Confessions Of A Drag Addict
It started slowly, with my husband Bill becoming a fan first. Eleven years ago, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was new to Logo, the gay cable channel best known to me at the time for reruns of “The Golden Girls.” Finally, it was offering some original programming that was actually watchable – surprisingly fun, even.
I took a peek at an early show or two and thought it had a great spirit of glam, sass, and an appealing inclusive vibe from these merry bands of gals from beyond the fringe. It had a bit of a low-rent look to it, but hey, it’s drag, I thought. (And what did I know? Apparently not much – yet.)
It took me some time to match the playful names of the contestants with their changing personas for the sometimes silly, sometimes mind-blowing challenges, but the dis was fresh, the challenges a hoot and the looks – well, pretty damn fantastic. Not just glitter-and-be-gay but supremely stylish, provocative, even at times on the edge of couture.
My viewing became more and more regular as the show moved to VH1 – and later became available on Netflix – and the production values, challenges, celebs (OMG! Lady Gaga!) and costumes stepped up with each new season.
Sometime halfway through its 11-year run, it all kicked in. I became a Drag Race obsessive, following each season’s shows, its “Untucked” backstage follow-up programs, its “All Stars” spin-offs, its hashtags, tweets, word coinage, podcasts and recaps. Sure, I had other television passions like my “Game of Thrones” On Demand, but I was also demanding this “Game of Queens” and the playful scheming of these drag dragons just as much.
I recently picked up New York magazine and there on its cover was Mrs. Kasha Davis, with the inside feature story declaring “America has a new pastime” and that its name is Drag. (Indeed, there were 37 different drag cover girls in various issues of the magazine, depending on which one you picked up.)
Certainly the current decade has become “The Drag Decade,” with the popularity of the show and its stars hitting new highs, and its stars being featured in Vogue layouts, at the Met Gala, and even getting acting gigs in films such as “A Star Is Born.”
It’s also become big business, with RuPaul becoming a shrewd, advocating entrepreneur mogul who is the Oprah of this once-outsider/now-insider industry. Forget Comic-Con. DragCon events in Los Angeles and New York attract tens of thousands of gays, straights, and gender fluid folk of all ages each year.
Ditto for “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq the World Tour 2019,” which will be at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.