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Home / Entertainment / These are 2 of the men responsible for the "RuPaul's Drag Race" phenomenon

These are 2 of the men responsible for the "RuPaul's Drag Race" phenomenon



Just over ten years ago, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato recorded the first season of a reality television show designed to change the world.

Bailey and Barbato are two of the executive producers of the show Way to Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe and Mandy Salangsang

The show is "RuPaul's Drag Race" and its star is of course RuPaul Charles, who became famous in the 1990s He is also executive producer of the show.

Today, "RuPaul's Drag Race" is an undeniable cultural phenomenon, and the show has not only the careers of well over 1

00 Drag Queens launched on the market, but also created its own economy through the semi-annual RuCaul's DragCon in New York City and Los Angeles.

And with Season 10 of the last show night, it shows no signs of slowing down. [19659002] "Queer is universal, and there's this thing about pulling that's general and broad," Barbato said. "I mean, that's the irony of it all. It is as if this art form, forever perceived as marginal, is the opposite. When people have access to [drag]they connect with it because Drag speaks to every kind of queerness.

In telephone and e-mail interviews with HuffPost, Bailey and Barbato discussed their relationship to the art of drag, which is what younger generations take away from "RuPaul's Drag Race" and what a queer and inclusive future should be be it.

  (from left) Barbato, RuPaul Charles and Bailey, the forces behind the violence.


Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

(from left) Barbato, RuPaul Charles and Bailey, the forces behind the violence.

What does the art of resistance mean to you both as gay men who do not necessarily pull ?

Bailey: Well, Randy and I may have done some drag on a few occasions. I was at a boarding school for boys, which was actually a curse, but it had some advantages, let's say, and one thing was that when we played, it was always boys who had to play the role of women. It was really fantastic. I was Titania, I was the queen of fairies for "Midsummer Night's Dream", which was quite exhausting, but somehow I managed. So we dragged a few times.

It's a feeling of freedom and feeling of liberation when seeing someone on stage lip-synching. One of my standard reminders is Lady Bunny, who makes hot butter of popcorn. It's so damn crazy. It's so inspiring because it suddenly opens up possibilities and everything is possible. I think so much of life is about rules and rules and what you can expect and what you can not expect. For me – and certainly from an English background – to see this weirdness of these insane elements against each other, it's just very inspiring.

Barbato: I think for me it's less like what turns me on from the point of view of a gay man, in contrast to what drives me from the perspective of an outsider.

That's why I think drag has always been underestimated and misunderstood because it really makes people feel marginalized and outsiders reinterpret or share their twisted perception of the world in which we live.

It's funny or provocative or outrageous, but I always find it interesting and can almost always connect with a drag performance. I think it's less – it's not necessarily just because I'm a gay man.

Many fans of the show today are teenagers and young children. What do you hope that these young fans – and even your own children – escape their investment in the cultural phenomenon "drag race"?

Bailey: Well, my child, Nolan He has seen a lot. He loves to. I assume what he takes away – it's not like he's from a place of oppression or denial. For him, I think it's just the most natural thing in the world.

I hope that what he takes from it, he can take along in his adult life. I hope that it will not be somehow knocked out of him and that there will be a certain – I hope there is everyone – a certain dissolvable power to be her and do her thing.

Barbato: I agree, and I think it's a kind of two-way street of inspiration or something like that.

It's as if it inspires the older people and drag queens to see young people there, just as it inspires young people to see all the drag queens. I think it's a kind of mutual, mutually fabulous relationship that helps to illustrate what Ru said, many, many times, "Drag brings families together."

I think again there is this kind of miscalculation about what Drag is or is Who Drag Queens. When you go to DragCon, it all goes away because you see the special connection that children have with the queens and have the queens with the children. It feels so natural. It feels so right.

Next year, I think we will continue to expand the Children's Zone because it was full this year and the kids had a great time. To return to your original question, what do we hope to take away from it? All these great family values ​​that many politicians have championed

Bailey: Yes, politically over the years

Barbato: If you really want to get a family values, Send your children to RuPaul's DragCon, and they will not go away and not judge the people – they will go away and be open. They will go away and be nice. I mean all these things because I saw it in my own children. They are also monsters. [Laughs.]

  Participants of Season 10 at "RuPaul's Drag Race"


Santiago Felipe / Getty Images

The participants of the 10th season at "RuPaul's Drag Race".

It is quite revolutionary that this show stands on a mainstream cable network in our current political and social climate. What do you hope is the function of the show, or what is the work you expect the show in living rooms in Central America?

Bailey: I think you could say that it's an extension of the idea that from a queer perspective, this visibility is a great thing. Because to be seen, people can get to know you, maybe understand you, and I think it's about the fact that there's a TV show about Drag. It brings it to people who would not know otherwise.

For example, just a bit tangential, the documentary we made for National Geographic with Katie Couric, "Gender Revolution". National Geographic is a kind of heart canal, right? Of many conservative heterosexual men, for example, at a certain age, and Katie Couric is America's favorite, and the combination of her journey on this journey brought people in touch with something they may have judged, but now they know a little something more about it, and maybe they are less hostile or judgmental or negative. Maybe they can see reflections in their own families and relationships.

Barbato: Often the path to the most political is just visibility. Only the show and its success alone, only their existence is political. The thing that can really move the dial – especially, I think, in the current political climate of political chaos and unrest – I really think that it's about people having connections to other people.

I think if everything is said and done about "RuPaul's Drag Race", the reason why it is successful is that the queens connect with these other people who work so hard to make art. It is this connection that has created success, but I think it is also this connection, such connections that can make political progress.

What does pride mean to you both in 2018? [196592002] Bailey and Barbato: Every day is pride here at World of Wonder [their production company]. Pride really is the freedom to breathe and be visible, instead of hiding and holding your breath. From the memory of the bad old days, when there was no pride and only shame, it is unbelievable to just be here.

The theme for HuffPost's Pride coverage this year is "The future is strange." a strange and inclusive future, as you see it?

Bailey and Barbato: The historical reality is that queerness was the motor of culture. We also think that everyone is at least a bit weird because we are all unique, we are all snowflakes. We look forward to the perspective of living in a time when everyone embraces this idea and comes into contact with their peculiar nature!

For LGBTQ Pride 2018 HuffPost highlights 30 cultural factors that have shifted the narrative when it comes to queer issues and whose work has helped create a more inclusive and equitable future for all of us.

#TheFutureIsQueer is HuffPost's month-long celebration of queerness, not just as an identity, but as an action in the world. Here you will find all our Pride Month Coverage .


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