Photo: Ian Syder-Blake Houston drag king Ian Syder-Blake performing at Pearl Bar. Houston drag king Ian Syder-Blake performing at Pearl Bar. Seven years ago, a Houstonian began performing in drag under the name Ian Syder-Blake. Back then, Syder-Blake was one of four, maybe five performers like him in the area, which he now says boasts more than 50. He’s won multiple local and statewide drag titles and placed first-alternate in a national competition. He’s co-founded a weekly, live-performance show at Pearl Bar, the only lesbian bar in Houston and one of the few left in the country. Before the coronavirus pandemic, he played to a packed house. Since the pandemic, the show has gone on in a livestream format every Wednesday, no exceptions. He’s been interviewed many times and has graced the covers of magazines appearing in the doorways of just about every Montrose establishment. Syder-Blake has even designed a “drag boot camp” that guides its participants through the hoops of becoming full-fledged performers. I moved back to Houston in the summer of 2015, two years into Syder-Blake’s astronomic rise, and from then until March of this year, I don’t think I ever went a week without seeing a drag… Read full this story
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