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Baby Queen – Singapore’s First Drag Queen Film

Just a year ago, Singapore saw its first gay BL web drama “GETAWAY”. Soon in June 2023, we’ll be witnessing the premiere of our first drag queer film called “BABY QUEEN” in local cinemas ‒ just in time for Pride Month. 

Read on to find out more about the observational-style film, and where to get your tickets to #SupportLocal and our queer community. 

The film

Unless you’re involved in the LGBTQ+ scene, it is unlikely you’d understand and experience what the queer community, especially drag queens, goes through daily. As such, director Lei Yuan Bin came up with BABY QUEEN ‒ a film which centres around the everyday life of a young drag queen Opera Tang

As an introduction to Opera, she made her debut in 2020 during the global pandemic, and is currently in the early stages of her drag career. The film explores how she navigates freely between male and female, her boy self and drag self, alongside other aspects such as family, religion, society, and gender norms. 

Baby Queen – Singapore’s First Drag Queen FilmOpera and her grandmother at the Pink Dot event

While we’ve all heard stories where the older generations don’t accept the sexual orientation of their LGBTQ+ children, BABY QUEEN stands out from the crowd thanks to Opera’s 90-year-old grandmother. Not only is she an open-minded individual who is willing to try on drag makeup, but she also helps Opera with her drag costumes. Slay. 

Unlike Opera’s parents who still aren’t supportive of her drag career, the relationship between Opera and her grandmother also explores the social attitudes towards the queer community in Singapore. 

Baby Queen – Singapore’s First Drag Queen Film

Taking you on an emotional ride, BABY QUEEN also gives us viewers an insight into Opera’s day-to-day activities such as attending an LGBTQ+ gathering, getting ready for a drag show, and removing her makeup late at night. 

Curious folks can watch the official trailer of BABY QUEEN here

The production

For the unacquainted, it isn’t the first time director Lei Yuan Bin has worked on projects that revolve around the queer community. He had the chance to work with trans director Quen Wong previously, and noticed that drag queens are people who are often misunderstood and discriminated against due to their fluidity in gender expressions.  

As such, BABY QUEEN is a medium where he features the changing attitudes towards queer people in Singapore, and highlights the difficult artistry of drag. He hopes that the film offers “a different way to present and express a drag performance”, and showcases the “dual realities that drag queens have to juggle with”.

Since BABY QUEEN is essentially a documentary, the crew also had their fair share of difficulties during filming. 

Director Lei shared that they were more sensitive at Opera’s house because her parents were not the most comfortable with her drag activities. Plus, they needed to avoid capturing Opera’s siblings to respect their privacy, and also Opera’s partner Simon, who chose to wear a mask most of the time. 

That’s not all ‒ it was also challenging for the subjects in BABY QUEEN to address taboo and transgressive issues. Because of how sensitive these topics already are in Singapore, it was considered a milestone to get them talking about it in the first place. 

Hopefully, through BABY QUEEN, more Singaporeans would have a better understanding of the queer community and welcome conversations on such issues. 

Celebrate Pride Month With Singapore’s First Drag Queen Film BABY QUEEN

Screening every Friday at 8pm throughout the month of June, BABY QUEEN is available for viewing at Blue Room, The Projector for $39. Be sure to not miss out on the chance to catch BABY QUEEN in our local cinema since it comes with an exclusive drag show too. 

Booking can be done via this website, and more information can be found on BABY QUEEN’s official Instagram

All images courtesy of BABY QUEEN. 

Also read: 

Singapore’s First Gay BL Web Drama “GETAWAY” Features An Openly Queer Cast, Is Based On An Original Story