Drags C'mon: A River of Pride (and Improbable Drag Queens)


Back in the day, "a resistance whose time had come." Archives photo

Kicking off the global WorldPride event being hosted in New York City this year, hundreds of thousands of people marched Sunday through the liberated streets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, "the most public display of queer life thus far in U.S. history" and a seminal moment in "a resistance whose time had come." Marchers filled downtown Manhattan in massive numbers, joining both the traditional Pride Parade and one by the historically more radical Gay Liberation Front, which once dubbed itself "for the homosexual who stands up and fights back." In conjunction with so many worldwide events marking that "fight through love and compassion," the UK's Channel 4 just launched Drag SOS, a supremely emblematic glimpse of the sea change that is gay rights.


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Featuring the British drag collective The Family Gorgeous - Cheddar Gorgeous, Anna Phylactic, Lil, TeTe Bang and Liquorice Black – it follows the queens around the country as they offer advice to LGBTQ people confronting their sexuality and help ordinary Brits "transform into a bigger, better, drag-enhanced versions of themselves." Of the first episode's three vignettes, many were especially moved by the story of supermarket advisor, avid footballer and stolid working bloke Shaun, who struggled when his son Owen came out: "I was having pretty caveman thoughts, like where did I go wrong and did I not spend enough time with him?" Seeking to more deeply connect with Owen, he transforms, sometimes tearfully, into Poppy Love, sequins and all. Behold, he proclaims at the end, "my fabulous son Owen."

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