The Big Reveal: An Illustrated Manifesto of Drag (Hardcover)
“Drag embodies the queer possibility that exists within each of us—the infinite ways in which gender, good taste, and art can be lived.”
This book is a quilt, piecing together memoir, history, and theory into a living portrait of an artist and an art. Within these pages, illustrated throughout with photos and original artwork, Sasha Velour illuminates drag as a unique form of expression with a rich history and a revolutionary spirit.
Each chapter strips off a new layer, removing one tantalizing glove and then another, to reveal all the twists and turns in the life of a queen. As Sasha recalls her own journey, from the women who raised her, to learning the craft of an artist, to success, disaster, and more, she also uncovers the history of queer life around the world that made it all possible.
From shamans to “fairies balls,” empresses to RuPaul’s Drag Race (and beyond), The Big Reveal chronicles and celebrates our shared queer pasts. “If we want to be seen as legendary,” writes Sasha, “we have to weave ourselves into history.”
From an iconoclastic drag queen comes an equally singular, thought-provoking manifesto that brings necessary and sparkling substance to our understanding of drag, queerness, beauty, and liberation!
About the Author
Sasha Velour is a gender-fluid drag queen, artist and speaker. She is the creator and editor of the critically-acclaimed drag magazine “Velour” and the host of the influential New York City-based drag show NightGowns, which was adapted into a docu-series. Her first one-queen theater show, “Smoke & Mirrors” toured to sold-out audiences around the world. In 2017, she was crowned the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 on VH1, with an emotional and reveal-filled finale performance that made history. Velour also holds a degree in Literature from Vassar College, an MFA in Cartooning from The Center for Cartoon Studies, and was a former Fulbright Scholar in Moscow. The Big Reveal is her first book.
“Spellbinding. Sasha Velour’s intellect and imagination transcend genre and gender: blending critical theory, LGBTQ+ history, and memoir leaving readers engrossed and verklempt. This book a treatise on the gravitas of glamor, a love letter to drag and queer culture, and one manicured middle finger to the world that shows that we’ve always been and are here to stay. The Big Reveal is canonical camp.” — Alok, author of Beyond the Gender Binary and Your Wound/My Garden
"In this showstopping debut...Velour seamlessly mixes rigorous scholarship with inspirational aphorisms and heartfelt anecdotes about finding community and navigating the pitfalls of mainstream success, while enriching the narrative with copious photographs and illustrations. This is a rousing tribute to a revolutionary art form and its practitioners." — Publishers Weekly
"Colorful Sasha Velour is redefining drag for a new generation with this insightful book. You go, They!” — John "Lypsinka" Epperson
“With a mind as sharp as her eyeliner, Sasha Velour vamps her way across the entire cultural landscape. The Big Reveal is sweeping and seriously entertaining.” — Simon Doonan, author of Drag: The Complete Story and Transformer: A Story of Glitter, Glam Rock & Loving Lou Reed.
“From the moment I met Sasha, I immediately I sensed her grasp of creative expression and queer history. The Big Reveal gives us a chance to learn something new about our community, about the world, about art, literature, history, and subsequently maybe even ourselves—all while being entertained. A vibrant and insightful read!” — Miss Peppermint