In Response To “The Shade of it All”

I’m responding to JS’ (Jessica?)post titled “The Shade of it All.” JS points out that Roxxxy and Detox do not take well to Jinkx’ form of drag because it is based on comedy. This is further reinforced in the latest episode when Roxxxy gets angry at Detox and Alaska for making her look stupid for not doing comedy. What is occurring here is the distinguishing of a subculture within a subculture. I find it most interesting that Roxxxy berates Jinkx because of her insecurities in that it appears to be a protection of “normal” societies bullying of drag. In my naïveté I assumed that people within a subculture would be only supportive of each other, but I’m realizing that perhaps it’s human nature to reject those that are different from us.

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I’m not suggesting that we take Nicki Minaj as an academic source, but she is highlighting my exact point that drag culture is being represented in a very specific way. There is no room for comedy on a drag show, because according to Nicki it does not serve “beat REALTness.” 

A question that arises is whether the dressing is indeed a safe queer space for all of the Queens? It is undeniably a queer space but it is not a safe space for all forms of queer. This echoes my sentiments from the Bear Nation video where one man claims that Bears are accepting of everyone. I doubt that. I doubt that highly. The majority of the texts we have read have failed to point out that queerness is not a complete identity. Instead we are only queer in certain aspects of our life. Taking that into account it is easy to understand how subcultures form within another subculture.

I also agree with JS’ connection to Larry Gross and the effects of media stereotyping. Most reality shows and competitions are designed to showcase only the most extreme cases because audiences may be bored by the mundane. The fear of RHONJ inaccurately representing NJ and Buckwild inaccurately representing WV mirrors the misrepresentation of drag on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Is there a positive impact of this show in that it showcases drag at all or is there a negative impact because it only opens a very tiny window into drag and furthers the stereotype?

-Ian

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