In February 2009, the Drag Queen better known as RuPaul premiered her very own reality competition: RuPaul’s Drag Race. A number of Drag Queens – who have been working for different periods of time and are not well-recognized – compete against one another to become America’s next Drag Superstar. Throughout the episodes, they go through different challenges in order to make it to the grand finale. Every episode there is a winner and two bottoms who lip sync for their life to either shantay and stay or sashay away. Although the show started because of RuPaul, we could now say it is much bigger than her.
It has become a platform
The show has, very quickly, become a good platform and an explosion for the art of Drag. This art is constantly mentioned within the LGBTQ+ Community, but not a lot of people outside of it know about it or respect it. In the last few years, people of all kinds of sexualities and gender identities have been talking about Drag. They know what it is. Many have educated themselves on it and learned to see beyond sexuality, stereotypes, gender roles, and gender identity because that is what the Queens embrace: the acceptance of everything.
Drag has been around for an uncountable amount of decades. It has always been a form of expression. RuPaul’s Drag Race has been another way of introducing it to the world and it goes way beyond one solitary Drag Queen.
It has become a way of creating a fanbase or getting more gigs
Some of the Queens who participate have just started and want to move forward in making Drag their only job. Others have been doing it for a while and would like to become better known. Whatever the case may be, they go in wishing they will come out as a winner, or at least with a bigger fanbase that will lead to a long Drag career.
The show has for sure given them that. So many of them can now say Drag is their day job. They travel the world on tour meeting thousands of fans. Some have even starred in big movies with celebrities like Lady Gaga. The show is about a community that supports one another, not just about one Queen’s fame.
It has become a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ Community
The show in its entirety – every participant, every judge, every guest star – has become a safe space for many gays and lesbians. We all love shows that represent and expose our community in a good light. Even though RuPaul has made some ungraceful comments, the rest of the queens have always done our community proud. They have shown that we take care of one and other no matter the circumstances, and we are always ready to slay.
For many of us, those participants have made us feel stronger. The show has become a remedy in dark times. Not just RuPaul but everybody in it because it goes beyond one famous name.
We can all agree we will be eternally grateful to RuPaul for lending her brand to create this show. We recognize this was all about her in the beginning and no one can take away from that. However, the show is now bigger than her. Don’t you agree?
*If you have not seen the show, give it a chance. Get to know some of the Queens and do not base your knowledge of Drag just on RuPaul. And please support your local Drag Queens; drag is an amazing art way beyond sexuality, gender identity, stereotypes or gender roles.*