Non-binary | St. Louis Public Radio

Non-binary

Maxi Glamour hosts a polka-themed drag and burlesque show at Das Bevo Underground on a recent Friday night. Nov. 11, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Once a month, 90-year-old John Chaney dons a blond wig, dressy suit and heels — and transforms into a Tammy Wynette look-alike who lip-syncs to country music.

Several times a week, 28-year-old Maxi Glamour also puts on makeup and a skirt. But Glamour forsakes the falsies and is proud to show a flat chest through the opening of a sparkly vest.

The two performers — more than 60 years apart in age — use the same word for their brand of performance: drag. But while Chaney’s act celebrates so-called femininity, Glamour’s show pierces the notion that male and female are two distinct categories. The perspective is increasingly being embraced by wider culture as more people identify as non-binary, or neither male nor female.  It’s also reshaping an art form rooted in gay culture.