In the original sense, it was something tedious, boring, ..like sitting through a rehearsal with participants who kept forgetting their lines and falling out of character; for some, sitting on a stoop waiting for something, anything to happen to break the monotony.
For others its going downtown in a fancy car, dressed up riding along the main street, the main “drag”, watching the world lose its mind going in and out of stores, eating ice cream, playing loud music; street vendors hacking their wares!
“Brother can you spare a dime” got replaced with a “drag” on that “cig” (cigarette). That drag was a “hit”, to settle the nerves that called for that nicotine infusion. Today it’s a drag on a “blunt”. In the 1960’s, high schoolers of the PEYTON PLACE era, described their female dates, as “drags” for the night.
Then there is the dress-up person, usually a male, who has become so enamored with a female celebrity, he impersonates her in the way she walks, talks, dresses, and apply make-up. He then is said to be in “drag.”
The person being impersonated must have a measure of dominion over her followers, she then is attributed the title QUEEN, thus the morphed phrase, DRAG QUEEN.
Black men have made drag queening very famous, where they have become more celebrated than the ones they are imitating, the most famous drag queen in the world being Rhu Paul.
As one who covers culture in and around Baltimore Maryland, I heard there is a thriving community of Drag Queens in Baltimore, and their post pandemic party was being staged at the world’s oldest theatre, THE ARENA PLAYERS, playhouse.
This is what I saw: