review: rupaul’s dragcon, a celebration

Victor Hugo, the French author and poet of Les Miserables once stated, “There is nothing so powerful than an idea whose time has come.” The idea of DragCon arrived for the first time in 2015 and made a leap into the stratosphere in 2016. The words diversity and inclusive are inadequate to describe the phenomenon of Rupaul’s DragCon, which was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 7th and 8th.

The DragCon experience is like being inside of a dream come true. A dream, that many LGBTQIA+ people have had, about living in a world where everyone truly belongs. Tom Campbell, executive producer of Rupaul’s Drag Race told queer-voices.com, “It’s Disneyland for the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s the happiest place on earth.” The feeling of happiness, excitement and relaxed self-expression was tangible on the convention floor.

Rupaul, in the ribbon cutting ceremony said, “This is so special for the children. They get to meet their tribe, right in person. That is everything.” Young people and children were everywhere at the convention. There were mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, families of all types and especially young people expressing themselves and their gender identity. There was a father, from Philadelphia, who brought his trans child to the convention. They flew across the country because he wanted his child to be in a place of complete acceptance. The message permeating the air, from everyone in attendance, was a message of acceptance, being your authentic self, dreaming your dreams and living the life of your dreams.

Drag Race Season 8 front-runners,Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls, shared a booth giving patient fans a double-dose of Drag Race realness. The crown, that will be placed on the head of America’s next drag superstar, was also on display.

A wide-array of exhibitors, a host of talent and a festive crowd converged under one roof with only one goal, to have fun. An exhibit featuring gowns worn by Rupaul was the embodiment of eleganza. The gowns were hanging from the ceiling, beautifully displayed on mannequins and the piece de resistance was a life-like mannequin of Mama Ru, which made for a fun photo-op.

There were informative and entertaining panels with Drag Race alums and other celebrities. There were vendors selling clothing, wigs, pet wigs, cosmetics, travel, jewelry, accessories and everything else under the rainbow. The Drag Race stars had booths, signed autographs and readily posed with the fans for selfies.

The only way to really grasp the magic of DragCon is to experience it for yourself. The 2017 convention is already on the books for April 29th and 30th. There are also whispers that DragCon will grow even bigger, eventually branching out to other cities. One thing is for sure, DragCon 2017 is certain to be bigger, better and even more fabulous.

For advance discounted tickets and information click http://rupaulsdragcon.com/

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Will Willoughby is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Cinema-Television production program. He has also worked in the theatre on such Broadway production as Grey Gardens, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Inherit The Wind. A Squirrel Story is the title of his first published book.