Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/MTV
As if RuPaul’s Drag Race airing its 15th season wasn’t already direct counterprogramming to the anti-drag bills being considered or passed in many parts of the country, this week’s episode stiffened RuPaul and co.’s firm middle finger to the agendas of bigoted politicians.
Though this season of Drag Race was filmed last summer, this week’s dose of highly queer, deeply chaotic campiness is scarily relevant. However, we don’t have to call that prescience or coincidence—the pushback against drag by conservative politicians has been creeping into the rhetoric since the Trump administration emboldened alt-right cronies across the country. Just two weeks ago, Tennessee passed a bill banning “adult cabaret performances” in public spaces. In short: family-friendly drag performances, drag queen storytimes at libraries, and any completely good-natured, well-intentioned events that do nothing to harm any children in attendance were deemed unlawful.
Tonight’s RuSical maxi challenge, “Wigloose: the RuSical,” sent up—you guessed it—Footloose. The queens were assigned to take on a film where dancing has been banned for corrupting the youth of a small town, and apply its ideas to our modern world where drag is in political contention. While it’s a pertinent idea, the musical’s execution is all big ideas, with very little substance. Thankfully, anyone looking for radical opposition to intolerance could find it in the hearts of the queens as they dissected our current reality, and reaffirmed drag as a stunning art form on the main stage.