Meet Benjamin Slater aka Bijou Bentley, an illustrator and drag queen from Sacramento, California.
Drag came to me naturally, I suppose, as a queer person who just loves to create. As someone who has drawn and painted as long as I can remember, bringing my art and characters to life in the form of this alter ego came somewhat naturally. You’ll see a lot of Benny’s signature art styles carried over into Bijou’s drag looks. There are bright colors, big eyes, lots of blush and glitter galore. It took a long time to get to where I’m at with my drag and the journey was really a sort of second coming out. I grew to love myself for all of my interests and embrace my queerness through drag. I get to embrace my sexuality and embody this character that I see as so powerful. I feel empowered in drag.
Photo by Argonian Photography
I’ve modeled myself after femme role models both real and imaginary and have created this character with equal parts cutesy and sexual. I feel like I can do whatever I want in drag. You can get away with so much when you’re pretending to be someone else. Some queens forget that there’s a line. Most of the time you’ll see queens in bars and other places where things can get out of hand. I love what I do but I’ve seen too many queens forget about consent and think that their wigs, makeup, heels, and whatever else give them the right to be grabby and inappropriate with people and that’s something I don’t stand by at all. I think that the newer, upcoming generation of queens knows this, though, and I’m glad to see that. Drag queens can be as slutty as they want but need to remember that not everyone watching the show is a consenting participant.
Drag has helped me to feel more confident as a boy as well. I have to keep up with Bijou after all. She can’t get all the attention. I try to spice up my social media feeds with thotty pictures often because sometimes a gal just wants that extra recognition. I try to use my half naked internet selfies for a good cause, though. I try to promote my friends’ creative endeavors whether that’s shirts, pins, or whatever by wearing those things and nothing else. Us creative girls have to stick together, right?
Support Benny / Bijou and their projects:
Facebook: Bijou Bentley
You can also buy their merch from DragQueenMerch.com !
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