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Calgary drag kings vying for place in spotlight: ‘It’s a man’s world’

WATCH: Drag queens are a part of popular culture, leading drag kings to take up the fight for the same recognition. Beyond the theatrical part of their transformation, these women are making a statement off stage. Jill Croteau reports.

They are a group of women intending to blur the gender lines.

Performers in the Fake Mustache Drag King Troupe are on stage, showcasing the expression of the male gender.

Jordan May, 24, transforms into the Duke Carson.

Jordan May
Jordan May Jill Croteau/Global News

“Duke took a while to get where he’s at, and is inspired by the 80s rock and roll and heavy metal,” May said.

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Morgan Beckel, 31, created her male alter-ego as Noble Jawbs.

Morgan Beckel
Morgan Beckel Jill Croteau/Global News

“Noble is super rude and upfront and aggressive and he has a lot of energy and that’s totally not me,” Beckel said.

Michaela Staples, 19, is Ace Dynasty Symmetrical on stage.

Michaela Staples
Michaela Staples Jill Croteau/Global News

“Ace is a small town boy. He loves to read and you will find him in a dark room with a great book, blasting David Bowie,” Staples said.

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Becoming drag kings gives them the space to bravely expose different layers of their identity they may be too intimidated to reveal in everyday life.

“It’s a euphoric feeling and freeing and liberating,” May said. “It feels great and it’s drastic.”

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“A lot of drag is cathartic.”

‘Duke Carson’
‘Duke Carson’ Courtesy: Jordan May

“I am very quiet and keep to myself but Ace will be the centre of attention and the star of every party,” Staples said.

“You kind of get to pick and choose the parts of the gender you don’t normally associate with,” Beckel said.

‘Noble Jawbs’
‘Noble Jawbs’ Courtesy: Morgan Beckel

Beyond the theatrics of it, the women say it’s more like a statement to society.

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“It’s a man’s world and still is.

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“The people getting the most views and attention on social media and airtime is drag queens, which is predominantly performed by men,” May said. “There’s incredible performers here fighting for the same recognition.”

“Women have been oppressed and people like to root for the underdog,” Beckel said.

“Women standing their ground and taking up space might be something a lot of people could get on board with.”

WATCH: Global Calgary’s award-winning series Pride Without Prejudice

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