For many LGBT people, life itself is a performance. Public acknowledgement of their inner desires too often has led to persecution and imprisonment, and so generations of actors, playwrights, singers, and dancers have been forced to live at least part of their lives in the closet.  Paradoxically, under the bright lights of the stage the hidden self becomes empowered to speak what has been hidden. Marlon Riggs documents Tongues Untied and Melissa Etheridge belts out Yes I Am, while under pulsing strobe lights and resplendent in a glittering gown, Sylvester sings the throbbing disco anthem, You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).    
Queer-y: What statement is a man in female drag making about feminism? Does a woman who performs in male attire, as the lesbian blues singer Gladys Bentley often did, make the same kind of statement?