D is for:

Drag The much-hyped era of Millennium Drag lasted scarcely longer than a second-rate pair of perspex pumps. But like all true showgirls facing footwear fatigue, Sydney’s drag scene marched on. At once delightfully close-knit and defiantly catty, the city’s drag community owes its profile -“ and probably its health -“ to a few key troupers.

There are the evergreen veterans (think Claire de Lune as the Oxford Street upgrade’s poster girl and Mitzi Macintosh just about everywhere). And there is the emerging talent -“ or baby drag -“ of the likes of male-dancer-turned 2005 Drag Industry Variety Awards Rising Star Stacii Gayski.

In between are stars like DIVA Entertainer of the Year Minnie Cooper, whose combination of glamour and unabashed chutzpah is classic drag. It was obviously my time, Cooper told Sydney Star Observer after her DIVA win in August.

The local drag king community is less established, but one expert believes it’s got legs. Perennial Sydney’s Favourite Drag King winner Sexy Galexy told this year’s DIVAs she expected to give up her crown as fresh talent emerged.

Dikes on Mikes The threat of legal action over Dikes on Mikes’ use of the Lesbian Idol tag left organisers of Channel Ten juggernaut Australian Idol displeased (see story here). But the ruckus is perfect publicity for the iconic lesbian talent quest, gearing up for its second grand final in February.

The lesbian-only sing-off began as low-key inner-west karaoke event Dikes on Mikes in late 2003, slowly building steam before its first contest kicked off last year. In February, a crowd of about 1,000 people saw judge Ian Dicko Dickson crown 28-year-old Bern Sokol the winner at the first grand final. Interest remains strong ahead of the second Dikes on Mikes decider.

The franchise can’t quite boast the ratings of the Channel Ten creation, but it’s quickly becoming a community icon. As Dikes on Mikes director Yvonne Hall told the Star in December: A girl who comes to all our shows recently said to me: -˜Yvonne, there’s only two things a lesbian needs in life. One’s a reliable tampon, and the other’s a Dikes On Mikes ticket’.

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