A Girl And Her Drag Queens: How 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Inspired My Daughter
Drag Queens: Born To Inspire
'When I'm On 'Drag Race,' Mom...'
When RuPaul's Drag Race debuted in February 2009, my youngest daughter, who is now 10, was still two weeks away from being born. Now, she's probably well on the way towards becoming a drag queen herself.
I don't even remember the first time my girl said, "Hey, mom, let's watch this," if I was to think about it. Of course, I was well familiar with the Supermodel of the World; I loved the song "Supermodel" back in the 90s, and if I was completely honest, when I discovered RuPaul was a man, I was shocked. I know - he's 6'4" out of drag, and there's few women who come close to that height even in heels, but that's how convincing the transformation was (and how naive I was 20 some years ago).
Anyhow, when my 10-year-old told me we should sit and watch Drag Race, I was somewhat hesitant at first, though not because it was about drag queens. It was the language that I was a bit concerned about more than anything else; she is, of course, only 10. She does understand the context of language, though, so once I got past something as basic as the strong language and ensured she "got the message" that she shouldn't use the language herself, we settled in.
We were then irretrievably immersed in the stories and the drama of these queens. From Latrice Royale talking openly about her past jail time, to Roxxxy Andrews' lip sync breakdown about being left at a bus stop by her mother at 3-years-old, to Blair St. Clair's admission that she'd been sexually assaulted, we've been there, and we're invested.
I didn't expect my daughter to start researching how to do drag makeup, or start asking for wigs, or asking how to apply false eyelashes. That said, I'm definitely not complaining. She's excited about drag and drag queens in a way that I don't ever recall being excited about something at the same age.
How excited, you wonder?
She did a biography on Ginger Minj, season 7 runner up and co-star in Dumplin'.
She asked me to video her doing "death drops" onto her mattress and tweet it at Laganja Estranja from season 6. When Laganja liked it, she was over the moon.
For her 10th birthday, I bought her tickets to a meet and greet for Haters' Roast with Manila Luzon, Latrice Royale, Thorgy Thor, Darienne Lake, Mimi Imfurst, the legendary Lady Bunny, and Willam. All graciously signed her GuRu book, and she was so excited for the event she was up at 6 am to do her own makeup and was practically vibrating up until the moment she met the queens. She nearly passed out from the excitement of posing for a picture with Latrice and Manila.
She came to a free drag show about eliminating stigma regarding HIV/AIDS and insisted we needed to be there super early, as the first 50 in line got to meet Trinity K. Bonet. She needn't have worried, but when I saw her sprint out of school and race to my car, I knew there was no stalling her. She had an ear-to-ear grin when she went to the stage to give Trinity K. Bonet a tip during her performance, and during the meet and greet, she scored another autograph.
When I say I think my girl is a drag queen lifer, I'm not kidding.
She continues to astound me with her creative approach to makeup and she insists on putting on drag shows for me, usually in the hour leading up to bedtime. I was impressed the last time; her makeup seemed inspired by Trixie Mattel, which is a little bit different from my daughter's usual choices when she's dragged up.
Most recently, while we were driving to the mall to pick up something I was looking for, she said to me, "Mom, when I'm on Drag Race, and they do Snatch Game, I'm going to be Latrice Royale. I'm going to sing "Jesus is a Biscuit," just like she did, and I want to tell someone to eat it!"
I love her spirit. I love that she sees a world where she can be a drag queen, just like these remarkable people she looks up to so much.
I love that there is now a forum for these creative individuals to feel their fantasy and inspire kids like my daughter.
Thank you to the queens on the local level that fascinate my daughter, and thank you to all 11 seasons of queens from Drag Race for being such an inspiration for her.