‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Highlights the Struggle for Acceptance

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Eight Top Three: (L-R) Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, and Bob The Drag Queen on the finale red carpet.

Now, more than ever, we need axes of realness to anchor and make sense of this strange world we live in. “Drag Race” has always been a show that knows how to balances scripted moments and genuine interactions — by turning the shadiness and catty drama underlining the plot of almost every major reality show into a good-natured theatrical performance, in which contestants earn points for the ability to mock one another.

Drag lives to be weird, to mock conformity, and pokes hole in the artifice of normativity, exposing the notion of fixed identity and gender as an inherently flawed premise. “Drag Race,” which in every episode asks competitors to construct new identities and costumes, lives to point out that our meat suits can be altered, that anyone can paint and sew a new persona, that all appearances are illusions anyway.

– Read full article from NYTimes.

Side note:

It’s safe to say that all LGBT folks have a story to tell about acceptance, be it of family, society, or among peers. On a personal level, I too have walked that rocky road. Being bullied (mostly verbal) in a coed Catholic school from elementary to high school, and being collared by my father (RIP) at thirteen years old in front of his staff and my family and screaming at me saying, “There’s no f****t in our clan!”. Growing up in a strict religious household, and in an very religious society, where saying gay slurs is considered acceptable, was rough. You have no choice but to play their game and pretend to be somebody you’re not if you were to survive. It wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco when I felt the burden go away. For the first time I felt safe and relieved to be around people who are accepting, and to be surrounded by my … “tribesmen.” Even then, I still had that feeling of shame – having been conditioned to believe since birth that being gay is a sin and an abomination, says the Roman Catholic church! It wasn’t until I turned twenty-nine when I fully let all that mambo jambo go and be proud of who I am. Having close relations who were forced to live a lie and regret, who suffered all their life for succumbing to pressures to be “straight”, further strengthens my resolve to do what is right for me, not them. It’s always been my motto that if things aren’t working out for you, move! Don’t stick around and wait for people to change. There’s no point staying and suffer, unless there’s a really strong reason to do so. Unless you are the martyr-type, do something and go! And so here I am, in Canada for nine years now. It’s even a bigger relief. A true sense of freedom, where acceptance begins from the country’s Constitution and leadership. Finally, it’s time to focus on things that matters and live life.

We only have one life to live. #VivaSuVida.

 

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