Queens Of The Show

With the mainstreaming of Drag Queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race moving to VH-1 and this season’s contestants being talked about on Saturday Night Live to Drag Makeup Courses being held at the Google Campus in the Silicon Valley, there’s no doubt Drag has made a significant move from its underground beginnings.  But with each move closer to mainstream, are there also things being “lost in translation”?

Are there a lot of people who once shamed Drag and its tendency to piss “straight-edge” people off by being “too in your face” coming to the “dark side”?  Can you come back from trashing drag and feature it in your shows?  Is the Drag community forgiving?  Or does that stance remain a dirty stain on your resume forever?

This may be something we have yet to find out.  Drag has pushed its way through the back alley dive bars, dancing in front of mirrors in the bathroom, and dressing up for Halloween into the forefront of entertainment.  It seems like these days you can’t have a successful show without some sort of inclusion of, what I like to call, “the drag effect” in it.  Whether it’s Alexander Skarsgård in his Kinky Boots Drag (who calls San Francisco Empress Mercedez Munro Drag Mother) or Zac Efron in Baywatch opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson going “undercover” in full drag, these parts are not being shied away from in any.

But there seems to be some leeway when someone who is seen as a straight male dressing up in drag gets dolled up versus a drag queen in a competition.  Somehow, the “drag queen” should know better and be better.  While RuPaul’s Drag Race is “the SuperBowl of drag” it’s definitely got a lot in common with Kinky Boots and Baywatch, it’s all entertainment.  But somehow, the internet critics, who know more than anyone in the world, forget that very important part.  It’s for fun, it’s for entertainment and if at the end of the day you find yourself smiling, laughing, in a better mood because you have the ability to watch a cable television show that is now going on its 9th year running strong with no end in sight, then be grateful, be humble, and enjoy the luxury of drag on television.

Those who do the wonderful art of drag, I salute you, as always, for being brave, being smart, being bold and being able to be the butt of the joke.  Because it takes a lot of courage to get up in front of a crowd to do anything, much less this thing that everyone seems to be such an expert in.  Please do not forget the queens who have come before you, who have paved the way for you to have all the “fame and glory” you do have.  Those who are activists, those who refuse to back down when they are told “you can’t do drag” because drag, while loved by many, can be feared by those who don’t understand it.  And being fearful of something allows way too much power to be given up.  So let them fear you, make them hear you and stand together.  Don’t let them quiet your screams, don’t let them dull your shine.  Whether you’re a queen on a television show, in a movie, a part of a local show, or you dress up in front of the mirror and take beautiful pictures of yourself.  Never let them take it from you.  Be the leaders drag queens were meant to be.

Dragged To Protest

This week marked a change in the landscape of America.  With the newly elected President inaugurated, the eyes of the world and especially the nation were glued to the TV and social media for a glimpse of the change of hands in the U.S. First Family.

The drag world was all a flutter about the election this past November, mostly cries of why, what now, and fear of the unknown.  Would this new President really repeal all the progress made by the previous administration?  Where does that leave the LGBTQ community?

As this week progressed, the countdown to the change of arms brought forth what no one thought possible. Donald Trump and Mke Pence were being sworn in as President and Vice-President of the United States of America.  Although, the states being possibly more divided than ever in modern history, calling them “United” is about as normal as calling Trump and Pence, “Mr. President,” and “Mr. Vice-President.”  But it’s the reality show we’re all in now, but not everyone was willing to take that sitting down.

Saturday marked the coming together of an estimated million women all over the world and especially the United States for the “Women’s March on Washington”.  The outpouring of support from around the country and the world by those who couldn’t go to Washington D.C. was displayed in local marches.  Countries as far as Australia, Cambodia, France, and England joined cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York as the Women’s March conveyed its message of gender equality, fair pay, anti-harassment, hope, love, strength, and LGBTQ rights.

Several drag queens were at local events; Drag Queens Galore drag friends, Saint Peter D’Vil and Monistat went to the Los Angeles March, out of drag.  While Pandora Boxx, Manila Luzon, and Willam Belli were in full drag spreading the message that every person deserves to be heard.  And what’s louder than our beloved drag queens?

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And of course, who could miss Courtney Act providing correspondence from both the inauguration and the march in Washington D.C. proving you don’t have to be “Born in the U.S.A.” to care what’s going on in this country.  Catch Courtney’s coverage (if she reads this, yes, you can take that one too Courtney) of the inauguration and march.

In addition, there were a lot of drag queens posting support of the marches, with messages like that from Raven; “Keep those tiny hands off my … ” and placing the ever important: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” sign on her Facebook profile.  Drag Queens made it known they were in full support of what it meant to march on Saturday.

For anyone who says “Drag Queens are making fun of women,” they got a huge dose of “shut it” in the form of support of women and women’s rights.  Drag Queens have differing opinions of what it means to do drag, because they’ve all started for different reasons and do different styles of drag.  But one thing they can agree on, it’s important to stand up for the rights of everyone.

Drag Queens have been at the forefront of every major LGBTQ movement and women have been at the forefront of every LGBTQ movement.  It’s no wonder the two go together so naturally.  It’s everyone’s responsibility to stand up for what’s right and working together has always accomplished so much more.   While this weekend didn’t completely repair all the damage this election has caused, it has started the movement.

The next time you think about trashing those queens who put themselves up on a stage to entertain you, you think about what you’ve done to progress the movement of equality first.  Then you remember, these queens have stepped in front of the line, on the stage, and used their talents to speak up for those of you who can’t get out there.  Who can only participate via social media or the TV.  Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.

Thank you Courtney, Manila, Pandora, Willam, Saint Peter, Monistat, Raven and all the queens who speak up, get out there, use their platform to right the wrongs.  And thank you to all those queens at Stonewall, Pride Festivals around the world, and those who use their stage to spread love, unity, and equality.

Share with us your experiences with the march and send us your messages of hope for the future.  Comment, LIke,

Happy New Year!!!

Well, have you broken your resolution yet?  Not to set you up for that, hopefully, you’re on the right track and you’ve resolved to be more fabulous than last year.  Or you’re the type that doesn’t make resolutions because you’re too cool for that.  Whatever the case, hope your year is going well so far.

Drag Queens Galore has never been the “mean site” it’s just not something I’ve ever wanted to do.  To be called the “nice ones” in the drag blog/website world (because there are millions of us) has been one of my favorite things.  That being said, I’d like to encourage you, the reader (yes, all 2 of you who made it this far) to step up to the challenge Drag Queens Galore has for you this year.

Think of the times when adversaries were most successful working together.  My most memorable and probably the most popular television moment for Drag was on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 when Coco Montrese picked Alyssa Edwards to be on her team.  At the time, Coco and Alyssa still had their beef from the pageant world that has since been squashed, but no one thought Coco would pick her “enemy”.  Coco admitted Alyssa is a great dancer and this was a dancing challenge.

The easy thing is to throw shade and talk about “back rolls”, but Coco thought about what she was doing there and wanted to win.  She knew, Alyssa was THE dancer.  She’s a teacher, she’s fierce, and they won.  When she stopped letting her ego make the decisions, she let the win in.

These were people who ACTUALLY knew each other and had ACTUALLY wronged each other in some way.  They were friends who had a fight.  IN REAL LIFE.  If people who know each other and hurt each other can get past the pettiness and work together to win, I think that’s within all of us to support these people who bring us entertainment.

By the way shady ladies, they’re on to you.  When you throw shade just for a response, they know.  It’s not something new, it’s not something they’re riveted by, they’re smart.  They talk with each other IN REAL LIFE and “mute” you, ignore you, avoid you.  It’s not the way in.  If you want to get a response or get heard by a drag queen, talk to them like they’re human.  Because they are human.  They’re real flesh and blood, they cry when they lose people they love, they laugh when people say something funny, and most of all they work hard to provide the entertainment they do.  It’s a fun job, but it’s a job.  They’re working.

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I propose to you this, let’s look at some drag this year and find 3 good things about it before we throw shade at the queen.  Then, when you’re thinking of commenting the easy read, say those 3 things instead.  That’s right, I called it the easy read.  When you can find stuff wrong with someone’s drag, you’re doing the easy part.  When you can find art in the work that’s been put in and the courage to share that art, you’re doing it right.

Whether you’re doing a new year new you thing, or just going about your life like nothing has changed, keep looking out for each other.  Think of yourself in someone else’s shoes.  As many things as you’ve got going on in your life, there’s probably someone going through that and maybe more that you’re interacting with.

If you’re up for the challenge, tag @dragqueensgalore on Instagram when you say some nice stuff and perhaps you’ll get a little shout out over here.  I have no idea what’s to come of this year, but let’s do our best to make it better than last year.  Thanks for reading this, share it with your friends.  And comment below with your new year’s resolution.

All We Want For Christmas…..

EDITORIAL BY GABRIELA BAZAN

As you may have noticed, there’s been a little less activity on the Drag Queens Galore blog and website.  Please allow a brief explanation.  This site was started by a pair of drag fans who were also partners.  That partnership has ended and the sole responsibility of the content lies on me.  While I’m not able to visit as many shows as I once was, I am still watching and listening.

I’d like to thank those of you who have stuck with me, even though there wasn’t much to stick with.  I’d also like to thank those of you who are new to Drag Queens Galore, your faith in me has restored my vigor.  My promise to the readers/watchers of this blog is this, I will return to my daily activity this coming week and there are a lot of additional items in the works.

That being said, if you run across people you think should be covered by this site, please send the recommendations this way.  Also, if you’ve asked me to interview you and you were sent interview questions… it would be nice to get those back. And lastly, it’s December, this is the month I like to see what good we’re doing as a community.  Let me know of a fundraiser, benefit, even some kindness that’s going around.  We all know some “feel good” is needed in this crazy year.

On a final note, the election of this president has shaken our community, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared about what it means.  The things I heard happening around the world and our country before the election makes me imagine what horrors must be happening after.  Stick together now more than ever. Look after each other, be kind to each other, build each other up and be proud of who you are!  You are always loved, you are always able to speak with me.  You’re always in my thoughts.

Thank you, love you, see you soon!!

The All Stars Are Coming The All Stars Are Coming!

That’s right, we’ve been talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2 since the end of All Stars 1.   From lyrics in Alaska Thunderfuck’s RuGirls to self-proclaimed reasons why April Carrion didn’t win her season, the queens have been waiting for their next chance at drag super stardom.

But who picked these queens?  Who thought these were the “All Stars” of RuPaul’s Drag Race? We’ve participated in enough online polls by drag websites, Logo TV and RuPaul’s Drag Race social media.  But were your votes heard?

I don’t know about you, but it seems like this is a very heavy Season 5 cast of Drag Race alumni. Which makes one wonder, “does it make better sense to cast those who make great TV?” After all that is what we’re doing, watching TV.  This show didn’t get it’s first official Emmy nod (other than Mathu and his makeup skills in 2015) this year. Proving that a man in a dress can still kick your ass.

All Stars 2 cast from Entertainment Weekly
All Stars 2 cast from Entertainment Weekly

But back to the casting, what if there isn’t a way to accurately calculate who’s voting more than once? What if the producers felt bad for not awarding certain runners-up the crown originally?  What about all those who cried, “but she didn’t deserve to win, [Insert your favorite queen here] did!”

Were people still bothered by Tyra Sanchez winning from Season 2 and thought? Well maybe now that Tatianna and Raven have squashed their beef, we can commence her return to the RuPaul’s Drag Race runway.  Will she be saying “Thank you” or be sent home? (You know you said it in your head as you read it)

What about Miss Phi Phi O’Hara who this year has launched her 365 days (yes-she-knows-this-is-leap-year-give-her-a-day-off) campaign where she’s literally brought us looks to die for every single day! Could that be her way of saying, “Look at my work and worship me like the All Star that I am!”

And who can forget the Coco-Alyssa dance off to end all dance offs for a crown that one lost to the other because of some secret stuff no one really still understands? Bringing back memorable quotes that inspired songs like “look how orange you are girl” and of course, “back rolls”!

But really, does anyone NOT want to see what happens when RoLaskaTox is reunited? While The Heathers may have made beautiful music together (cough-ok maybe not beautiful but fun-cough), RoLaskaTox actually got in trouble by Miss Michelle Visage herself.  Was she trying to break up the playground bullies or did she just want in on the group?

Speaking of playgrounds, what about that Adore Delano? Who’s now on her sophomore album After Party, following her debut album Till Death Do Us Party after her Season 6 appearance. With her return to Drag Race it only makes sense to hear more from her.

But the newest members of the Drag Race family who were “robbed” of their crowns, Miss Congeniality herself, Ekaterina Zamolodchikova, better known as Katya the Russian import (who we later found out had no ties to “Mother Russia”) and runner-up, Ginger Minj.  Both of these queens had their time on stage with now winner Violet Chachki when we thought both may have snatched the crown.

In the end, Mama Ru knows, you can’t please all the people all the time.  So let’s hope for the best for each of these already stellar and successful queens as we watch their journey next week. Remember to play nice on social media and go out to your local drag show, you never know who’s going to be on the next season or even an All Star.