"What drag is is a celebration of the fact that each and every one of us is different," says Fenton Bailey, executive producer of RuPaul's Drag Race, a reality competition show which airs on the Logo network. "But rather than something that divides us and makes us unhappy and victimizes us, actually it's a cause for celebration."
Over 14,000 people flocked to the Los Angeles Convention Center last weekend for the inaugural RuPaul's DragCon—a drag convention put on by RuPaul and World of Wonder production company. The convention featured appearances by past and present stars of the Drag Race show, as well as panels and a key note speech from Mama Ru herself.
"When people ask me what does drag mean to me I say it's total liberation and freedom of expression," says Kennedy Davenport, a contestant on this season's Drag Race competition.
The once marginalized art form is a great example of a self-reliant community that has its own language, leaders, and support network. And now thanks to the efforts of RuPaul and the hit show, drag is pushing into the mainstream.
"I attribute so much of this to RuPaul's singular genius," says Bailey. "The very first time Randy [Barbato] and I saw RuPaul we said, 'This motherfucker is going to be a star.' And then it was really just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up."
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