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Opinion I’m a drag queen. Here’s what my art really is.

Sasha Velour: Drag is about self-expression without shame and free thinking about others. She says the word "drag" emerged from Polari, a code of sorts used by gay people, convicts and traveling entertainers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The greater our visibility, the fiercer their backlash, Velour says, and the uninformed have tried to shove us back to the margins. Drag is, more than anything, an antidote to that fear and shame around queerness from an early age, she says. Velour is the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 and author of the forthcoming book “The Big Reveal: An Illustrated Manifesto of Drag.”

Queer people are real, even in the face of injustice and discrimination. We deserve to be treated equally, whether or not you like our genders, our art or our clothes. Drag can be that introduction, as much for kids as for anyone with enough wonder left in them to open their heart to something new.