YI NING WONG writes – Hong Kong’s infamous city Lan Kwai Fong is well known for manifesting the city’s bustling spirit into a unique nightlife culture. Popular bars and clubs are only a few feet away from each other, attracting endless crowds and earning the city a reputation as Hong Kong’s entertainment central.

Lesser known, however, are the speakeasy lounges interspersed throughout the quieter streets, merely a few blocks away, rejoicing in the LGBT community.

In the U.S., drag culture has been highly popularized through the reality television show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and has also cultivated an international following and interest in drag worldwide. In Hong Kong, people are starting to see drag as less of a taboo, appreciating the glamor and music that drag culture encompasses.

Providing much-needed visibility for the LGBT community, the night club, FLM is taking the initiative to embrace drag by hosting lip sync battles and other drag show events. Lip Sync Battle Night, a monthly tradition at the club, allows customers to perform and compete by lip-syncing to songs, inviting local drag queens to perform throughout the event.

Featured drag queen, Miss Mid Levels, perfectly resembles the intersecting relationship between drag and the mainstream. Besides the fact of being a makeup and hair artist, Miss Mid Levels’ name also represents one of the busy night hubs in Hong Kong.

Speaking to event organizer Evan Steer, he emphasizes the event’s importance, “It honors performance and it honors the courage to step out and be who you are, and show who you are to our community and beyond.”

While Hong Kong’s ever-changing landscape leaves the LGBT conversation ambivalent as far as mainstream acceptance goes, drag has definitely made a positive impact in generating a more understanding society and a creative platform for this marginalized group.

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