Ru Paul’s Drag Race U.K is back for its 3rd season! After the almost crazy success of last season, hopes are high for this new season with 12 new queens. Although people are excited, there are already some controversies that need to be addressed.
First Cisgender Contestant
A Drag Race first, is the introduction to the first ever cisgender contestant. Victoria Scone, who identities as a cisgender woman and uses she/her pronouns both in and out of drag, is originally from Portsmouth. When deciding on her name, Victoria wanted something very British. She is also the first lesbian drag race contestant. She has been referred to as an ‘AFAB queen’, meaning ‘assigned female at birth’, but prefers to call herself a drag queen. Cis male queens aren’t described as AMAB, so it would make sense to just call everyone drag queens or drag artists. She has stated that drag is for everyone and she wants to show people how that is. As Victoria has rightly stated that she is not first and certainly won’t be the last.
Lack of Diversity
However, this season has already been criticised for the lack of diversity. There was a lot of backlash on social media when the 12 new contestants were announced. This includes only one black contestant, Vanity Milan, and River Medway, who is half Singaporean. The backlash came from fans but also past stars from the show. Ellie Diamond, who came fourth in the second series made a statement on Twitter, recognising the controversy. She stated that ‘Although I am ecstatic to see a cis woman on the show, it does feel bittersweet that a lot of incredible QPOC drag artists in this country have been overlooked this season.’ ‘The U.K has a long history of racism and in our community, we should be making every effort to dismantle all forms of racism and make this a kind and accepting place for everyone.’
Season 2’s runner up, Tayce, has also spoken on the issue. Congratulations to the new cast but mentioned that she was a little taken aback by the lack of diversity, herself knowing so many incredible POC, transgender and ABFAB performers. It seems Drag Race still has a long way to go when looking at its diversity and inclusiveness.
Ru Paul Controversary
After RuPaul’s offensive opinions on trans drag queens back in 2018, there are still many fans that aren’t exactly on his side. Although Ru did apologize, actions often speak louder than words. The treatment of trans drag queens on the show has not always been positive. Especially in the light of lack of diversity on the show.
However, in 2020, the first trans queen, Gottmilk, was featured in season 13 of the original show. This was an important step in Drag Race history. A year later, Kylie Sonique Love, the first ever trans drag star to win, was crowned queen in the sixth season of Drag Race All Stars. Many trans stars from the show have also gone on to bigger and better things. Showing that no matter what, they are just as important and fabulous.
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