Cheddar Gorgeous (A.K.A Dr Michael Atkins), is a Drag performer, visual artist and academic based in Manchester. He is a founding member of Manchester’s monthly home of the fabulous, Cha Cha Boudoir, and defines himself on Instagram as a Unicorn and super-hero and idealist. In his performance work, Cheddar is particularly interested in disrupting the gender conventions often inherent in UK drag, by mixing and playing with signifiers of masculine and feminine beauty. Cheddar believes that drag has potential beyond a form of entertainment, to be a social and political tool which engenders community growth, furthers the work of charities and social causes and is a shifting space where all manner of identities, feelings and experiences can be expressed. His doctoral work in anthropology focused on the spatial multiplicity of contemporary urban gay villages and incorporated the use of graphic novella as a form of ethnographic storytelling.

Cheddar brings to the discussion an interest in how drag can allow us to look at beauty beyond gender, as a form of creative becoming through which people can transform different facets of their identity, their flesh and even their species.