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Liam Laughin shares his journey to finding his place in Charlotte's drag community

This realtor in Charlotte area will appear at the Rock Hill Pride pageant after a cosplay hobby turned into a passion.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — While most people have heard of drag queens - usually men who dress as women to entertain - you may not be as familiar with drag kings. Both groups often take part in celebrations in June for LGBTQ Pride Month, while also performing at other venues throughout the year.

Liam Laughin has been on the drag scene since the beginning of the pandemic, after watching multiple videos about makeup. That's when a panache for transformative looks turned into a passion.

"As I got older, I got into theater. And then actually started getting into cosplay, which is emulating characters," he said, "and I found myself being more drawn to the male characters than the female characters. And so being a drag king has always kind of been there for me."

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Laughin has also had a regular day job working as a realtor for Alan Tate in Rock Hill for the last 14 years. He said clients know about his work, sometimes calling in the middle of the artist preparing for a performance. To note, some of his makeup can take up to five hours to put on.

"'Alright, it's going to be Liam showing. Are you OK with that?'" he recalled in one instance. "And they're like, 'ok!'"

The drag performer has been "out" with friends and family since the age of 17, and said Pride Month means being comfortable and celebrating with friends. 

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"I officially came out for my community. That way, if there was somebody like me out there who was struggling with their identity, that they had somebody to see and be present and say you're not alone," Laughin said. "I know who I am. I'm comfortable with that. And for the most part, what I've seen from the Charlotte community, the Rock Hill community, is embracing and love and acceptance."

Laughin is set to appear in the Rock HIll Pride pageant Friday, June 24. Other appearances are listed on the performer's Instagram.

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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