On this episode of Gateway Drag, we have a kiki with Tina Burner about two of the most iconic drag films of the last 25 years: "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert" and "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar." Both "Priscilla" and "To Wong Foo" focus on the stories of a group of three friends who embark on cross-country road trips. In "Priscilla," drag queens Mitzi Del Bra and Felicia Jollygoodfellow and their friend, trans woman Bernadette Bassinger, travel across the Australian Outback in a bus named Priscilla to perform at a hotel. In "To Wong Foo," seasoned queens Vida Boheme and Noxeema Jackson take pity on Chi-Chi Rodriguez - a so-called "latin boy in drag" - and trade in their plane tickets for a beaten up Cadillac. The three queens embark on a cross country road trip to Los Angeles for the "Miss Drag Queen of America Pageant." In both films, these characters endure broken down vehicles, friendly and not-so-friendly strangers, and learn many life lessons along the way.
During our kiki with Tina, we discuss the experience of watching each film for the first time, how they influenced her own drag aesthetic, and the movies' lasting impact, as well as issues surrounding the depictions of the characters.
Take a twirl and play our Drag Libs game. Insert the names of your favorites queens, nightlife personalities, Chinese food, and places to create hilarious new plot lines for "The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert," & "To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar."
[Guy Name One], using the drag pseudonym of [Drag Queen One], is a [location]-based drag queen who accepts an offer to perform his drag act at[Fancy Name] Hotel Casino Resort managed by a female friend named [Name] in [location], a remote town in central Australia. After persuading his friends and fellow performers, [NYC Nightlife personality], a recently bereaved transsexual woman, and [Guy Name One], a flamboyant and obnoxious younger drag queen who goes under the drag name [Drag Queen Two], to join him, the three set out in a large [Object], which [Drag Queen One]christens [Proper Name], Queen Of The Desert for a four-week run in the Australian Outback town.
To Wong Foo
After tying for the win in [Pageant Name], [Drag Queen Two] and [Drag Queen Two] win a trip to [Destination] to take part in the even bigger,[Pageant Two]. Before they depart, [Drag Queen One] persuades [Drag Queen Two] to take along the inexperienced "drag princess" [Drag Queen Three] as their protégé (the duo initially refer to [Drag Queen Three] simply as a "boy in a dress" rather than as a fully-fledged drag queen). To do this, they trade in their [mode of transportation] tickets for cash and buy a stylish but old [Object] with money given to them by [Nightlife Personality]. The three of them set off for [Destination] by [Object], carrying with them an iconic photo of [Actor] (signed, "To [Chinese Food Appetizer], thanks for everything! [Actor]) that [Drag Queen One] purloined from a restaurant wall. The trio eventually makes it to [Destination] where [Drag Queen Three],after having received many tips from [Drag Queen One] and [Drag Queen Two] during their ordeal, wins the title of Drag Queen of the Year. Fittingly, the crown is presented by [Actor] herself.