RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres tonight and, girl, you better work! Let’s all prepare to shante-you-stay by reading up on Drag Race and how it fits into the larger discussion of gender articulation and queer identity.
"The host of the program, RuPaul (born RuPaul Andre Charles), deploys her long and successful history as a drag performer in order to position herself as the quintessential drag spokesperson. Viewers also see further examples of a type of queer legitimacy in the show through references to historically situated drag icons and practices…Perhaps the most pervasive references found on the program are to the groundbreaking 1990 documentary film Paris is Burning, which chronicles the New York City drag ball culture of the late eighties. This film is viewed by many as a source of valuable insight into the transgender and queer drag community. By referencing this film, RuPaul establishes a dialogue between it and the work of Drag Race. This connection not only legitimates the queerness of the show in the queer historical continuum; it is also an at tempt to equate the two in terms of social value…RuPaul’s usage of the term “xtravaganza” refers to one of the famous drag houses featured in the film. Additionally, one of the mini-challenges the contestants compete in is a vogue-off, a dance style featured by ball competitors in Paris is Burning. Through these references to knowing viewers, RuPaul situates her show in the context of a long and complex queer historical record.”
Are Homosexuals Neurotic?
ONE Magazine cover, volume 3, number 4, April 1955
New Energy to the World of Words
By Nada Gordon
A helium balloon is soft and the soft is always expanding
into a repulsive little scab in a pattern of a mood swing
and he likes to look at me! he likes to look at me!
Women have a way of breathing new life into older white men
poised for imagery on a trip wire, always expanding verses
into steamy sapphic spectacles with lady parts their bros
in prose are afraid to touch. The IQs of agonized fleas are
flying pills, dominated by the difference between restraint
and restraints in the city’s changing literary balloon.
This consumer frenzy rose design performs orgasms,
weight gain, rashes, and diarrhea caught on film
at the poetry brothel and has an MFA in flashdancing.
Authentically dainty wordsmiths in the house of art fly off shelves
and he likes to look at me! I’d like to start flossing menstruations.