It takes an observant eye, two eyes, or even three to catch the essence of a person on film. Mike Lang has the prerequisite three eyes — two in his head and one in his camera. Being a social documentary photographer, he’s had a camera in front of his face since he started taking shots of pool players in Baltimore. That was back when he was a wet-behind-the-ears kid in 1957. Mike photographs all over the country and even in places like Thailand. But this time around in 2012, Mike hung out at the Town Dance Boutique on weekends off and on for eight months, observing the drag queens and how illusion was created by them through makeup, costume, and performance.
These drag queens are a special category of gay men who dress as women. Once costumed, the performers deliver believable illusions through singing or lip-synching music, dancing, comedy, and impersonation. The characters they create are often exaggerated versions of women, and make no mistake, they are totally convincing. Rosemary Luckett