This race is no drag

Gabija Gataveckaite

The race to drag for all the humans, DCU brings inclusion and laughter.

RuPaul’s famous catch phrase has echoed around the world and will now echo A’la Irish style, in a yet unnamed Dublin Venue: “Gentlemen, start your engines and may the best woman win”.

Following the enormous success of RuPaul’s Drag Race, DCU Drag Race returns for the fifth time for its annual show. The competition sees student drag queens and kings take part in a pageant-style contest, similar to the format of the television show. Drag culture has exploded in popularity all over the world in the recent years with the help of the Emmy-nominated show which now sees spin offs in gay clubs and university campuses.

Dean O’Reilly, Chairperson of LGBTA society, excitedly explained the latest instalment of DCU’s very own race, with all proceeds donated to BeLonG To: “Drag Race was started initially to bring a spotlight to drag culture and artistry in DCU. As time has gone on, it has evolved into the largest student-organised drag competition in the country.” 

 “It is the premiere venue for the display of student drag talent and the only large-scale LGBTQ+ fundraising event of its kind for our students,” O’Reilly added.

Drag comes in all shapes and sizes – bio queens and drag kings are encouraged to also take part, which involves cisgender women either dressing up as a heightened female or as a heightened man. “DCU Drag Race warmly welcomes any drag performers, whatever that means to the individual. We have had bio queens, drag queens and drag kings – all varieties of drag,” O’ Reilly explained.

Hosted by Victoria’s Secret, one of the biggest name in Dublin drag, the show takes place on the first of March. It will see eight performers battle for the crown, with names including Avoca Reaction, Scarlet Phoria, Valeria (Val) Au Vent and Nikkie Stones. “You’ll have to watch social media for the reveals, but I can tell you currently that Pixie Woo will be judging. We also have Meth, a London based queen, flying over to judge on the night,” O’Reilly said.

Bonnie Ann Clyde recalls on her experience in taking part in the first ever DCU Drag Race. “I had such an amazing time performing. As a newbie, it really helped to put myself out there. I got to meet some amazing people and I got to stroke my ego with my second-place win,” she explained.

“I’d recommend anyone to try it, even if they’re not drag kings or drag queens right now,” she said.

Drag culture isn’t only perpetrating universities, but mainstream media too.

Ireland’s Got Talent launched just a few weeks ago on TV3 and sees Michelle Visage judge. Visage is also the main judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and is known as the Simon Cowell of the drag world for her firm and honest critique.

Courtney Act, a season six finalist of RuPaul’s Drag Race, just won Celebrity Big Brother UK a few weeks ago, being the first drag queen to win any series of Big Brother. Drag is not only bending gender, but it’s incredible success sees it now breaking society norms.