The 10th Anniversary of IDKE

C’mon ride the train back to Columbus on October 16-19th, 2008 for the Tenth Annual International Drag KingCommunity Extravaganza. Fast Friday Productions and Columbus, Ohio welcomes the return of gender play, performance, theory and art after six long-awaited years. Fueled in Minnesota-MN(5), Chicago-IL (6), Winnipeg-Manitoba (7), Austin-TX (8), and Vancouver-BC (9), the IDKE.X journey back promises to delight your international tastes in drag king community culture.

IDKE is a first-of-its-kind event in that it is a collaborative, non-competitive gathering of drag king community performers, their fans, and the people who study, photograph and film them. 1 It was originally started by a group of Ohio State University Women’s Studies Graduate Students who assembled an “insider’s view on FTM drag as a subculture and craved to network beyond the Midwestern boundaries of Columbus, Ohio, circa 1998.”1 From its grassroots beginnings, IDKE has grown from 100 attendees to the thousands expected in Columbus this year.

IDKE.X features a two-day conference, Art and Film Festival, Transman Health Fair, Merchant Fair, and International Drag Performances featuring performers from New Zealand, France, Rome, Canada and throughout the United States…All brought together to enjoy, learn, and indulge in our gender-loving culture.

The two day conference will be hosted at Stonewall Columbus Center on High and the Frank Hale Multicultural Center at the Ohio State University. With the additions of a Transman Health Fair and a Job Fair this year, the IDKE Conference exhibits what we have learned about our historical “presence” as gender-queer beings; gender performance beyond the scope of the stage; gender-queer theory; mass popular culture and critical race theories; gender-queer community viability; the function of familial relations both past and present; Kingcommunity health & wellness, etc…

The Art Festival will include collections from IDKE artists displayed in the Columbus Short North Businesses—as well as the debut of a new art anthology, the History of Drag Kings, exhibiting past IDKE memorabilia. The IDKE.X Film Fest presents films from Drag subculture in the US, France, Canada and more. Featuring a collection of Film Shorts on Friday, the Film Fest will take place at AXIS from Thursday through Saturday.

And in the spirit of our ever-evolving Gender World, IDKE culminates in a variety of Stage events to delight every fancy--known or unknown. In its 10th year Friday’s Dragdom, once the greenhorn stage where new performers or new alias’ amused and surprised audience members, will be held at Wall Street which formerly housed the grand weekend performance event, the Saturday Night IDKE Showcase. The IDKE.X Showcase will bring together the world’s best drag performances on Columbus’ finest stage, the Lifestyles Community Pavilion at Promowest. Nominated as the finest new Concert venue by Pollster Magazine in 2001, the LC Pavilion will host a night of Drag talent the likes of which you have never seen…acts that will leave you breathless for more, and a dance After Party with 2000+ international & national gender-queer, queer friendly, and queer curious party-goers.

If that isn’t enough, on Friday swing by East Village Video Bar & Cafe for Viva’s Red Light District Burlesque Show “Dames who Love their Kings” the hot and steamy loveliness of Viva Valezz and some of the most wow woW wOW VABOOM in Burlesque this century. These Dames are smokin'!!

Realizing the youth also need their own space to show their talents, IDKE will also host a YOUTH SPEAKEASY in coordination with Stonewall Columbus. The Youth Speakeasy turns the mic over to the new generation of performers. We welcome musicians, singers, spoken word artists and performers from ages 4 to 18 to their very own stage production.

IDKE ends on Sunday with the Brunch which will be hosted at Columbus’ newest lounge and danceclub, LIQUID. Come enjoy the wonderful LIQUID brunch fare & reminisce with new friends and old before they depart--while getting one last gender boost of theatrical acts, spoken word, and live music.
IDKE.X is all you can ask for, and all the things you couldn’t bring yourself to speak of. Don’t miss the train. www.idkex.com

From The History of the First International Drag King Extravaganza
By Donna Jean Troka, in consultation with Julie Applegate, Sile Singleton and Shani Scott

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