June 10, 2024

What Does Fish Mean in Drag Culture Controversy?

The Debate Over the Use of "Fishy" in Drag Culture

During an episode of the reality TV show *Dragula*, a significant controversy erupted when Hollow Eve confronted fellow contestant Priscilla over the use of the word "fishy".

Understanding the Term "Fishy"

In drag culture, "fishy" is often used to compliment a drag performer for their ability to appear convincingly feminine. The term has a long history within the community, symbolizing high praise for a queen's feminine illusion.

Controversy in the Fandom

The incident on *Dragula* sparked a wider debate among fans regarding the appropriateness and potential offensiveness of the term "fishy". While some fans were surprised and unaware of any negative connotations, others engaged in heated discussions about whether the term should be considered offensive.

Fans' Conflicting Views

Views among the fandom are divided. Some question the offensiveness of the term, arguing that it is a staple of drag vernacular. Others understand or support Hollow Eve's stance, highlighting the importance of sensitivity in language.

Irony or Contradiction Perceived

One aspect that surprised many, including the author of the original article, is the irony of having such concerns raised in a show like *Dragula*, which is known for challenging norms and pushing boundaries.

Personal Reflection and Questions

The author expressed disbelief and curiosity about the negative perception of the term "fishy". By posing a question to readers, the author fostered engagement and invited a variety of opinions on the matter.

Historical Context and Sensitivity

A deeper exploration into the term "fishy" reveals its roots and the reasons why it might be perceived as offensive. Historically, similar terms have been used in derogatory ways toward women, which some argue perpetuates misogyny.

Language and Sensitivity in Marginalized Communities

The debate over "fishy" underscores the importance of language and sensitivity within marginalized communities. As cultures evolve and become more inclusive, it is crucial to continually reassess the words we use to ensure they do not unintentionally harm or exclude.

Broader Societal Changes and Inclusivity

The discussions on terms like "fishy" reflect broader societal shifts toward greater inclusivity and respect. As our understanding of gender and identity evolves, so must our language.

Diverse Perspectives from the Drag Community

Incorporating views from other drag performers and experts can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the term and its implications. This helps highlight the diversity within the drag community and the varying perspectives on language.

Public Reaction and Ongoing Discourse

The wider public reaction and discourse within the drag and LGBTQ+ communities continue to evolve. Engaging with these discussions can provide valuable insights and foster a more inclusive environment for all.


The debate over the term "fishy" in drag culture highlights the ongoing need to evaluate and adapt the language used within subcultures. By continuing these conversations, the drag community and its supporters can promote greater understanding and inclusivity.

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