The Dame Lorraine was a creation of Africans in the Caribbean. Intended to mock the aristocracy and their fancy balls, the Dame Lorraine was usually played by a man, dressed in finery with umbrella and gloves (but a nurse maid’s hat), with exaggerated backside and bosom. However, carnival has been known for men dressing as women otherwise – in stuffed bras with lipstick and ladies underpants, or in a house dress or “nightie” with no attempt to hide male features. Often misunderstood by outside cultures, this male as female character is not new to the African Diaspora. For information on Gelede and the practice’s African origins check out Zee Speaks here.
Dame Lorraine DC #2
Youth in Port-of-Spain Jouvert carrying on the tradition, Trinidad Carnival
New York, Labor Day Jouvert