Words: Steve Brown
The stars of Channel 4's hit new show Drag SOS tell Attitude about the influence drag culture has on the British public.
Known as the Family Gorgeous, including Liquorice Black, Lill, Asttina Mandella, Cheddar Gorgeous, Anna Phylactic, TeTe Bang, Donna Trump, the group of Manchester's finest drag queens travel up and down the country to meet people and help them discover their drag personas - sort of Queer Eye meets drag.
TeTe - the show's only female drag queen - tells us: "Our experiences were all fairly similar.
"It was surprising just how open the British public are to drag. I had a few questions about my gender, but overall people weren't too fussed - they'd just smile at the sight of these larger-than-life characters walking around their town."
The show - which will start airing on Channel 4 from June 25 - travels to various towns including Ipswich, Scarborough, Dover and Dudley and it's not just LGBTQ people the queens help embrace their drag persona.
"We met all sorts of characters," Liquorice tells Attitude. "Some really shy people: we wokred with a farmer, a personal trainer... it's not just people from the LGBTQ community, everyone's involved.
"Young to old, everyone you could imagine, we've made over."
Drag SOS stars Tete Bang, Cheddar Gorgeous, Anna Phylactic, Lill, Asttina Mandella and Liquorice Black photographed by Francisco Gomez de Villaboa
Lill adds: "It's a triumphant show. The people we meet might be going through some trouble in their life, or are stuck in a rut, and we coach them to be able to express themselves in the way that they want."
For Anna - one of the group's most seasoned queens - says drag makes people feel a 'million dollars' and says she has been attacked more for being an effeminate gay man rather than a drag queen.
"Most of the time, you feel a million dollars," she says. "You've got this giant spotlight on you and everyone's telling you how fabulous you are.
"I've probably been attacked more for being an effeminate gay man than I have for being a drag queen. It's a Cinderella thing...
"It's that magical moment where you get to transform and be the belle of the ball, then the clock's ticking, especially for me because I'm quite old.
"I get five o'clock shadow quite quickly. So there's a timer on how long it can last."
Cheddar describes drag as 'amplifying what you have to give to the world.
"I think of it as trying to take what no one is seeing about you, that special quality you know is inside you, and making it the only thing people see."
Attitude's Summer Pride issue, supported by the GREAT Britain campaign, is out now, featuring 25 special edition covers which can be ordered individually with free postage and packaging by emailing [email protected].