RuPaul himself said that RuPaul’s Drag Race is intended to “bring families together.” Unfortunately, the reality television show competition hasn’t always operated total inclusion. RuPaul angered the drag community with negative statements surrounding transgender queens and other forms of drag art. Alaska recently opened up about the judges’ criticisms of her boy drag in season 5.
The ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ cast hasn’t always been the most inclusive
RuPaul’s Drag Race preaches love, acceptance, inclusion, and embracing what makes each person different. However, behind-the-scenes hasn’t always embraced the show’s values. RuPaul once said in an interview with The Guardian, “You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” he said. “It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing.”
“Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture,” RuPaul explained. “So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”
RuPaul’s statement sparked a wave of outrage from the community. These comments particularly hurt the drag artists who have competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race and come out as trans since they started filming the reality show competition.
Alaska didn’t understand why RuPaul and the judges were ‘so shook’ by her ‘boy drag’
Alaska recently released a new memoir called My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska?: A Memoir. She recalled her experiences on RuPaul’s Drag Race. In particular, Alaska recalled filming episode 3, which had the Buffalo Bill’s Barnyard Buddies acting challenge. She decided to get into boy drag to play the challenge host, Buffalo Bill. However, things didn’t go as planned.
“I got in trouble on episode three for my Farmer Ed/Peewee Herman boy Drag,” Alaska wrote. “I wasn’t trying to do anything controversial; as far as I’m concerned, I was in Drag. ‘You’re born naked and the rest is Drag.’”
Alaska continued: “I didn’t understand why they were so shook by it, but at the same time, I knew I wasn’t going to win, so I was throwing the rules out the window and having fun. To me, my character was one of the best in the bunch. And I was wearing eyelashes!”
Alaska says the show is somewhat opening its doors
RuPaul’s Drag Race addressed some of the controversies by bringing more diverse drag art styles to the show. Drag Race Holland Season 2 and All Stars 6 even crowned trans queens Vanessa Van Cartier and Kylie Sonique Love. There has also been an increase in acceptance surrounding boy drag.
Alaska wrote in My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska?: A Memoir, “RuPaul and Michelle Visage seem to have loosened up about boy Drag in more recent years, and then Shea Couleé set a very high bar for what boy Drag could be with her Flavor Flav Snatch Game, followed by ChelseaBoy’s Joe Exotic on Drag Race Holland.”
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