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How Drag Has Gone Mainstream

At least, somewhat. And you can thank RuPaul.

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Cross-dressing and drag have a long history, but until recently, dressing in drag was an art form primarily enjoyed by the LGBTQ community. That was, until RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show has been on since 2009 but its success has been a slow burn, with RuPaul earning Emmy nominations in 2016 and 2017.

Now there’s also DragCon, a three-day convention under the RuPaul umbrella that brings together drag queens and enthusiasts to share in panels, shopping, and trends from over 200 exhibitors.

And some of the individuals there are now true brands, with official representation and various avenues for commercial success: worldwide performance tours, movies, books, comedy specials, musical albums, TV appearances, and beauty campaigns.

That said, drag may never be truly mainstream because of the inherent queer nature of the art form — which may be a good thing.

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