Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens
Directed by: Gabrielle Burton
Distribution: Five Sisters Productions, 2017
Through the compelling stories of 8 performers in the thriving drag scene of Columbus, Ohio, Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens dives into the next frontier — the often misunderstood topic of “gender” itself. With humor and pathos, KQIB makes a complex subject approachable for mainstream audiences — inviting viewers into a conversation about the distinct differences between gender, sex, and sexuality that has not been represented in film before.
KQIB is an entertaining ethnographic documentary that provides a colorful look into a world few have seen up close. Structured like a Chuck Close painting, KQIB presents a large community in their own voices, rippling out to reveal the critical consequences of how gender divisions impact our culture and society–from bullying, to marriage rights, to LGBTQ discrimination.
The film focuses on the West Family drag queen and Royal Renegades drag king troupes — people who dedicate themselves to extensive rehearsals, putting their own money (up to $5000/show) into drag as creative expression, personal exploration, community involvement, and/or political activism — KQIB peels back the layers of identity, highlighting the diversity of human experience:
While RuPaul has mainstreamed the concept of drag queens, there is a lot of misunderstanding on how gender expression relates (or not) with sexual preference and biological sex. (Not to mention the confusion about what drag is, who does it, and why.) Using the door of drag as an entryway, KQIB illustrates how a binary system of gender identity doesn’t reflect our bigger reality. KQIB gives voice to a marginalized group and, in the end, shines a light on issues that impact all of us.
On the 25th anniversary of PARIS IS BURNING, KQIB picks up where that groundbreaking film left off, and includes women and trans folks equally also.
Notably, KQIB is the first film to include the gender performance spectrum (male, female, trans).
Here’s the trailer, full length coming soon