A subculture individualized, then made part of mainstream culture with RuPaul's Drag Race with common catch-phrases like “spill the tea” and more, takes over the internet culture of youth today.

Culture like this does not often take root in conservative societies like Louisiana's. However, being so close to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, with its own LGBTQ+ small-town life, is home to a drag scene that shows the true realities and prospects of drag life.

While photographing a drag show, both back and front stage, and then interviewing the queens afterward on two separate occasions, I found myself entranced and enriched by the hope that drag queens bring about them. For those who aren’t in the know, drag queens are people who celebrate what it means to be queer, different — and for lack of better words — gay.

How do they celebrate? They activize, entertain and celebrate with the community by dressing up in extreme makeup styles, putting on gigantic yellow wigs and lip-syncing for their life. They show the legacy, support and outright stick-it-to-the-man style kind of entertainment that keeps an often threatened and ousted community to stay together in unity.

As of late, drag has become quite the phenomenon with RuPaul’s Drag Race airing on TV. It has become as synonymous with the community as Real Housewives of Whatever has entertained thousands. In a way, the show is loved and perceived as a wonderful gift to the community for its queer representation and intense love of the arts. However, in the words of one the drag queens I interviewed, Carina von Tuna, portrayed by mass communication senior Jack Stallard, “Drag Race is just a show that portrays the most digestible queer people they could find.” The show unfortunately puts forth only the pretty sides of drag with big opulent costumes that stun those few critics at home who type through their blog about the sensations that run amuck on TV.

These drag queens, if anything, want the world to know that drag is so much more than the pretty sights and costumes and the “okurrtts” you hear on TV. They want people to know that drag has always been rooted in the most trying times of the community. The art itself represents those of queer orientation fighting for rights they deserve while also spreading the message that builds a stronger community. As so, drag queens have and will forever be deeply rooted in Pride, a national display and celebration of queer rights. Drag represents the good, the bad, and yes, sometimes, the ugly wig of the LGBTQ+ community.

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