TODAY IN Hopelessly devoted to Ru
I am not an obsessive person. Sure, I check perezhilton.com 50 times a day and frequently spend 24 hours watching seasons 1-5 of The Office on Netflix butI swear I could easily quit those habits. Which is why I am so concerned about my deep emotional attachment, attraction, and yes, obsession with RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Don’t get me wrong; the show deserves my love. In the TV purgatory of real housewives and shots at love, Drag Race is one reality show that America needs. RuPaul’s reality competition features the country’s best Drag Queens fiercely battling for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. The challenges swing wildly from photo shoots to no-holds-barred pole dancing acts (Season two), always ending with RuPaul ordering the bottom two girls to “lip Sync for your life!”
The show is deeply affecting my home life. If I utter the phrase “Girl, this is what America’s Next Top Model WISHES it was!” one more time, my husband will lock me out of our apartment. I can’t help it. I talk differently when I watch RuPaul and her flock of drag superstar hopefuls! I’m learning that “Fish” means looking like a real girl! That “Cooking” is letting make up rest on your face before you blend it! That “ki ki” is when two drag queens have sex! When I watch Drag Race I become a 10-year-old girl again watching a confusing scene on Melrose Place. I don’t really understand what I’m watching, but I know I want it, bitch! I’m sorry…it seems so rude when I say it.
When season one premiered in 2009 I remember watching it happily and chatting about it with my mom on occasion. But I had no idea it had planted this seed of burning desire for more until I started see ads for season two. I spent weeks before the Feb 2nd premiere giving myself terrifying make-over with logo’s online “Dragulator” and staring at the 12 queens at the bottom of the poster. I just knew we were all going to be best friends. Now that season three, my least favorite so far, is wrapping up, I already feel the empty hole in my heart that represents the lack of Drag Race on TV growing again.
At work, I hear myself going on and on.
Season Two: “Well, Sonique and Tyra are the prettiest but they don’t have the biggest personalities. Tatiana is gorgeous, but the other girls think she wants to be a tranny, not a drag queen. You have to watch the extras on logo.com to learn that. Pandora Boxx is clearly the best entertainer, and I bet Morgan McMichaels is a close second, but she seems like she takes herself too seriously…or she might be evil or something. Jessica Wild I totally see winning. She is so sweet it seems like she just falls into fabulous. Raven scares me. But I think that’s what she’s going for? And Sahara and Jujubee…I like them but they totally get lost in the crowd.”
Season Three: "Seriously I hate that Raja, what a club kid! I wish Mimi Imfurt didn't lose her shit like that because she CLEARLY had the stuff to be a great entertainer. I really don't understand the point of Shangela, I mean I can put on better makeup then her and I hate make up! And also, I am kind of in love with Alexis -- is that weird? Out of all of them I think that Yara Sofia COULD have won this if she just didn't let the judges GET to her. I would love Manila so much more if she wasn't a heather. Ugh I hate that RAJA!!!!!"
Cut to my coworkers pinching the bridges of their noses in cartoonish aggravation. Is this what being a Lost fan is like? I can’t stand those people.
I knew I had turned a dangerous corner when I broke down in tears after Logo.com took down an episode 4 preview video. I had only been able to watch it twice! To cheer myself up I re-watched clips from season 2 episode 2 -“Starrbootylicious” - on my laptop. Thus I found myself, a straight girl in a happy relationship, sitting in the dark and watching men dressed as women dance on a stripper pole. For one moment I felt self-conscious. Was this sad? Was I pathetic? RuPaul’s featured song, “Tranny Chaser”, helped me shake those nonsensical feelings and I watched all eleven solo performances. Nicole Paige Brooks from Atlanta, Georgia was not as bad as the judges made her out to be. Sitting next to me, my fiancé watched Apolo Ohno speed skate on TV as I watched Sonique do a back flip into a split. Ohno won a bronze and Sonique made it rain dollars. But I knew who the real winner was: Me. And maybe my fiancé because I was soon up on my feet trying to “drop it like it’s hot” just like those cross-dressing heroes of mine.
At this point I realized that I wanted to be a drag queen. It didn’t seem like such a stretch. RuPaul has famously said “I don't dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen!” I already am a woman, but compared to Tyra Sanchez (season two), Alexis Mateo (season three), or Nina Flowers (season one) I’m basically a little boy. So if I tossed on a wig, let my make up cook, and hot glued some leopard print fabric to an old bra, what would that make me?
It would make me a tramp. Yes, being a girl blows sometimes. And I can’t even do a split.
So what makes a drag queen? It certainly isn’t as simple as just being a boy in a dress, like every one accuses Lady Gaga of being. It isn’t just wearing wigs, outrageous outfits, and dancing on stage, because again…Lady Gaga. It is this magical combination of being a real man, being a real performer, and being in a really great dress. Women like me sit with chin in hands, sigh longingly, and enjoy the view.
As I write these words there is only two precious episodes of RuPaul’s drag race season 3 left. Like I said before and will say again, this season was flawed in many ways. And yet, like a truly demented fan, I am already mourning the end of the show. The worst part of my week already was when each episode ends and I have to wait a whole 7 days for another. What am I going to do when America’s next drag superstar is finally crowned?
Bitch, pray for me.
Yeah. I really can’t pull that off.