An Article Series by Abe Plaut
Instagram & Twitter @abeplaut
Describing their drag as “Silly, fun, and cute,” Norah Borealis is a wildly fun entertainer with a sharp sense of humor and a keen awareness of pop culture. Currently living in Indianapolis, they first got their start into drag as part of Bloomington’s scene while attending Indiana University during the IMU Late Night sponsored drag show and competition Life’s a Drag (Race) 2018. Norah Borealis was crowned the winner of the Life’s a Drag (Race) 2019 show, at one-point cartwheeling across the stage and lip-syncing dialogue of Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter.
A former member of student comedy troupe Full Frontal Comedy, Norah names Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire as an early influence. Norah also listed the girl group Little Mix and children’s media like Matilda and The Wizard Of Oz as influences full of empowering messages to embrace femininity and overcome obstacles.
Watching season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race was what first launched an interest in exploring drag. At the time, still in the closet with their sexuality, seeing a cast of drag queens unafraid to break away from gender norms was extremely liberating for a closeted gay man. For Norah Borealis, drag is an opportunity to find one’s balance. And most of all, drag is a reminder to stop obsessing over how to do gender at the expense of one’s own joy.
“People always have something to say about drag,” Norah Borealis told SEASON over a video-chat. Fortunately, she has not experienced too much pushback for doing drag from the world at large.
For drag artists on social media, it can become easy to fall into patterns of obsessing over likes, follows, and Instagram statistics like anybody else. One has to be cognizant of how they self-promote their own art because it can sometimes be taken the wrong way.
Despite the occasional problems that the internet and social media pose, Norah Borealis likes how it has given rise to new avenues of activism and community engagement for drag artists, with initiatives like Drag Out The Vote.
Asked about fashion trends they like to incorporate into their wardrobe both in and out of drag, Norah had one word: “Simple.” Norah went on to cite the Disney film Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by adding that they like “classics because they’re classics” when it comes to fashion styles and trends.
Follow Norah Borealis on Instagram @norah.borealis_