There is a major importance to DragCon that goes beyond meeting and greeting your favorite stars from RuPaul's Drag Race and beyond.
The world of drag prior to RuPaul's Emmy-winning show beginning was still considered underground by many in the LGBTQ community, let alone the gay portion of it. Heterosexuals (for the most part) wouldn't even consider going to a drag show unless it was for their own entertainment where the laughter coming out of their mouths was to make fun at the queens on stage as they saw them as a spectacle and not an artist.
Then, RPDR began, and a lot of people in the LGBTQ community started warming up to drag culture and all that came with it. The first couple of seasons had an audience that was primarily gay men but shifted when the talent that appeared on the program changed our minds of what drag could truly be.
When queens like Sharon Needles and Jinkx Monsoon walked into the werk room doors, there were thousands of people from all walks of life who felt like they could identify with them as they didn't fit the stereotypical societal norm that exists. They categorically helped changed the show completely, as its first three seasons had similar beauty aesthetics and were a tad one note. Because of them (and many more), it invited a much larger audience into the show and helped broaden its horizons to what it has become today.
The show became so popular that it won several awards in the process and had the ability to create something completely out of this world: DragCon. In my honest opinion, DragCon wouldn’t have filled even the biggest of gay bars back in the mid 2000’s compared to now. Now, it sells out spaces like Jacob Javitz Center, which is so big that you literally get exhausted just from doing one of the walk throughs.
I look at DragCon as something that goes beyond simply drag. I look at it as an extension of gay pride, as a march for our right and as a symbol of unity in our community. It’s a space where we all get together and celebrate something fierce, fabulous and amazing. It’s where LGBTQ vendors are able to thrive and successfully promote their business in an arena that wasn’t available many moons ago. Simply put: this is a major step forward for our community and my hopes are that this is something we are able to do for many years to come amid our visibility in the mainstream world getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Want to go to DragCon NYC this weekend? Check out this link for more information.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.