RuPaul has returned for yet another season of his hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. On Friday, March 25th, Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race Premiered on VH1 with special guest judge Lady Gaga. Modeled after Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model, RuPaul’s Drag Race is a television show about a group of drag queens competing for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. The show has reached a milestone by airing on a new network, VH1. Bringing in over one million views with the first episode, Drag Race had the largest viewership since the show started.
The show’s first eight seasons aired on Logo, televisions premiere LGBT network, which is not available on most TV packages causing many viewers to watch the show online. VH1 is a more popular and mainstream network signifying the push of drag queens into mainstream culture. Drag queens have been involved in mainstream culture with RuPaul becoming a household name for his hit single “Supermodel (You Better Work)” in 1993. With shows including When We Rise airing on ABC and Drag Race now airing on VH1, gay culture and history is being promoted and awareness of issues in the LGBT community is increasing. Many topics have been raised throughout the Drag Race’s history including the effect of AIDS on the gay community, coming out, and the importance of LGBT visibility, especially for young people.
This show is not just about about men dressing up as women. This season occurs during a huge change in our national political atmosphere with Season 9 being the first season aired with a different presidential administration. With a huge increase in hate crimes and homophobia since Trump became president, RuPaul’s Drag Race advocates for rights in the LGBT community and teaches viewers about important LGBT figures and the history of the LGBT community. Drag Race allows people to watch the show and realize that being different is okay, that the roles society tells each of us to play can be defied, and there are people out there that will accept it. As RuPaul says at the end of every episode, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the h*** are you gonna love somebody else?”
The show will continue Friday nights at 8pm on VH1.