These Found Photos of Drag Balls Will Bring a Smile to Your Face

Further evidence that men dressing in women’s and putting on a show probably dates back to the very beginning of humankind, two caches of slides have been uncovered in Kansas City, showing high-spirited merriment at underground drag balls in the 1950s and 60s.

The two sets of slides were found independently of each other by artists and friends Robert Chase Heishman and Michael Boles, in a salvage yard and a vacant apartment, respectively. With the help of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, they’ve been able to place most of the snapshots at The Colony and The Jewel Box, nightclubs that have long since closed. Back then, in the interest of safety, a drag party was usually billed as a private birthday party, a euphemism the duo borrowed for their newly launched website.

They’ve also determined that, curiously, both sets of slides were taken by the same person known only as Jack, whose friendliness with the crowd clearly made possible the cheer and gaiety they display. You almost don’t want to know any more, for fear of spoiling the revelry.

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