May 24, 2015

[Pink Culture] RuPaul's DragCon 2015


So last weekend, "HERstory" happened when the first RuPaul's DragCon took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was an actual convention for drag queens. And we're not just talking about a slightly expanded tour even for the various queens of RuPaul's Drag Race, but an actual bonafide major convention event with almost 14,000 participants. That is simply amazing.

To think that drag culture remains to be a rather misunderstood segment of the LGBT community given it's more about an entertainment experience rather than "just" a preference for expressing one's sexuality in a certain manner. And this is probably one of the greatest achievements of RuPaul's Drag Race - being able to bring drag culture to millions of viewers around the world.


I really wish I could have gone to DragCon, or for any the fabulous O Divas of O Bar to have gone in my place. Drag culture is alive and well around the world and it is certainly about time that a major event be staged to not just celebrate the queens made popular by the show, but also to help bring other drag queens "out of the closet" of niche entertainment bars and other such safe spaces to a much larger audience. Sure, the clubs and bars of various LGBT districts remain home, but such events also help expand existing safe spaces and create brand new ones as fans meet one another, meet their drag idols and find new strength in that sense of community.

And just seeing some of the clips released online is killing me. Just take how the classic Western convention concept of a panel is translated into something appropriate for a Drag-centric event. Instead of discussions of the next big Marvel movie, we instead get this amazing panel discussion about tips on how to tuck better. And if you don't know what that means, then this video should be pretty enlightening.



Oh yes, this was an actual panel discussion about how to hide one's man parts into order to be a fishier queen. And the queens of the panel handled it in their own unique and fabulous manner. I would have killed to have seen this in person!

Drag culture is brutally honest and quite uncompromising in their disdain for unnecessary bullshit. And that degree of frankness and brutal honest can be pretty refreshing in a world that is constantly tip-toeing around "sensitive" issues but really just to sweep "difficult" topics under the rug. There's a lot that we can learn from drag queens and events like this can certainly open new doors for people. It's for similar reasons that I really miss Drag U - I think that show had a unique platform for reaching out to women in need and giving them new strength through the "miracle of drag" as RuPaul puts it.

So yes, congratulations DragCon! Keep fighting the good fight! And I'm super glad that another convention has already been confirmed for May 2016. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll finally get to attend of these events soon enough - or maybe even host one of our own?

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