RuPaul’s Drag Race, hosted by RuPaul and produced by World of Wonder, began in 2009. The initial season sports the iconic ‘vaseline’ filter as well as an incredible cast of talented queens, whose charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent would become the catalyst for a very successful and beloved series that continues to this day. 

The show has launched LGBTQIA+ artistry to the mainstream and it has been the source of inspiration for other fantastic shows that also celebrate the art of drag and the inclusive and entertaining nature of the artform.

Camp Wannakiki

The viewers of Drag Race Canada/Thailand/UK/US love to support queens that showcase camp and a show that is full of a campy-can-do-attitude is Camp Wannakiki!

Camp Wannakiki is a wonderful drag reality show, hosted by the Camp Directors, Apple Brown Betty, and Cherry Pi, also known as the Sugarbaker Twins. Joining them in their search for the King or Queen of Camp, is the amazing Camp Counselor, Ruthie, who is always available to help manage each episode’s main challenges. The show is primarily found on the Camp Wannakiki YouTube and has aired 2 full seasons. 

Each season begins with a selection of drag artists entering Camp Wannakiki as happy campers. In each episode, there is the main challenge, a great place to showcase their campy-can-do-attitude, as well as a runway where they will showcase their best camp looks to the runway theme. Like with RuPaul’s Drag Race, the campers are judged on their performance in the challenge and in the runway. The camper that performs the best in an episode will be awarded a prize and the camper that performs worse than their other campers will have to leave camp, signifying that they have left the competition.

– Sponsored by Hamburger Mary’s

– 2 seasons have already aired and are available on the Camp Wannakiki YouTube channel to watch for free. 

– Each season includes a diverse range of artists, based in the US. These happy campers take part in daily challenges in addition to the final runway, which are typically judged by the main panel of judges in addition to some very iconic guests. While the season begins with 10 (?) drag artists, it all culminates to 1 artist achieving the title of the King/Queen of Camp.

Dragula

‘Hello Uglies’

Ready to sink your teeth into a fierce reality drag competition that will really get your blood-pumping?

Dragula is a spectacular show that showcases alternative drag styles that extend beyond the styles shown on RuPaul’s Drag Race. There have been 3 seasons of Dragula, in which viewers have been treated to a wide selection of electrifying eleganza and adrenaline-inducing challenges. The artists that perform the worst in each episode do not lipsync for their life, no, instead they take part in extermination challenges that range from sky-diving, to mud-wrestling, to getting random tattoos. Each of these challenges really test the competitors on just how much they want to win the competition and that they have the horror, filth, glamour and determination to claw their way to the top.

Of course, a tremendous show must be led by supreme hosts and Dragula is hosted by the fantastic Boulet Brothers, a drag duo that truly slay the art of drag. Being lovers of horror as well as drag, the Boulet Brothers include subtle horror genre references throughout the season, which is an extra treat for those that also adore horror to go through and find them.

Drag SOS

Anyone can do drag and drag truly has the power to empower those that experience it.

The freedom and power of drag is showcased beautifully in Drag SOS, an Channel 4 show that follows the Family Gorgeous, a UK drag family, as they travel across the UK and help the public to find their inner drag diva.

Family Gorgeous consists of Cheddar Gorgeous, Anna Phylactic, Liquorice Black, Tete Bang, and Lil, each member taking on a specialised role when transforming each member of the public into their drag persona.

This show is perfect for anyone looking to feel inspired, to witness the power of drag and how it can help a person to reinvent themselves, channel confidence they never knew they had, and to see families unite as a result of drag. 

When watching the show, viewers are introduced to the members of the public, soon to be drag superstars, that are participating in the show and it is a very refreshing experience. Their personas can be an extension of the participant, it could be the complete opposite of their current personality or an other-worldly goddess that exists to be fabulous and share their kindness with the world.

Unlike on Drag Race, we are not seeing experienced queens transforming themselves with their eleganza, on Drag SOS we are seeing people, who may not have even seen a drag queen before let alone be one, find and utilise the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that they never knew they were capable of having. Some moments, like in Drag Race, are very emotional, likely to strike a chord with every viewer that may see themselves in the participant or recognise that person as being like a friend or family member.

Drag SOS really digs into the core beauty of drag – while seeing artists compete for a crown is very entertaining, so is watching people recognise their own inner beauty, something that they were unable to do before experiencing drag.

Fans of the show are eagerly awaiting the second series and we cannot wait to see Family Gorgeous brighten up the lives of another group of individuals.

So, if you are looking for a great show that celebrates LGBTQIA+ artistry, we encourage you to check out the shows above. By supporting the shows and the artists involved in them, you are helping LGBTQ+ endeavours and encouraging mainstream media to take notice and support the LGBTQIA+ community, whilst also being very entertained.