Why Drag Queens Rule The World

On Friday night, I had the most SICKENING night (and that’s a good thing, I promise!) I’d had in a long time. I spent my night at the Riviera Theatre in the audience of the RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons Extravaganza Tour 2016! I laughed, screamed, cheered, and almost cried as I watched legendary drag queens strut their stuff for a few hours.

But I know a few of you might be wondering the same thing I’ve been asked many, many times: What’s the deal with this girly, fashion-obsessed blogger chick and her love of drag queens?

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 4.04.05 PMIt started with a lot of free time. (Doesn’t everything?) I spent my senior winter break in college alone in my townhouse, taking an online class and binge-watching everything I could find on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Multiple friends of mine had been talking about Drag Race for months, and I finally decided to give it a try one night. As I sat in my bathroom, curling my hair and doing my makeup while the first episode of season six played on my iPad, I knew I was hooked. There was something so fascinating about these men in dresses, looking better than me in heels and wigs and makeup, and I ended up coming home from dinner as soon as I could, finishing the season in a day and a half. Then came seasons 1 – 5, and I managed to get through those before the seventh season premiered live on TV that spring.

As I made my way through the seasons, I quickly learned that it wasn’t just about the outfits and the drama between queens. So many of these stars had gone through hell and back just because they were gay or feminine, and they were brave enough not only to share their stories for a TV audience, but to keep on doing drag and making themselves happy despite the hardships. As someone who’d been through hardship before, I related – but I also learned more about strength and bravery from TV drag queens than I ever did from skipping a grade, being bullied in school, or having cancer. People supported me – a blonde girl from a middle-class family – through everything. Most of these queens didn’t have that. They had more haters than friends, some of which were their own family members. And yet, they still walked down the drag runway like they’d been born to smile and look gorgeous.

These stories and struggles came to life at the Battle of the Seasons show this weekend. Multiple queens, as well as host Michelle Visage, talked about accepting everyone regardless of how they identify and no matter their age. It was a safe space for everyone – even for “regular” girls who just didn’t know where they fit in for most of their lives. Michelle Visage even sang a beautiful Madonna song set to a montage of photos from the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis, and modern pro-gay marriage rallies.  (And I cried. I cried a LOT.)

I’m not someone who likes to get political in public, but I will always vocally support a person – any gender, any sexuality – who has overcome obstacles and suffered for what they love. Watching Drag Race has continued to inspire me every day and remind me to love myself for all I am, to never stop fighting for what I want or believe in, and to keep my support system close – you never know when you’ll need them the most. Drag Race provides a love and a support system for these performers, and my friends and family who love and accept me unconditionally – whether they watch the show or not – are mine.

If you want to watch the show, seasons 4-7 are available on Hulu, and seasons 4-6 are commercial-free on Amazon Prime. If not, hey, I won’t judge you – but you’re missing out on some of the best fashion I’ve ever seen.

Do you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race? Who are your favorite contestants? If you don’t watch, what shows or pop culture phenomenons have inspired you? Share in the comments!

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The Proust Questionnaire

At ages 13 and 20, French writer Marcel Proust took the same questionnaire, comparing his answers later in life and contemplating how he’d changed as a person. The questions he answers have become a standard questionnaire across the globe, and are still used today. So for fun, today I’m answering the original Proust Questionnaire with honesty and insightfulness – maybe I’ll learn something new about myself!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A cozy apartment in the wintertime, overlooking Lake Michigan, complete with a comfortable couch right in the sunlight, a full bookshelf, hot tea, a big blanket, and puppies or kittens to snuggle.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Dying alone.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have a tendency to talk over others and interrupt without regard… I’m working on that.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When they disrespect the differing opinions of others – opinions are opinions and we’re all entitled to differing ones, which makes no one person  “wrong” for their beliefs.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
Grace Coddington, creative director at Vogue and cat lady extraordinaire.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Puppy cuddles on lazy Sundays from my mini goldendoodles.

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Aubrey (left) and Brody, the                   loves of my life.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Focused and calm.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
When people ask if I still watch MTV. (If you ask, I’ll say I don’t.)
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Short, stubby hands and fingers.
11. Which living person do you most despise?
Donald Trump. I find it unbelievably despicable that he treats every minority group (people of color, women, immigrants, etc.) with utter intolerance and disrespect.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Sweet-natured humor and kindness.
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Self-confidence.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Actually”, “I know”, and “Already knew that.” I come off as a know-it-all because of these phrases…
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Animals, particularly cats and dogs.
16. When and where were you happiest?

At my college graduation – it was a day I had waited for since being sick.

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17. Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to dance – I could when I was younger, but not so much anymore!
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would think before I speak more often.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Beating cancer at age 20.
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Definitely a puppy.
21. Where would you most like to live?
New York City 🙂
22. What is your most treasured possession?
A bear given to me by my boyfriend – we made him together at Build-A-Bear the first time he visited, and his name is Wonka.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The inability to recognize that there are people around that love and support you.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Public relations executive or fashion editor.
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Big eyes and loud, vibrant laugh. It’s a tie between those.
26. What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and support.
27. Who are your favorite writers?
William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and  Neil Gaiman, among many, many others.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
I’ll always be partial to Alice Liddell of Alice in Wonderland.
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I can’t think of any historical cat ladies…

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30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Diem Brown and my parents.
31. What are your favorite names?
I’m not someone who has favorite names – if a name suits the person, then I like it. But it’s hard to pick an individual favorite without a person attached to it.
32. What is it that you most dislike?
Prejudice.
33. What is your greatest regret?
I never saved the photos I took in high school – even from my trips to Peru and the Middle East – and I wish I still had them.
34. How would you like to die?
Peacefully at a ripe old age, surrounded by love and family.
35. What is your motto?
Fortune favors the bold.
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