English Muffin I 

How do you reclaim history? For marginalized people across the world, the act of reclaiming a place, a space, and one's history, is an act of resistance and revolution. While queer bodies, queer lives, and queer spaces, have existed since the dawn of history, definitions and social constructs around sex and gender have changed, and adapted to fit the norms, (and needs) of a particular moment in time. 

We so often hear about the violence and repression that queer bodies have experienced over the course of history; but we must also recognize that queer bodies have also been at the center of power and pleasure since the dawn of time. Performance Art's medium is the human body. To perform in images, like the ones below, is to reclaim a space, place, and a history for a contemporary audience whose current socio-political situation may make them feel hopeless. 

In this photo essay, we meet English Muffin I, a drag queen, inspired by Elizabeth I, who lives outside of the gender binary.  English Muffin I's timeless image reminds us that queer lives matter, and that the visibility of queer bodies matter, yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. 

English Muffin I is the creation of Matthew Champagne. Their insight on the creative process is included below. 

“English Muffin is a queer person, trying to reclaim history and find space for queer identities and queer narratives" (Champagne).

“English Muffin is a queer person, trying to reclaim history and find space for queer identities and queer narratives" (Champagne).

“English Muffin is inspired by various historians and gender theorists who speculate that Elizabeth I was actually someone who was born with genital ambiguity, and existed outside the gender binary. She has developed into someone who hopes to embody many strong, presumed female leaders throughout world history" (Champagne). 

“English Muffin is inspired by various historians and gender theorists who speculate that Elizabeth I was actually someone who was born with genital ambiguity, and existed outside the gender binary. She has developed into someone who hopes to embody many strong, presumed female leaders throughout world history" (Champagne). 

“I remember being in my senior year European History advanced placement class, and it was a whole lot of whitewashed European history… but, my teacher somehow let it slip that Elizabeth I was gender ambiguous. This fascinated me and inspired me to learn more about gender identity" (Champagne). 

“I remember being in my senior year European History advanced placement class, and it was a whole lot of whitewashed European history… but, my teacher somehow let it slip that Elizabeth I was gender ambiguous. This fascinated me and inspired me to learn more about gender identity" (Champagne). 

“I hope English Muffin I will inspire people to reclaim queer history" (Champagne). 

“I hope English Muffin I will inspire people to reclaim queer history" (Champagne). 

“(Currently English Muffin only exists in photos) I kind of enjoy English Muffin I only existing in photos. Much of history only exists in photos" (Champagne). 

“(Currently English Muffin only exists in photos) I kind of enjoy English Muffin I only existing in photos. Much of history only exists in photos" (Champagne). 

DecadentActs (1 of 1)-6.jpg
“For many years, English Muffin I was just an abstract idea. Now, she has been thrust into existence" (Champagne). 

“For many years, English Muffin I was just an abstract idea. Now, she has been thrust into existence" (Champagne). 

“English Muffin I lives in the grey area of gender. For me, grey is the warmest color” (Champagne). 

“English Muffin I lives in the grey area of gender. For me, grey is the warmest color” (Champagne). 

“I hope that English Muffin I will inspire people to have conversations about androgyny and outliers of the gender binary, in history and in the present" (Champagne). 

“I hope that English Muffin I will inspire people to have conversations about androgyny and outliers of the gender binary, in history and in the present" (Champagne). 

“This is not a critique of the drag movement, it’s just commentary on it. There are such extremes in drag performance that it still exists within the confines of the binary between men and women. English Muffin exists somewhere in between" (Champagne). 

“This is not a critique of the drag movement, it’s just commentary on it. There are such extremes in drag performance that it still exists within the confines of the binary between men and women. English Muffin exists somewhere in between" (Champagne).