Social institutions, conservative cultural norms and statuary acts (e.g. Section 377A of the Penal Code of Singapore criminalises gay sex) continue to have a hold on sexual minorities, which oppress, alienate and discriminate against such people.

Away from the legislative and social processes that may dictate identities and intimate relationships on a public level, individuals who unapologetically choose who perform drag professionally and publically represent a form of defiant freedom for the queer community.

The photographs, taken between 2017 to 2019, document drag queen performances in Singapore’s LGBTQ clubs and bars. Partying can be political.

Commissioned by Action for AIDS Singapore/

2021 © Lee Chang Ming