In March 2020 we were allowed to play dumb about the pandemic.
“It’s only going to last x-amount of time.”
“We’ll be back to normal by summer.”
“America would never let it get THAT bad.”
All lies we told ourselves, but by April…it was apparent that shit was not settling and the storm was only going to get worse. That year I think 27 seasons of ‘Drag Race’ aired. Okay, not really. We wrapped season 11, got an ‘All Stars,’ and there was even this celebrity edition. Fridays became sort of a safe haven for me. Like, okay…if I make it through this week then I can watch ‘Drag Race’ and be okay for a couple of hours.
I’m not sure why, but something is comforting about watching a group of people get into drag, do silly-ass challenges, and then walk a runway in thematic looks, but I find so much fucking solace watching – and that sentiment grew even more in 2020.
Since I was a kid sitting at home alone while my mom was off at work or god knows where, I leaned on TV and I don’t think the past 18 or so months would’ve been okay if I didn’t have new seasons of ‘Drag Race’ and the ability to sit and binge older seasons just to pass the time, that most days…felt like this repetitive nightmare of checking case totals and death tolls, and my current state where I’m constantly looking at my phone anticipating the worst news from back home regarding my mom.
Again, there is no rhyme or reason as to why this show makes me happy, it just does but I will say that there are some queens that have helped elevate me more than others on days where it felt like the world was just crashing down around me and all I had was a wonky umbrella from the 99 Cent Store. Watching previous seasons, new ones, and also diving into the world of YouTube and discovering way more ‘Drag Race’ content played an integral role in me not diving headfirst off a pier into the Pacific.
First and foremost – the queens of seasons 12 and 13, and the All Stars of 5 and 6, thank you. Every week watching made me smile from ear to ear, even when I was feeling like a pile of trash forgotten on pickup day. Then there are the queens that provided me even more…
First up, Monet X Change and Bob the Drag Queen. Two queens I loved on their original seasons, but who pulled me through some dark days thanks to ‘Sibling Rivalry,’ and their ‘Drag Race’ recaps, something Bob continued to do alongside Thorgy Thor this year for ‘All Stars 6.’ Trixie Mattel, Raven, and Raja also gave me life recapping and reviewing the fashion of the show over on YouTube, as did Yuhua Hamasaki with ‘Bootleg Opinions.’’ No longer was I just waiting and living for the show, but I could then look forward to these queens’ recaps and reviews popping up throughout the week.
Every other day there’s an article about anxiety and depression rising and it’s like, no shit. An ongoing pandemic, constant racism, crimes against those in the trans community, Texas giving shotguns more rights than women – it can be a fucking lot. And that’s just on a macro-level. We also all have things in our own lives eating away at us daily. Picking away at our sanity, but once in a great while there can be something as simple as a drag competition that gives you something to look forward to in this dismal haze of a world we’re living in. At least, that’s what ‘Drag Race’ has been for me. It started as this show I just loved to watch, and transformed into a show that unknowingly cast itself as my comfort blanket, and all the queens who reviewed and recapped were hot tea on the side table, the cold compress for my eyes, that piece of cake I deserved after a long day. All comforts easing my mind for a few moments out of the day, replacing my dinky umbrella with a Werk Room bomb shelter.