RuPaul's drag race: maintaining America's drag superstar through performative action

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Bredar, Sammy
Bascom, Ben
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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The art form of drag has existed for many decades and has gained widespread influence through the commercialization and popularization of the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Because of RuPaul’s exclusionary commentary and behavior regarding drag, though, many performers have been excluded from Drag Race’s history, especially trans and genderqueer performers; historically, trans and genderqueer performers have been at the heart of the existence and evolution of drag, as is displayed in Jennie Livingston’s revolutionary documentary Paris Is Burning. By excluding trans and genderqueer voices from the popularized reality television show, RuPaul has effectively excluded and decentralized these trans and genderqueer voices from the commercialization of drag and its status as a widely known art form. The analysis of various scholars and gender theory signifies the point that even though the concept of genderqueerness has become more relevant and widely known in recent years, genderqueerness has been present and relevant for quite a long time for many individuals. Given the long-standing relevance of genderqueerness, especially in relation to drag performance, it is Drag Race's responsibility to provide accurate representation of the drag community.