Kareem Khubchandani’s book Decolonize Drag (OR Books, 2024) explores the intricate interplay among gender, colonialism, and drag performance. It illustrates how gender serves as a tool of colonial governance, stifling diverse forms of expression, while also delving into how contemporary drag both mirrors and disrupts these entrenched institutional hierarchies. Through the lens of select performers, Khubchandani unveils how they use their art to satirize, deconstruct, and resist colonialism and the manifestations of white supremacy embedded within society. Central to the narrative is Khubchandani’s drag alter ego, LaWhore Vagistan, whose firsthand experiences shed light on encounters with depoliticized iterations of drag that fall short of its transformative potential, leaving her disheartened and bewildered. Decolonize Drag advocates for the proliferation of more inclusive and accessible avenues for gender expression while also contemplating how the meaning and impact of drag evolve across different social and geographical contexts.

As an educator, scholar, and performer, Dr. Kareem Khubchandani channels his expertise and passion within feminist, queer, and trans aesthetics, with a focus on South Asia and its diaspora. Khubchandani is an associate professor in theatre, dance, and performance studies at Tufts University.

Latoya Johnson is an editor, writer, and bibliophile with a master's in Humanities. Her research and writing delve into various aspects of popular culture. She is particularly interested in exploring the public history of women's fiction and the portrayal of femme characters in Greco-Roman mythology.

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