Salvo 08.06.2021 5 minutes

Big Drag

Longest rainbow-colored feather boa unveiled in New York

From campy fringe to corporate cringe

Let our cities burn. Let human traffickers fling smuggled toddlers over the border wall. Let Navy surgeons castrate newly-female recruits like Ginzu-wielding Benihana chefs on meth. 

Just please: stop the deluge of drag queen content swamping our nation. 

I used to think the drag queen trend had burned itself out by 2019 with the proliferation of Drag Queen [Horror] Story Hour at local public libraries. The premise is right out of a nightmare—outlandishly corpulent men in face paint, wigs, and tacky dresses reading awful books to sparse crowds of similarly-sized single mothers and their terrorized, fatherless children.

Some drag lectors proudly display large beards, their hairy chests and flabby bingo-winged arms protruding from the tops of their corset gowns. 

Even the mothers in attendance have to force smiles on their faces. On high alert for every microaggression, in bad moods after spending two hours getting their three-year-old boys to put on their sister’s dresses, those mothers are probably a tough crowd.

But Drag Queen Story Hour, of course, is all about enraging conservatives. After all, it’s no fun psychologically abusing toddlers unless earnest Christian mothers are outside shouting scripture into bullhorns.

(Tip: Truly radical parents wishing to expose their children to men in long gowns who have rejected mainstream society in favor of reading stories about love and humility can find that going on every Sunday at your local Roman Catholic church.)

Mercifully, the pandemic put a shiv into the bloated, hairy gut of the DQ story hour.

Unfortunately, post-pandemic, these freaks in fright wigs are back with a fierce vengeance—and the backing of every corporation in America. 

This is Big Drag™ and it’s a big freaking drag.

The Banality of Drag

I am old enough to remember the days when drag queens were pure adult camp, and they were all in on the joke. In ancient times, back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, performers like Lady Bunny and RuPaul became famous in the New York club scene with their caricatured costumes and kitschy personas. They were imitating women in highly exaggerated ways—like a minstrel show only with fake boobs instead of blackface.

Lady Bunny was hired to spice up parties, with her spirited wit and four-foot-high bouffant wigs. It was cool to spot her at a party; you knew it was the place to be when you glimpsed the platinum Dolly wig. The act was meant to elicit a knowing titter from the well-heeled crowd. I once partied with Blaine Trump, Linda Carter (the original Wonder Woman), and Lady Bunny at the Met Gala. (Don’t tell my kids.)

Drag in these ancient times wasn’t a sexual identity or a gender or a “lifestyle choice.” It wasn’t a kink or a fetish. It was simply a performance. Drag was a gag, and the person under the Tammy Faye wig was, always, a “cis” gay man, usually on copious amounts of snortables. 

Today, the performers have been reduced to grotesqueries and progressive political hacks. The drag queens are tired, they look bad, and worst of all, they are painfully immune to the spark of wit that long defined the form. Instead of skewering celebrity culture and themselves, they aspire to be celebrities, with all of the lowbrow earnestness.

Never in my wildest imaginings did I think that these dudes would one day become corporate spokesmen for, among others, The Walt Disney Corporation.

Must-Unsee TV

Geriatric queen RuPaul is probably to blame, but his TV reality show Drag Race has been on the air for 13 seasons without much notice. It wasn’t until last year that drag made the jump to full mainstream. 

Certain woke corporations dove into drag even before last year. Disneyland and Disney World even have drag queen salons for young children. You probably didn’t know that in 2019, Disney stripped all reference to “girls” and “she” from the Bibbidi Bobbidi princess makeover shops at the theme parks to make them more “inclusive.”

After all, why limit the customer pool for $300 Elsa gowns to biological girls? It’s a move the CFO probably came up with. Now your little boy can live out his dream as Sleeping Beau! Ari the little Merboy! Mo the Polynesian prince!

Your little Princess Charming will not want to miss Amazon’s upcoming Cinderella remake for children starring “non-binary” actor Billy Porter as the “Fairy Godperson,” or “Fab G” as the character is called. “Magic has no gender!” Porter declared. 

Magic isn’t real and binary gender is, you start to argue, but then you take the easy way out and toss yourself out a window.

Drag completed its long march through children’s entertainment this year. In June, Disney+ streamed a Pride month special called “This is Me” hosted by a doughy 43-year-old named Andrew Levitt who uses the sanitized stage name “Nina West.” Another drag performer on the show goes by “Jackie Cox,” which is more in line with traditional drag innuendo: Cleo Toris, etc. You know, for kids!

“At Disney+, we believe in the power of inclusive storytelling to bring us together and inspire us to live authentically,” said Joe Earley, global head of Marketing and Content Curation for Disney+. “We are committed to amplifying the voices of our LGBTQ+ creators and talent, and platforming content [sic] that reminds people to love loud—and sing louder—in this special event.”

Feel free to platform this content straight into the nearest trash can. 

Don’t know who Nina West is? Ask your two-year-old! Mx. West scored her Disney gig after her gag-inducing, X-rated debut hosting the toddler cartoon special, “The Blues Clues Kink Fest for Kids,” where she sang along as an animated parade of post-op trans beavers and gender-fluid giraffes in polycules with autistic porcupines trotted by. 

But wait, there’s more! Pathetic Paramount Studios launched a TV series that takes classic sitcoms and replaces all the characters with drag queens. “Titles mentioned in a cast interview include The Golden Girls, Happy Days, Bewitched, Who’s the Boss, Laverne & Shirley, Married…with Children, Diff’rent Strokes, The Nanny, and Designing Women.”

The first show they plan to desecrate is, naturally, The Brady Bunch. Ah, so fresh, so edgy! The only thing worse than the wigs on the queens are the wigs on the original actors playing Mike and Bobby, who make suicide-inducing cameos.

Clowns All the Way Down 

Let me explain something to our refined culture overlords: drag is not counterculture, radical, edgy, shocking, interesting, or artistically relevant. Drag queens are lame. Drag is cringe. Drag is a huge bore.

These fools should heed the prophetic words of Barack Obama’s mentor, Saul Alinsky, who wrote as one of his Rules for Radicals: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Literally!

No one asked for drag to be our new national pastime. No one wanted this—especially not parents of little kids. But giant entertainment corporations no longer give audiences what they want; they simply comply with the loudest demands.

We don’t want it, we all hate it, so we’re going to get lots more of it: creepy middle-aged men wearing Spanx lecturing us about our children and their genital preferences.

Let me say this in my best Dementia Joe whisper: It’s not just gross: it’s unwatchable garbage. Not a joke, folks. I mean it.

Why the sudden elevation of men in drag as High Priests of Wokeness? Why are these the ones the Woke Lords have anointed as their messengers to lure the little children? 

It actually makes perfect sense: when you need to get children’ attention, you send in the clowns in costumes and face paint. 

Pennywise himself seems cuddly compared to a guy in a stripper gown reaching for my toddler’s shorts. 

The other reason drag is now ubiquitous is obvious: the LGBT lobby has moved on from caring about gay men, especially white ones. They are all on the trans train now. If you are a white, cis gay man, how can you stay relevant? How will you get an acting gig when the diversity quota drones are looking for anyone but you, a basic white male without talent, charisma, or discernible skill? 

You do what you must to survive: you put on the hooker dress, grow out your beard, and strap on the triple-D prosthetics. Kids love those, after all.

Sorry, white gays: you will soon be replaced with the new drag queen, who like Billy Porter and Harry Styles is nonbinary, pansexual, and gender free, and not a prisoner of outdated ideas like “gay” or “man” or “performer.” These new drag queens are authentic. It’s not just a costume; it’s who they really are

To this next-gen queen, drag is not just an act. It is pure self-expression of their truest form.

To us, drag is the terminal culture of a culture out of ideas.

Besides, if I want to watch talentless hacks pretending to have fun, I’ll just watch the Oscars.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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