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Tranimal Drag: The Concept of Anti-beauty

The story of Patruni Sastry (They/Them/Oneself), a Tranimal Drag Performer.

I am Patruni Sastry, a Tranimal drag performer, performance artist, pan-activist and expressionist dancer from Hyderabad, India. I am a Gender Maverique (also identify as gender non confirming and gender fluid sometimes), Pomosexuality (also identify as Pansexual/Bisexual at times) person married to a woman. I am India’s first drag artist who is in hetero-marriage and India's first Tranimal drag artist. I have been performing Indian classical dance and performance art for more than 12 years now and recently developed artistic curiosity to pursue drag as an expression.

To give you an introduction of what I do, drag is an art form where a man/woman dresses up in exaggerated costumes and makeup, usually of the opposite gender and performs a multi-disciplinary art. Since the time I was exposed to drag, I could see the richness of this wonderful art format which can be used as a language to raise awareness on multiple issues including LGBTQIA + issues, awareness on menstrual health, sexual health, gender awareness and fight back panphobia, biphobia, environmental protection.

My style of drag is called Tranimal drag, a drag format which is performance art, where unlike traditional drag where beauty, class and elegance is given attention, Tranimal drag talks about anti-beauty. It’s a postmodern approach for drag where the costumes are made of trash material, with makeup and dress placement in no one order and random. The key quotient being how a certain daily use object can break fashion and be used as a piece of art. My drag name S.A.S stands for "Suffocated art specimens" which helps bring balance between activism and art together.

I have had the opportunity to perform in more than 3000+ dance shows and 500 drag shows on national and international platforms. I have also founded an online platform called “Dragvanti”, a space to promote Indian drag artists and Indian drag art.

The three main takeaways I want the audience to walk away after reading my story are:

  • How does it feel to be a drag queen being married?

  • What are some challenges and stigmas pansexual and gender nonbinary individuals face in the Indian society?

  • How can drag/dance articulate social issues and create awareness?

Nota Bene: By sharing their experience, Patruni has taught many of us about their expression of art. If any of our readers have questions regarding this, we would be happy to bridge the gap in between the author and yourself, or attempt to ensure coordination. Feel free to reach out to us!

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