Hello, my queens.
So unless you've been living under a rock with no Internet you'll have heard of RuPaul's Drag Race.
No? Well sit down sista cause I'm about to teach you a thing about the fiercest, bitchiest, most fabulous reality show to ever grace our screens.
Now in it's tenth season and the winner of multiple awards, RuPaul's Drag Race is well worth your time.
So let's start with the basics. What is a drag queen? It's not just hairy men in tights prancing at your local panto, it's far, FAR more complicated than that.
When in drag, the queens are always referred to a 'she/her' in the work room or when they're out of drag it is also mainly 'she/her' but some of the older drag queens can revert to masculine pronouns.
Each season begins with a cohort of new queens vying for the crown and the $100,00 prize money. Most episodes start with RuPaul in boy drag appearing in the work room (where the drama happens) and setting a mini-challenge. Winner of the mini-challenge is then granted some kind of advantage in the maxi challenge. Challenges range from designing show-stopping outfits, to musical performances, to impersonations and making over members of the public.
The bottom queens then lipsync for their survival. RuPaul then decides who stays and who will "Sashay Away."
Between all of this is plenty of drama, bitching, confessions, back-stabbing, meltdowns, wardrobe malfunctions and sabotaging- it's brilliant.
Drag queens themselves can be loosely divided into seven categories, because the whole point of drag is breaking down boundaries, honey.
Pageant queens– these are the girls have compete in drag beauty competitions and pageants. Think flawless make-up, big hair *cough* Alyssa Edwards *cough* and even bigger personalities.
Horror queens– the antithesis of the pageant queens, horror queens, like Sharon Needles, delight in gender-bending, gothic shock- literally, Sharon Needles once spewed blood on the catwalk
Comedy queens– sure to be quick with the sassy comebacks, comedy queens like Bianca Del Rio and Ben De La Créme have their characters down and are a force to reckoned with
Fishy queens– these are the queens that are gorgeous- like pass for a supermodel gorgeous. If you ever want to question your own looks, check out Shangela and Naomi Smalls- pure stunners.
Alternative/Haut couture queens– These are queens that really don't want to be put in a box. They delight in all things odd, mixing high fashion with cardboard with all kinds of crazy stuff.
Impersonators– literally what is says on the tin. Check out Derrick Barry- the Las Vegas Brittney Spears impersonator or early Chad Michaels when she was impersonating Cher.
Okay got it? There's a lot of different drag out there. So why are they all racing for this RuPaul?
Mamma Ru is basically drag goals and a nod from her can get your drag career set up. She was a trail-blazing queen in the 1990's. Her first major breakthrough was in 1989 with in the B-52's music video to Love Shack. She went on to have her own successful music and modelling career, becoming the first drag queen to be sign to Mac and posing with the likes of Naomi Campbell.
Building a steady LGBTQ fan base, she started hosting Drag Race in 2008, slowly becoming more and more popular, exploding in recent years with two Emmy awards.
Ready to dip your toe in drag waters? First you're going to need a basic dictionary of drag-speak. Don't worry, we'll happily provide ( in no particular order).
Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent: The four key elements of any good drag performance (find the hidden message for extra points).
Hunty: the drag alternative to 'frenemies'
Reading: to slag another queen off, usually as part of an act
Throwing Shade: also means slagging off, but with bitchier undertones
Tuck: the process of, ahem, arranging the man parts to look like lady parts
Fish: a drag queen that could pass for a woman, relates to the presence of a vay-jay and the accompanying… ehhhh…. aromas
Slay: to werk it
Werk: to slay it (obviously)
Death drop: often seen during lipsyncs, it's jumping up in the air and landing in the splits or dramatically dropping to the floor
So what are you waiting for? RuPaul's Drag Race is now available on Netflix.
Now, sashay away.