If you’ve been watching America’s got talent and/or India’s got talent, you would have noticed two very queer men doing their thing, kicking ass at it and gathering lots and lots of fans. Prince Poppycock on America’s Got Talent has been pegged as the male Lady Gaga and the next Elton John and is the foremost contender for the top spot. The dandy Poppycock is the alter ego of John Quale and dons a powdered wig, and Victorian costume complete with breeches and frock coats. John incidentally, also makes music under his own name as well as cultivating Poppycock. With one of the most fabulous voices on TV these days as this performance of Bohemian Rhapsody proves, Poppycock seems to be a favourite of many including the judges.
Harish Kumar on India’s Got Talent is a cross-dressing dancer from Jaisalmer, who is now one of the few remaining on the show. Queen Harish, as the performer is known, dresses in drag, slaps on makeup, wears Salvatore Ferragamo pumps and is a more graceful dancer than most women I have seen. With her lithe moves, her trim waist and her grace, when Queen Harish dances, no one would guess that it’s a man doing all that. Having developed the image of a courtesan, Queen Harish dresses in ghagra-cholis, performs feminine moves, and basically is everything and more a female dancer is.
What is really amazing about these two people is the number of fans they’ve developed, in India and abroad. Poppycock has millions of Youtube views, and Queen Harish performs shows abroad. There are people voting actively for them, the judges love them, they’re unafraid of doing what they do, are entirely comfortable with themselves and have been very successful at it. Sajid Khan said that the thing he liked best about Harish was his femininity and Poppycock’s popularity is fuelled by how entertaining, flamboyant, risk taking and eccentric he is.
When I saw Harish on the show for the first time this morning, I was shocked. Pleasantly shocked, that masculine femininity could be so appreciated. I expected Poppycock’s dandy-ness to stand in the way of his going very far, but it didn’t, and how awesome is that?
Go check these people out, you’ll know what I mean. And, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that John Quale is very, very dishy. <Sigh!>