Vancouver, BC (bluebay700.com) — When “RuPaul’s Drag Race” debuted ten years go it was big deal for the LGBT community because there weren’t a lot of high-caliber shows geared towards the gay community that’s wholly about gay people. Yes, there were shows like “Will & Grace,” “Queer as Folk,” “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy” and even “1 Girl 5 Gays,” who were doing a fabulous job at introducing gay culture to mainstream media. With the exception of “1 Girl 5 Gays,” the other gay-themed shows were, in many ways, still “straight acting.” Storylines were very stereotypical and for the most part… pretty much straight. Gay-themed shows were a bit reserved and weren’t completely out, perhaps because the public wasn’t ready yet (and perhaps still is). For the most part, the characters were mostly straight-acting, well except for Jack McFarland on “Will & Grace,” portrayed by Sean Hayes, he’s very out. Gay characters on television then were still predominantly taboo.
And then “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 1 sashayed onto broadcast television. Sure “Drag Race” is a niche show but it marked a turning point in gay representation on television. It not only introduced the public to queer entertainment but also queer culture. I for one didn’t watch the show diligently up until the second half of the second season, mainly because the tight Werk Room of season 1 made me feel claustrophobic. And by season two, I still wasn’t sure what the show was all about because up until that time I was still generally ignorant about drag.
With the wave of LGBT breakthroughs in the US in the early 2000’s, coupled with the election of a pro-LGBT US President, Barack Obama, and the me-me-me generation coming of age, gay rights and gender identity slowly took center stage. Within Obama’s two terms as US President, more celebrities came out publicly (inspiring others to do the same), marriage equality gained momentum across the US (and in turn further inspiring LGBT communities around the world to follow suit), gender identity became a hot topic in social media and the media, and the PC culture (politically correct) began to take root — PC is instrumental to gender identity but its not without its drawbacks. The second decade of the twenty-first century was a very fertile ground for queer culture to flourish, and consequentially, the demand for queer entertainment increased.
When “RuPaul’s Drag Race” first aired, it was uncommon to find anyone talking about the show, even in the gay community. Today, even straight folks talk about it and are huge fans. “Drag Race” and its cast are on the news, films, music, live entertainment and scripted television… drag is… everywhere.
With the show expanding to other countries like Chile, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia and soon, the Philippines, the future of Queer entertainment is looking bright. And hopefully, it will help lift the taboo and stigma that has beset the gay community since time immemorial.
As of this writing, little is still known about “Drag Race Australia” aside from its airing in 2020. What we hope to see in Australia’s version is a Drag Race alum as a mainstay judge. In as much we you don’t have to be a mechanic to tell if a car is good or busted, by the same token, one doesn’t have to be a drag queen in order to critique an art form or Drag Race challenge performance. Because if it were the case, then none of use should be allowed to vote unless we’re politicians. Let that thought marinade for a little bit… but I digress. It’s great to have celebrity judges on the show — it’s show business after all and whose best to impart sound advice about a performance than the experts themselves? — but it would be great to have someone who actually went through the ringer (and survived) to judge newcomers. Casting Courtney Act as mainstay judge would be fabulous for “Drag Race Australia.” She’s very articulate, smart, gorgeous and talented. She may not have won her season but she’s top three… or day I say, top two. Doing so would make herstory since no Drag Race alum has ever joined the judges’ panel.
So until then, “Drag Race” season is upon us… let it rain glitter.
RuPaul’s Drag Race will now be searching for Australia’s best drag queens for the first time, TV Tonight reported.
While the show’s producers ITV Studios Australia are yet to nail down a broadcaster or a host, the local version is slated to hit screens in 2020.
The studio’s CEO David Mott promised RuPaul’s Drag Race Australia would be one of the most ‘noisy formats next year’.
— Charlie Coë/Daily Mail Australia
Source: Daily Mail