RUPAUL’S DRAG CON
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the positive influence that RuPaul’s Drag Race has had on queer culture. Drag is now mainstream. LGBTIQ issues are part of the global discussion, and drag queens are getting the attention they deserve.
If you don’t love glitter and fierce performances, then watch for the comedy (see: the challenge in which drag queens played a round of mini golf using fake, dangly testicles in lieu of a golf stick). Either way, appreciate that Drag Race has brought queer culture to the fore, helping the world celebrate its differences, rather than fear them.
Aussie drag queen, Maxi Shield (opposite, wearing glasses) was at the annual Drag Con event in LA last year, where fans get to meet their favourite queens and where vendors sell wigs, make-up and fabulousness in a can!
“I was part of the Wigs By Vanity stall. We called ourselves the Aussie Tuckers,” she says.
“It was absolutely packed as soon as the doors opened. The majority were Drag Race mega fans – some had travelled for hours and days to get there. One girl spent 18 hours on a train, putting her drag face on in the toilets,” says Maxi.
But what really impressed Maxi was how many families came, bringing their kids who are Drag Race fans. “It was incredible how many families came. At the beginning we were taken aback. Dads were coming up and saying, ‘Can my son try on one of your wigs?’ We were struck by how fabulous that statement was. Minnie Cooper became quite emotional helping them out. ‘Haven’t we come so far?’ she said through tears.”
Many of the kids had favourite queens and Maxi says it was great that Courtney Act, Alaska and Katja were there to meet and take selfies with them.
Do the kids get the whole cross-dressing gender thing or are the queens just larger-than-life characters who are fun?
“That’s hard to answer,” says Maxi. “There are a lot who love the larger-than-life characters. These fans can quote what the girls said on season one – and there have been 10 seasons. It’s incredible how devoted the fans are.
“The majority of kids we saw or chatted to over the two days of Drag Con had some sort of makeup or drag on. I’m not sure if they want to dress as queens or if it’s just a shift in how we react to someone dressed outside their assigned gender. Everything had an element of fabulousness. It wasn’t as though they just threw on a dress – there was always, some sort of razzle or dazzle in their ‘look’,” says Maxi.
Can my son try on one of your wigs?