March 18, 2016 / 4:53 PM / 3 years ago

Becoming a drag queen: 101

NEW YORK - - When Justin Honard turns into drag queen Alaska, the process is more than just applying makeup, working hairstyles and putting together outfits.

“When all the pieces come together, some sort of magical shift happens,” the 31-year old said.

“It takes forever to put it on, (it) takes two hours. But in that process ... it’s like alchemy.”

Honard shot to fame while competing in reality television show “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, ending up runner up on the fifth season of the series hosted by famed drag queen RuPaul.

Currently, he is part of the show’s “Battle of the Seasons 2016 Extravaganza” tour, which features past winners and fan favorites.

He said his favorite part about being a drag queen is creating a space “where people feel free and happy and liberated”.

“It sort of jams the systems of gender that are so harshly in place in our culture,” Honard said.

“And it sort of confuses that for a second and ... creates a space where it’s like: ‘Oh. We’re not just the clothes that we wear, we’re not just what it says on our drivers license’.”

The tour begins its  U.S. shows in Seattle next month.

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