Concurrent Panel Session Six

Start Date

7-4-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

7-4-2018 3:50 PM

Abstract

From its conception in 2009, RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) has grown incredibly in popularity, quality, and potential to serve as a mainstream way of change and acceptance for varying gender performances and identities. Particularly working within frames of commercialism, homonormativity, and queer commodification, RPDR loses a lot of its potential to serve as a radical, decentering challenge to the rest of mainstream television. In regards to rigid western ‘borders’ of gender and the gender binary, RPDR has done a considerable amount to deconstruct sociocultural boundaries that restrict individuals from presenting their gender identities and allowed a stage for transgender and gender non-binary individuals to come out and be true to themselves. Simultaneously, RuPaul and the show’s producers have restricted these gender presentations, exotified racial differences, and been transphobic in nature and in regulations. As internet continues access via streaming, social media, and news coverage, how much is the popular show actually benefiting the queer individuals in prospective audiences and transcending the borders and confines of gender presentation and identity?

Keywords

RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag queens, drag culture, transgender, gender expression, LGBT+ persons in media

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Apr 7th, 3:00 PM Apr 7th, 3:50 PM

Realness over Reality: Analyzing Gender Binary Deconstruction in RuPaul’s Drag Race

From its conception in 2009, RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) has grown incredibly in popularity, quality, and potential to serve as a mainstream way of change and acceptance for varying gender performances and identities. Particularly working within frames of commercialism, homonormativity, and queer commodification, RPDR loses a lot of its potential to serve as a radical, decentering challenge to the rest of mainstream television. In regards to rigid western ‘borders’ of gender and the gender binary, RPDR has done a considerable amount to deconstruct sociocultural boundaries that restrict individuals from presenting their gender identities and allowed a stage for transgender and gender non-binary individuals to come out and be true to themselves. Simultaneously, RuPaul and the show’s producers have restricted these gender presentations, exotified racial differences, and been transphobic in nature and in regulations. As internet continues access via streaming, social media, and news coverage, how much is the popular show actually benefiting the queer individuals in prospective audiences and transcending the borders and confines of gender presentation and identity?