Gender isn’t clear-cut for Michael Folks. “I’ve always been very transy,” he says. “I’ll go out and bounce around town as a girl.” His drag name is Sarah Lee Garrett. Most of his friends call him Sarah “because most of my friends are drags,” he says. At one point, he was actively pursuing a sex change, but he has decided against it. Folks, a 34-year-old operations research analyst, considers himself a socialite in the drag community rather than a performer.
On drag: “There’s lots of different reasons why people do drag. It’s a community in which I feel like I can be me at my best. I don’t have to pretend to be anything I’m not. I can be really beautiful in a feminine way, and I don’t have to run around saying, ‘I am woman, hear me roar.’ I’m just me.”