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Step inside a gay bar for a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing party

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THREE performers take it in turns to writhe and high-kick dangerously towards the low ceiling. Most drinkers continue to chat among themselves. It is early for such an energetic show—just 7:30pm on a Thursday—and in any case the drag queens’ messy mix of bikinis, leotards and wild wigs is not the main attraction. The patrons in this rowdy gay bar in Manhattan’s West Village are really just waiting for the television screens to be tuned to the right channel. 

Everyone is here to watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, a reality-television show. The contestants are drag queens who strive for a crown by creating bewitching makeup designs, concocting shocking costumes, plotting dance routines that satirise pop stars and shooting shards of wit at their queer peers. This all happens under the judgement of RuPaul, one of America’s most famous drag queens. After ten years on air, “Drag Race” has accumulated a mass of rituals, principal among them a weekly congregation in bars for public viewing parties. Robin, a regular, says: “I know what…Continue reading

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