One of the largest pop culture breakthroughs of the past two decades was the mainstream inclusion of drag and it’s culture in the LGBTQ community. Drag itself is a way for those, usually part of the queer community, to celebrate women and femininity. Even though the rise of drag in popular culture only happened recently, drag has been around since the early 1800s, with vaudeville, and became tied to the LGBTQ community in the early 1900s. Drag’s acceptance is in part due to the successful reality show Rupaul’s Drag Race. Drag Race premiered on February 2nd 2009 and introduced thousands of new people to the art of drag. In addition, an influential movie that shined a light on drag was “Paris is Burning,” as the movie is quoted often within the gay community, and is a staple of the 90s drag scene.
Today, some of the most popular drag queens in the world are Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova, contestants on Season 7 of Drag Race together and then on Drag Race All Stars 2 and 3. Trixie has released two folk albums, and with her new album, “Barbara,” which explores more of a 60s pop sound, she reached #14 on the charts. She took her album on tour with “Trixie Mattel: Grown Up,” a mix of comedy, music and skits. At the beginning of last year Mattel released her documentary, “Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts,” and earlier this year Katya released a televised version of her popular American and European tour, “Help Me I’m Dying!” Rupaul is also expanding with Drag Race US, UK, Thailand and Canada coming soon. More and more countries are becoming open and accepting to gay people, sprouting new drag scenes all across the world and opening the art up to more interpretation from different people. Drag is also becoming more popular among straight people than it ever has been, letting all kinds of people experience the art.
Leia Pagan is a senior at Washington and has lived in Fremont their entire life. This is their second year at the paper and first year as News Editor. They joined to pursue their passion for reporting and they enjoy covering politics and LGBTQ+ topics. Their hobbies include drawing, listening to the kpop group Loona and watching drag performances. They plan to continue their education in English or Art at San Francisco State.