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Becoming a drag queen: 101

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 02:57

U.S. drag queen, Alaska, shows what it takes to get for the RuPaul's Drag Race Battle of the Seasons tour stage each night. Alicia Powell reports.

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On the streets of New York City no one bats an eye at seeing an over six feet tall drag queen hail a cab, but the interesting part is the two hour transformation it takes. Pennsylvania native Justin Honard created Alaska in 2007. SOUNDBITE: Justin Honard, drag queen, saying: "I started because I just had to. It was like a calling, like a nun, you know?" Honard says he owes his career to veteran drag queen RuPaul and his reality competition show "RuPaul's Drag Race," of which he was runner up during the fifth season in 2013. SOUNDBITE: Justin Honard, drag queen, saying: "I started doing drag right as 'Drag Race' came into being. So it's very like parallel. And I saw what it was doing for the queen's who got on the show. And I was like, 'I want to do that.'" For the 31-year-old, the process of becoming Alaska, who's look is a combination of Britney Spears and legendary drag queen Divine, is more than just makeup and hair and clothes. SOUNDBITE: Justin Honard, drag queen, saying: "When all the pieces come together, some sort of magically shift happens. And that's the important thing. It takes forever to put it on, takes two hours. But in that process something, it's like alchemy." Performing in drag has made Justin's alter ego a household name and has sent him around the world. Currently he is touring on of the European leg of "RuPaul's Drag Race Battle of the Seasons" but said his favorite part about doing drag is creating a space were people feel free, happy and liberated. SOUNDBITE: Justin Honard, drag queen, saying: "It's sort of jams the systems of gender that are so harshly in place in our culture. And it sort of confuses that for a second. We're not just the clothes that we wear, we're not just what it says on our drivers license." Honard described the tour, which will feature past winners and fan favorites from "RuPaul's Drag Race" as part concert and part magic. However, as soon as the magic is over, so is Alaska. SOUNDBITE: Justin Honard, drag queen, saying: "Drag hurts, it hurts. There's things glued to your eyes and your ears and hair and your fingers. When the clock strikes midnight I'm like ready for her to go away." "RuPaul's Drag Race Battle of the Seasons: 2016 Extravaganza Tour," now in its third consecutive year, will start its U.S. shows in Seattle, Washington in April and conclude in Nashville, Tennessee in June.

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Becoming a drag queen: 101

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 02:57