News & Politics

What It’s Like to Be a Drag King

Meet Majic Dyke, 25, who performs around DC as a drag king.

Photograph by Lauren Bulbin

Majic Dyke, a former nonprofit worker who lives in Gaithersburg, makes $75 to $600 per show.

“The first drag-king show I watched was like walking into Willy Wonka’s factory. That amazing feeling of ‘Oh, my God!’ Like you found this fire within you that you didn’t even know was there until—whooosh! To be a drag king, you dress like whatever your idea of ‘masculine’ is. One of my favorite movies is Magic Mike. I wanted my drag persona to be a sexy, alluring, seductive king: Ding! I’ll be Majic Dyke! I’m the very queer, super-gay version of this very masculine person.

“Some kings bind their chest. Some use packers, other body modifications. I don’t like how my chest feels when I pull my titties back. I want to be masculine, but I want to have my boobs out, to play with the gender spectrum. So Majic Dyke evolved into ‘the king of beards and titties,’ this non-binary, fluid person. Usually, my makeup is natural-looking. For my beard, I have hair extensions that I cut up. I prefer to get dressed at home. I have the music I’ll be performing on repeat, and I’m trying to channel the energy I’ll need. When I’m in full face and outfit, I run through the number a few times. By the time I leave the house, I’m Majic.

“We live in a society where everything is put in these neat little categories and labeled. But I feel like some of us exist beyond the labels placed on us. I am Assigned Female at Birth, and being a woman is empowering to me, when I want it to be. And showing up as a man is empowering to me, too. Being in this feature gives me an opportunity to speak, and that to me is empowering, as a non-binary person.”

This story is part of Washingtonian‘s feature “What It’s Like to Be a Woman in Washington.” For more:

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This article appears in the October 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Jessica M. Goldstein

Jessica M. Goldstein is a contributing editor at Washingtonian. She has written for the Washington Post, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Vulture, and others.