Original IDKE Mission Statement (1999)
1st International Drag King Showcase
October 15-17, 1999
Columbus, Ohio
Presented by Fast Friday Productions

Founded by: Julie Applegate (Jake), Shani Scott (Maxwell), Sile Singleton (Luster/Lustivious de la Virgion) and Donna Troka (dj love), in conjunction with H.I.S.

(Ken Vegas served on the board of IDKE from 2001-2007)

Presented below is a proposal for the First International Drag King Showcase produced by Fast Friday Productions and hosted by the members of H.I.S. Kings. This event is designed to draw together an international collection of persons interested in the many aspects of drag king culture. Such an event will present a unique opportunity to bring together many different types of people interested in performing, watching, photographing, filming, and writing about female to male drag. This event will encompass performances, academic and non-academic workshops, presentations of papers, breakout sessions, and panel discussions. All of which will create a space that fosters dialogue about female to male drag and inspires networking around the subject.

It is proposed that the event take place the third weekend of October 1999. Ideally events would take place on the campus of Ohio State University, in Summit Station and at Wall St. The showcase would be designed to attract a wide array of participants, ranging from established drag king performers, to aspiring kings, to feminist theorists, to transgender activists, to fans of FTM drag, to artists engaged in photographing or filming drag king subjects, to students interested in the study of drag king culture, etc. Ideally, participants would come from all over the world.

WHY THIS WOULD BE GOOD FOR FAST FRIDAY PRODUCTIONS, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE:

The popularity of FTM drag is soaring and no one has yet brought all the scattered performers together. Judith Halberstam is the only person we are aware of who has attempted to take a comprehensive look at the FTM drag movement, and her research is now almost 3 years old. People tend to think that Club Casanova is the be all and end all of FTM drag; we in Columbus know that to be false. This showcase and conference would forever correct that error. If we hope for FTM drag to operate at some sort of cooperative level, that is, being fundamentally different to the cattiness of drag queens, someone needs to bring us all together before rivalries develop. We should be networking; this event would give us that opportunity. Drag king culture in Columbus, Ohio has always been a joint venture between the kings, Fast Friday Productions, our community of fans and supporters, and Ohio State University (even if they weren’t always aware that they were supporting us!). This event will take that union a step further.

Written by Julia M. Applegate
Proposed to Coordinators of Fast Friday Productions by Donna Troka and Julia Applegate April 1999.

Revised IDKE Mission (2001)
From its inception in 1999, IDKE has been dedicated to several goals. First and foremost, IDKE is a drag king event and therefore should center on drag king culture. We believe that intrinsic to this culture is a sense of collaboration rather than competition or hierarchy. If in the future, this event continues to grow and competition is a necessary preliminary step (to keep performance numbers manageable) we are dedicated to “creative competition” which avoids monopolies in regards to regional representation, generational representation, experienced vs. novice king representation. We also strongly discourage repeat performances.

Along with a collaborative environment, we are dedicated to ensuring IDKE is an “accessible” event. Not only must IDKE be physically accessible to participants with disabilities; it should also be regionally accessible to both rural and urban participants, as well as financially accessible (with both hosted housing and scholarships offered).

IDKE must also be a “safe space,” which to us means anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic, as well as anti-ableist. At the same time we believe IDKE should be a space that respects diversity in all its forms while upholding freedom of speech. We understand that participants are coming from very different places with very different levels of awareness and consciousness, and therefore we must all be dedicated to dialogue, recourse, accountability and responsibility. Put more simply, all participants must be held accountable for what they say or do, while at the same time recognizing they have a duty to respectfully discuss problems or concerns they may have.

Lastly, it is clear that IDKE is an event that celebrates the mutability and performance of gender. And while these aspects of gender can be articulated in many different ways, we encourage all showcase performances to have centralized drag king content.

Revised by the Steering Board Members in 2001.