We are not worthy of the talents of non-binary “drag thing” Rose Butch


♪ [light] Rose Butch:
You think drag queen and you have an image
in your mind and you think drag king and
you have an image in your mind even though there’s like
so many different ways to express those things. I’m not a drag king
or a drag queen. I’m a drag thing. Once I took away those
expectations of like I need to perform this way it sort of opened things
up for me. ♪ ♪ My name is Rose Butch. I’m from Coast Salish,
Territories. [music faintly plays] The first time I saw drag
was in 2010, so I was 20. Drag king culture was my intro
to drag rather than like I’d never seen an episode
ofDrag Race, I hadn’t even heard of it. I didn’t know like
what that was. And so like East Van
at the Cobalt, rough around the edges
like punk, drag was like my intro to drag
and I remember like standing there with my best
friend and being like, I could do that,
I bet I could do that. This poster is from my first
ever paid drag gig. Yeah I’ve been doing it
for five years, and that’s me, Rose Butch. But yeah I like had to steal it
from the wall of the Cobalt. Like at the end of the night. ♪ [light piano] I see Rose as this on-going collaborative art project who is like an extension of me
but also is me. [laughs] My makeup I would probably
best describe it as like rococo clown angel baby. Like I really enjoy physical theatre
and mime so that informs a lot of what I do. For me drag is just like
gender performance and I’m performing non-binary
gender. Whatever that is. Some folks have a hard time
separating themselves as a person
and themselves as like a drag performer. Just for my personal sanity like I wanted to have some separation
between that. This is the right side
of my closet, which is like a little bit messy
right now, but — Rae is aesthetically not as
adventurous as Rose. These are all my like
my sweaters and my short sleeve button ups,
my long sleeve button ups. Folded shirts that are like a
variety of like black and white. Yeah. So we’re very… Everything is folded. And then like Rose’s wardrobe
is like poof. All of this. Colours , prints, patterns,
accessories, shoes… This one’s so good. Two different closets cause like Rose needs a lot of space. I think Rose is a lot more
confident than Rae is. Yeah, Rae is learning from Rose
in terms of confidence. ♪ [light] I went to theatre school
to become an actor. I think since I was like 13
I wanted to be an actor. Theatre at the time at that
school was super super gendered. I was always doing these like
stereotypically feminine roles. I was 21 starting to realize
that I was non-binary. Looking back and I’m like oh
that was like giving me like quite a bit of dysphoria.
That was not great for me. I was doing well in my movement
classes and my voice classes but I was failing all my
acting classes. They basically recommended that
I did the production program instead of doing
the acting program because it would be a
challenging career path for me. And so I went into the
production program thinking like, OK I’m going to
learn how to make the theatre that I want to see. ♪ ahh ahh ahh ♪ ♪ ♪ Hello. Welcome to Sharing Space
with Rose Butch. [cheers and applause] My name is Rose Butch. Thank you for sharing this
space with me tonight. ♪ ♪ Growing up and realizing
that I was trans, moving through the world
as a trans person and a non-binary person, there’s so many things
around gender that were upsetting to me
or really frustrating. Practice of like putting on
the makeup and the outfit. I was like this is a way in which I can control exactly
how people see me. So to be able to play within
gender and gender expression and to be able to turn that
into something euphoric and fun and like the opposite of that
like pressing down feeling is like that’s one of the main
things that I like to do with Rose Butch. ♪ ♪

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