A different topic from our usual focus, but I often see people talking about gay history -- usually people who didn't live it -- talking about how drag queens were always at the forefront of activism and were bravely manning the barricades in their high heels.
The thing is, that's not how I remember the 80s and 90s. The drag queens I knew were waiters or retail clerks for their day jobs and campy drag comedians on Friday/Saturday night. But they were not on the Board of Directors of the local Gay & Lesbian Center. Those were mainly people who had professional careers: doctors, lawyers, business owners, etc... Those were the people who knew how to set up a community center and use their connections to provide services for people with HIV. And while you might have had drag queens perform at a fundraising event, they were not the organizers or the people who did the accounting.
What I think a lot of people don't get is that a lot of community organizing and activist work is actually pretty boring. Most of it does not involve dramatic confrontations in the street. Being an attorney or a business owner gives you the skill sets for how to get things done. How to set up a 501(c)(3). How to negotiate a lease for a space.
I'm not trying to dismiss drag queens, but people seem to have this idea in their heads that because they were transgressive in terms of how they dressed, they made social change happen while all the mainstream gay people with careers simply hid in the closet and did nothing. That's not what I remember at all.