ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why RuPaul is right, again

Updated on June 7, 2015

Season 7 is over

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 7 has just finished, and Violet Chachki was crowned the winner. For the past week I've seen some people complaining about it for different reasons, such as her being too young (22, almost 23), or because she has not the same acting skills as Ginger Minj and so on.

First, I must admit I’m one of the many fans who was hoping for the unexpected turn of events in which Katya would be called to the stage and getting the crown, even without being on top 3, because she’s really the new America’s subversive sweetheart. After she got eliminated I started rooting for Ginger Minj because she’s a very talented big girl and I wanted to see that crown on a beautiful fat girl’s head – and she’s also more experienced, what led me to think that she would be a great spokesperson for LGBT community in general.

Come through!

But the reality is that I’m very pleased with RuPaul’s choice to make Violet Chachki the new drag superstar, as she’s showing herself as a much more interesting person than the one that appeared on the Drag Race episodes. On her interviews, she presents herself with a refreshing, informal, queer discourse mixed with proper knowledge of LGBT history and the will to make a statement on queerness – what pretty much reminds me of my favorite queen to appear on the Race, Raja.

I enjoy her position against word policing, as she justified, on Advocate.com, that “tranny” is a word with a lot of different meanings (a fact that many people has failed to realize during the whole controversy about it last season) and that “words have power if you give them power”. She owns her opinion using simple words, simple explanations, and this is a very positive trait when it comes to a public person with the power to influence kids and teenagers.

As someone mostly engaged in academic research, I often feel how difficult it is to find young people with enough knowledge about history and culture in order to understand how LGBT and queer happenings aren’t only black and white, nor write or wrong, as well as to realize that there is exclusion, hierarquization, prejudice and separatism inside our own community.

Chachki’s drag is polished, but also fetishistic and, eventually, gender-fucking. What is more, she comes from the Drag Race School itself, a new school that is expanding quickly as the reality show only increases its popularity.

Obviously, as usual, not everything is roses. I’m still waiting to see drag kings on the spotlight, as well as bio queens – not only faux queens, who are much more about aesthetics and being drag-hags instead of questioning and making fun of the status quo.

On drag and performance

Since RuPaul's Drag Race first season things have changed a lot within LGBT community and how people in general are reacting to all this visibility.

Five years ago, trans visibility was not even an issue on social media, and only a few artists were willing to talk about their experiences. To assume a transgender identity was to risk being misunderstood and bashed not only by society, but also by people inside the LGBT community itself. In fact, this risk still exists, but it seems to be decreasing as more and more people speak up about the subject.

Among many complex discussions, tensions, and controversies, the drag subject showed up after participants of the Drag Race began to come out as transgender women, sharing different points of view about the program and how this sudden drag popularity could affect trans activism - both in negative and positive ways.

Because drag queens cross-dress in order to entertain, they are not really considered transgender people, being identified as homosexual cis men. This can lead to a confusion inside a person's head if they are not familiar with the drag universe: many people might seem to believe drag queens want to really "become" women. And as some former contestants speak about being transgender and other come out as genderqueer things tend to get even more complex to the public's eyes.

It is also sad to notice how all those complications sometimes result on trans activists hating drag queens and vice-versa.

Under the spotlight

Having drag queens "infiltraiting" mainstream media - like RuPaul himself did on 1993 - is a way of oppening people's minds, and this is happening at a time when transgender people are also becoming famous and willing to talk about the matter with clarity. Haters aside, it is very important that trans people express themselves and stablish a dialogue also with the drag community so that we can all overcome hate.

Men who engage in drag performance are sometimes victims of prejudice inside the gay movement itself, often because of their efeminate behaviour. Thus, there is another layer of oppression they must face. In this sense, drag is used as a way to overcome this "gender strictiness" and to make fun of gender roles.

Of course trans people face a quite different kind of oppression, experiencing such a hard reality we can't even think how they feel - we can only understand it. Nevertheless, as they move forward fighting for their rights, wouldn't it be better for their cause to have an ally on drag queens and genderqueer people?

In which team were you?

Who were you rooting for in season 7 finale?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)