By Ken Vegas

Body language is about intent. How do we want to exist in public spaces?
How do we want to be noticed?

Masculine and feminine “traits” are learned behavior and have shaped us to be who we are today.
We can use learn to use whatever tools we need to gain the maximum impact of how we want people to perceive us.

In learning “Male” body language we have to really take a look at how we have been raised and what we have been taught as proper “lady like” behavior. Of course what we have been taught is subject to what our parents and cultural beliefs. So please use this as a rough guide based on my experience in becoming Drag King Ken aka Ken Vegas.

My discovery: Not all genders are treated equal!

Coming out as a lesbian in 1994 (while in college) I had a difficult time finding my place in the lesbian scene. When I would go to the club, I would shyly sit with my legs crossed by myself in the corner waiting patiently for someone to talk to me. Looking back I remember my body language being very demure and almost apologetic. I did not want to bump anyone while walking through a crowded room as to not create conflict. Needless to say… I had a hard time meeting people and feeling comfortable in the club.

Things changed on December 20th, 1996, I entered my very first Drag King competition for the Lesbian Avenger’s “Dyke March” fundraiser at the Hung Jury in Washington, DC. It was a dare to see what it would feel like to dress like a man in public. I cut my hair short, borrowed my friend’s suit, bought men’s shoes and penciled in side burns and then drew in a mustache. When I walked into the club people actually parted to make a path for me to walk through. After the competition I recall standing in a circle of women and they all wanted to hear what I had to say. This really shocked me as I have never been treated with such attention. Surely it could not just be my short hair, suit and tie and fake mustache that was getting these women’s to treat me this way. Or was it?

I was intrigued with male impersonation from that point on. I wanted to understand why people treat each other the way that they do with the perception of gender and projected body language.

These are a few of the things that I discovered:

Trapped handsome man

Male Body Language:

Men and women often display different body language. In order to understand each other better, it’s helpful to recognize these differences. There is one thing that you’ll notice when you start to study male body language.

• They will often show dominance by spreading their legs while sitting.

• Men will stand and walk with their pelvis shifted up and forward as to call attention to their crotch.
Putting their hands in their pants pockets to sub-consciously direct the eye to their bulge. Long ties also tend to serve this purpose.

• A man will often stand much further away when he’s first talking to another person.

• Men also tend to recline back when they are listening.
This allows him to remain in full control and observe the situation from a distance.

• Men tend to move slower with ease.

• Their body gestures are BIG and CONFIDENT! They project their energy outwards to the back of the room.

These are generalized traits that read male.
What response do you notice when you take on these types of body language?


Some traits that we may have been taught:

• Keep our limbs as close to our bodies as much as possible as to not take up space.

• We sit with our legs closed.

• Walk with our feet crossing over each other to take up as little space.

• We sit up to listen.

• We walk and stand with  our pelvis is shifted down. Diminishing the attention from our crotch.

• We move quicker and more hastily trying to avoid bumping into people or getting in their way.

• Gestures tend to be smaller and more apologetic as to not want to make oneself known in a room.

What response do you notice when you take on these types of body language?