Mr. Punch McRagefist is rooted in hyper-masculinity defined as vulgar and machismo. It’s no surprise the music and character of Gaston from The Beauty And The Beast lends itself to Mr. Punch McRageFist’s mocumentry of masculinity. If you remember the obnoxious Gaston singing his famous song about his muscular biceps, while eating four dozen eggs before claiming the Disney beauty, Belle, as his prize, then you’ll know exactly where Mr. Punch McRageFist is drawing his inspiration. Mr. Punch McRageFist, a drag queen, comes with more questions and riddles than you’ll find in a game show; asking what is masculinity; and can gender be fluid?
I was surprised – and you’ll have to forgive me, but I only learned that Jade, which is Mr. Punch McRageFist’s real name, was born a female, who has been transitioning to a male in the last two years. It is only in the last year that he has been socially accepted as a male. I met Jade as a male and never once did I think otherwise.
The character Mr. Punch McRageFist came out about the same time when Jade was comfortable with himself as a male. He knew he had to accept himself first before others would accept him. This was a pivotal moment in his life. Charged with confidence, Mr. Punch McRageFist now breathes to entertain, shock and make you feel that little bit uncomfortable.
His nickname may conjure up vivid thoughts. In true Aussie fashion, is shortened to a cute ‘ie’ pitch. So obviously, his mates crowned him ‘Fisty’ and one can guess at the images that go along with that.
I asked the charismatic performer what a typical Day in the Life of Mr. Punch McRageFist is like. He jokes, “It’s watching a game of footy with an ice cold beer in my hand, rooting and grunting for my favorite team. Of course I’m wearing a tight-fitting dress while cooking up a plate of fried eggs.” His house is like a revolving door of genderless friends popping in and out all the time. 2012 has seen Mr. Punch McRageFist punching, dancing and blowing people’s minds on many stages. When he was asked to perform at Big Gay Day 2012, it was the highlight of his accelerated career. The same day international drag superstar, RuPaul, strutted to her song, Cover Girl. You can see the fierce photos here.
One might think Mr. Punch McRagefist is just another drag performer, but that would be to underestimate this artiste. His performances are comical, but beneath the fun is a burning message: to keep standing for your uniqueness, your individuality, especially through tough times. He wants people to keep standing for freedom– for themselves, for other people – the freedom to be to yourself, however you are.
If you’ve had the delight to see one of Mr. Punch McRagefist’s shows, why not share your favourite part in the comments below.
Shout out to Joe Byford for his photography © 2012.