Condragulations, Manchester, you did it. You turned a boring, second rate journo nerd into a unashamedly, feverishly camp version of himself – how could I ever repay you?
The 30th of October 2016 saw Manchester’s O2 Ritz headlining some of the world’s most renowned and polished drag acts to show their stuff(ed tights) in front of a glistening crowd of sweaty, maniacally adoring fans. The so-called ‘Holy Trannity’ let loose in the dimly lit main stage of the Ritz on Sunday with the first half of the show dedicated to the drag artists of Great Britain. Acts included the skittish skits from London’s Veronica Green, and sinfully erotic performances from Ann Phetamine and Crystal Lubrikunt that left a thick air of confused desire among the wild-eyed spectators.
However, as amazing as these queens were, they were but a starter, a sexually enticing appetizer made to wet our pallets and prepare us for the main dish of the night that was yet to be served…
With the help of drag sensation, Ru Paul and his TV show, Drag Race, the art of drag has evolved from something once seen as a cult movement into a huge part of modern pop culture.
But Drag Race isn’t solely to thank for this trend. Even without the show’s relentless success, it is clear and simple to see that drag is an art that is visually stimulating and pleasing. It stretches what we once knew about societal fixes like masculinity, sexuality and gender, and crosses these boundaries in the most entertaining fashion possible.
Winners (and many other contenders) have seen worldwide fame after appearing on the show; touring globally across the Americas and Europe. And on Sunday, a little piece of Europe called Manchester was blessed with the presence of some the show’s biggest stars.
The second half of Holy Trannity’s show revealed drag deities like Jinkx Monsoon, Sharon Needles and Alaska 5000 in a exhibit of pure beauty and talent. For hours, there was not one silent moment; from when Aaron Coady’s sinister drag ego, ‘Sharon Needles‘ emerged from a crystal coffin, all the way up to when the more classy alter of Jerrick Hoffer, ‘Jinkx Monsoon’ sang daintily about the inevitability of death.
I’ve enjoyed watching Drag Race for months now, but only during that show in Manchester did I see these untouchable, perfect characters as real people who have made colossal and irreversible improvements to minority communities and society today; through none other than a medium that is so incomparably outrageous and entertaining, that only a Queen could do it.