Language creates (and protects) community in RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
We watched a couple of episodes of the new season of The Bear — specifically, The One With All the Cameos at Christmas — last night.
I probably should have paused midway through to grab a Xanax or pour a cocktail, but I powered through. Please clap.
As the credits rolled, I was past the point of needing benzos, but I definitely needed a palate cleanser.
So I scrolled through my Hulu home screen to pick up where I’d left off on my latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I love everything about Drag Race:
The death drops.
The filthy, groan-inducing puns at the judging table.
The pit crew. (I’m not made of stone.)
The beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking vulnerability.
And my God, the lexicon.
I’ve got a pretty sick vocabulary, and I’ve still learned a dictionary’s worth of new words and phrases just from this show.
Fishy. Read for filth. Meaty tuck. (Literally cannot get that last one out of my mind’s eye.)
Google’s gotta be wondering about me lately.
There are scads of catchphrases, and four oft-repeated qualities Ru is seeking in America’s next drag superstar: charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.
Yes, I did just realize what happens if you turn those words into an acronym.
No, I bet that was not an accident. 😬
All cattiness and shade aside, the show ultimately drives home one message: loving every shred of your identity is everything. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?
Drag is A Whole Thing™. An art. A culture. A vibe. A community.
And the language of Drag Race calls that community in. It’s inclusive in all the right ways — and unapologetically exclusive in the best way.
“If you know, you know,” it says. “If not? Figure it out on your own time, or sashay away.” 💃
It’s not the right move for every organization to use language this way, but for a community that’s been widely shunned, targeted, and criminalized for, oh, all of modern U.S. history?
By the way, my pals at Banker Creative just launched the new website for The Aliveness Project, an incredible HIV prevention and support community in Minneapolis — just in time for the Twin Cities Pride Festival!
I had a blast (and learned so much) working with their team on the site copy. This is who I mean when I say I work with organizations that give a shit.
F-S: Reserved for rest