Saturday, 8 July 2017

Why You Shouldn't Compare Drag Queens to Each Other

OUTFIT: Drag Queen Merch t-shirt, vintage trousers & Zara boots

I think that most drag queens, especially the ones with a large online following, have experienced comparisons to another queen at least once in their careers. It's indeed an interesting topic, now more than ever, as Rupaul's Drag Race is becoming more mainstream and has brought a lot of young fans into the mix.

Last week, I was watching Chloe Waldorf do a live stream on Instagram whilst she was getting ready for a gig (Watching drag queens live stream is like a therapeutic session for me which I thoroughly enjoy until some moron says something offensive and the live stream ends abruptly). After a couple of hours, when Chloe's look was almost complete and she revealed which wig she would be wearing, someone commented that it looked like Violet Chachki's wig. If that doesn't suck to be told after spending so much time on your look, I don't know what does. Luckily, Chloe doesn't seem like the type of person who would go berserk over this so she just kindly, but firmly said that she didn't appreciate receiving those kinds of comments.

This is just an example of what happens to so many local drag queens every time they get in drag. I've seen countless incidents like these and I really want to explain why it sucks so much to be compared. I'm sure most drag artists will understand that a comparison to your favourite drag queen is meant as a compliment although it is in fact an insult. It's, in a way, an accusation of lack of originality and it diminishes the queen for her art form and aesthetic. Imagine spending hours, or even days, on creating a look only to be told that you resemble some fan favourite from a TV show. What people need to understand is that this is a culture within the LGBTQ+ community and it was a thing WAY before Drag Race and it will be a thing after Drag Race.
What you see on TV can honestly never provide viewers with an exact depiction of a world-wide industry which has been going on for 2,500 years. There will always be more layers than the ones you see. Just because you are a Drag Race super fan and you've watched every single episode of Drag Race twice, it doesn't make you a drag expert. Drag goes above and beyond Drag Race. There are so many different types of drag than just the ones you see on Drag Race. I love drag so much and I personally think that every single drag queen is freaking amazing and inspiring. Don't get me wrong, I love Drag Race too, but when you're a fan of drag as an art form, it sucks to witness how some queens are being viewed as a failure just because they haven't appeared on the show.

OKAY, so, moral of the story: you shouldn't compare drag queens to each other. It shows a lack of knowledge and it's disrespectful to the queen who is being compared.

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