How Drag Inspires Me
A few years back I was flipping through channels looking for something to watch, and I landed on something called Rupaul’s Drag Race. Being born in the nineties I had already heard of Rupaul because of many appearances on different TV programs and famous song “Supermodel (You Better Work)”, but I thought to myself “why the hell is Rupaul racing cars?”
Once I tuned in I was obsessed! Not just because of the fashion and drama, (which is always on point let me add!), but because of what drag meant to them. On the show, we get to hear many stories about the struggles they endure in their personal lives. Many of the queens discuss how they have been shunned from their families because of their sexuality and “lifestyle choices”, which is upsetting. And SO fucking played out… we’re in 2020 people GET THE FUCK OVER IT. The silver lining though, is that the show is a great platform to boost both their confidence within themselves, and gives them the opportunity to create a new and accepting family dynamic. I feel like if people actually took time to watch the show, it would really open their eyes up to other people’s experiences.
I am a straight black woman with a pretty great family dynamic, so on the surface I’m sure it seems as though I can’t relate to a drag queen in any way. However, what I can relate to, is how important for people to have a foundation. Whether it be a close relationship with your family, or friends that you consider your family, it’s important to surround yourself with people who love and support you. My mom has always taught me how important it is to embrace people and how many actually WISH they had a positive family dynamic. And until I learned more about peoples experiences, I thought everyone grew up just as I did. Of course I’m a supporter of the LGBTQ community. I don’t care who somebody else wants to be with, as long as it makes them happy. For some reason, I really became drawn to Drag Queens. I LOVE the extra-ness! I love all things glitter and campy, but what I really love is that these gay men are expressing themselves in their own personal way. Their personas are truly who they are deep down inside. It’s awesome that they’re also able to pursue careers in Drag as well. Now that it’s become more mainstream, some queens are really raking in the big bucks! So, after watching dozens of episodes, I decided to educate myself on the history of drag (as other’s should!).
Queens like Divine, Lady Bunny, Lavern Cummings, and of course Rupaul paved the way for future queens to live for themselves, and not based on what society thinks. Because as Mama Ru always says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” I will always find myself enamored by the art of drag and will always have the utmost respect for these ladies and their talents! In a time where the world is so divided, I wish people would educate themselves on other peoples life experiences. This is the only way we’ll be able to understand and empathize with one another. Though most people love drag queens for the glamour, I love them for their bravery and ability to unapologetically express themselves!