DNA Magazine - - THE USA ISSUE -

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?

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