is about working a look,
attitude and a style. It’s not about the gender of the
To me, drag is a cartoon ideal.
Just look at all those Hollywood stars who really carve
and sculpt a look. I mean really recreate themselves into
something that they are not.
That’s what it is! Exactly!!
It is taking an aesthetic that doesn’t have to be cross-gender.
I think that ‘a cartoon’ is a really good way of putting
it. I was attracted to the glamour of the old MGM-musicals.
That was the aesthetic (the cartoon) that I was predisposed
You also discovered punk....
Yeah, I discovered punk too....
My mom made a good point about that! She said: “You know,
even when you were a punk you were never ugly. You always
tried to look glamorous. You took the look and cleaned
it up”. For me punk was about dressing up.
friend *BOB* has been working the drag-circuit professionally
for eight years, performing at various venues in Paris,
Amsterdam and New York including a show at Wigstock 99.
She is often mistaken for a drag queen. People are fascinated
with her. Women who come into contact with her sometimes
think she is male and say “I wish I could be a drag queen”.
To people who say that female drag queens do not exist
her response is – My career exists – that’s proof of what
I am and that’s all possible because I do not believe
in limits. Negative remarks about my career as a drag-performer
are completely irrelevant and don’t deserve any attention
whatsoever. As for day to day drama in drag, if it’s not
on stage and you are not getting paid for it, it’s worthless!!’
I asked her how she felt working alongside other drag
queens she said: ‘It is very inspiring and I absolutely
have the best drag-mother in the world Jackie Beat!! I
seldom impersonate other people. I only impersonate different
aspects of myself. The only person I do impersonate, other
than myself, is Angelyne THE Billboard Queen of Hollywood...
to Symony is in the detail. It could be a pair of shoes
or an accessory. It doesn’t have to be an entire outfit.
In her opinion some women are constantly in drag. Its
not just about what you wear it’s the attitude that comes
with it and how you carry yourself.
can look like shit but if you walk out there smiling,
loving yourself, you’re gonna look good regardless!!
I don’t get all that many opportunities to be in drag,
as I have to remain focused while photographing others
in drag. I know that if I were in drag on these occasions
it would hold me back. However I too very much feel that
drag is a state of mind. For me personally it is hard
to describe in words alone. It is a feeling I have inside
– a feeling that I need to express. I feel I can express
myself best through my photographs and not only those
I take – but also those I pose for. After preparing for
these pictures I really like to go out and party. The
attention you receive when dragged up is fabulous and
can be addictive.
amounts of people want to link “drag” to a gender category.
If anything – drag should be seen as a form of expression,
an art form, free of gender stereotyping.
by Frederike de Jonge