In some circles of the drag community, there exists jealousy, backstabbing, and general shade. With Denver drag, however, it’s all about holding each other up, and that’s especially true in the king community. Kaptain Inherpants is one of Denver’s most recognized kings, but all he wants is for even more kings to be recognized. We chatted with him about Aurora Pride, Denver drag, and all things king.
How do you feel about the recent upswing in drag king popularity?
It’s long overdue. But we do have some amazingly talented kings in this town who are getting recognized. It’s harder to be as successful as a king, because it’s more difficult to change outfits between numbers. It’s a little harder to be over-the-top in the same way that queens do things. We can’t just change a wig and a pair of heels and look like a completely different person; we have to add makeup and facial hair.
Do you try to be super vocal and use your platform as a king to spread the word about gender issues, since you also work as a lecturer on gender studies?
Absolutely. I’m very vocal, especially about trans veteran rights, because I’m also a veteran. I was in the army for six years, and the VA doesn’t cover surgeries for hormones. They’ll pay for binders, packers, breastplates, but they won’t cover surgeries, which is kind of ridiculous. When you add the other things up, they might as well have just paid for the surgery in the first place.
What do you think the community needs to do to make drag more inclusive?
There’s parts of our community that do need to work more together. I have a show that I host at Blush & Blu where I’m trying to merge together burlesque and live vocalists and drag. I’m trying to bring everyone together for a variety show where everybody can showcase their art. In a lot of other cities, the burlesque and the drag people perform together in the same shows all the time, and I’d like to see that happen more here.
What can we expect from your performance this year at Aurora Pride?
I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing yet. I think on this one, I’m taking more of an approach of crafting and then choosing songs and things to fit more with the look. I change it up. Sometimes I do the song first, and then I build the number around a song. Sometimes I find a concept and build a mix and look to go with it. I might bring back Bill Nye the Science Guy. I did that last year, and people loved it.
Photo by Mike Bomberger