Television preview: “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” season four


I am in withdrawal right now: RuPaul is on hiatus until next month, when Drag Race resumes.



RuPaul’s shows are delicious, and funny, and entertaining, and enlightening, and I will tell you why.



Drag, for some, is just peculiarity: people dressing up, outrageously; men dressing as women, women as men, et cetera.



But it is so much more.



As we have seen on past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, there are lots of reasons to dress in drag.  Here are some:



        As entertainers.  Why not?  Lots of Drag Race contenders have been drag entertainers.  That’s often how they pay the bills.  Take Manila Luzon, naturally funny, naturally entertaining.

        As a political statementStacy Layne Matthews, a plus-size contestant from the American South a season or so ago, is an example.  She was great – funny, engaging – but she was mostly there because she was a) black; b) Southern; c) heavy; d) young; and e) generally unaffected by the tidal wave of pro/con gay / Southern / body-conscious opinion in California and New York.   I liked her a lot, especially her chutzpah, and the fact that she was working against a lot of deeply-felt feelings and prejudices.

        As a statement about gender.  I liked Nina Flowers so much: this funny charming queen was also a stocky muscular tattooed little man.

        As a career / personal statement.  Take first-season winner Bebe Zahara Benet.  She was absolutely perfect – lovely, very self-possessed – and I was rooting for her, and I loved that a Cameroonian won the competition. But she’s a model: she dresses, and poses, and looks perfect for the camera.  Personality-wise, she is less than thrilling. I like her, but I do not find her stimulating. 



Is any of this important?



Not really.



Bring on the new season!



(You can see the new competitors here.  Take a look.  I have.  I already know who I like.  We’ll just have to see what happens.)



Can I get a Ru-ha?



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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