Showstopping drag queens around the world
Enchanting performers from across the globe
The rise of drag has been a long time coming, but boy is it out in full force now.
Originating in the late 1800s as "cross-dressing" on stage during pantomimes, it's now a global phenomenon, with many countries having at least one famous drag queen representing them on the world stage.
If drag used to be confined to the gay villages of major cities, it's now enjoying its time in the sun, even boasting its own popular fan convention.
While it would be unfair to claim that one person is solely responsible for the surge in popularity drag queens across the world are enjoying, it's hard to think of anyone else who has done more to bring drag into the mainstream than RuPaul Charles.
It's easy to just cite the success of 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' the reality competition show that has been gracing our screens since 2009. Besides being a major hit, it's also spawned the Werq the World Tour and RuPaul's DragCon. But RuPaul has been famous long before all this.
'Supermodel (You Better Work),' anyone? This song by RuPaul was everywhere in the early '90s. RuPaul went on to become a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics, host his own talk show, appear in cult classic films, and release several albums—all before 'Drag Race.'
“Everything changed when RuPaul came along,” Jonathon Cruz, a Toronto-based drag queen better known by his stage name, Sofonda Cox, told The Globe and Mail. “She was like the Walt Disney of drag queens.”
“RuPaul made glam accessible, and more glamorous than what you see going on throughout the red carpet and royalty—we queens are the anti-Meghan Markle, darling!”
While this may all seem very Americentric, the truth is that drag queens around the world have benefited from a growing popularity since the '90s.
The following gallery proves exactly that. So start your engines, as RuPaul would say, and give it a look-see.
LIFESTYLE Animal kingdom
CELEBRITY Celebrity deaths
HEALTH Middle age