Earlier this year, history was made in the Australian burlesque and LGBTQIA+ community.
Scarlet Adams, real name Anthony Price, was crowned Miss Burlesque Australia.
She is the first drag queen to ever compete in the final and then claim the title in the competition’s nine-year history.
Scarlet Adams’ victory is reminiscent of the very beginnings of burlesque in its main hub New York City, which featured a significant amount of LGBTQIA+ characters who were celebrated by society at large.
According to research by Atlas Obscura, the 1920s to the early 1930s saw a trend known as the “Pansy Craze,” where every nightclub, burlesque, vaudeville and Broadway show featured lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans characters.
Drag queens and drag kings held beauty contests all around the United States while lesbians and bisexuals performed songs about same-sex relationships, until a crackdown on “deviants” in the mid 1930s.
Today, the queer burlesque scene is alive and well, with a whole range of unique characters gracing stages around the world.