HBO Series Features Drag Queens Hosting Drag Shows as an ‘Olive Branch’ to Small Town America

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HBO

A group of drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race are set to take a tour of small-town American cities to host drag shows in a new HBO reality show entitled We’re Here.

Ru Paul’s drag queen contestants, Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela Laquifa Wadley, will seek to normalize drag queens, the LGBTQ agenda, and the queer lifestyle among a list of six small towns from Missouri to Idaho, Variety reports.

“There’s something about drag that is an olive branch to these communities,” series co-creator Johnnie Ingram told the outlet. “A lot of these towns tuck away these conversations, and it’s not something you’re allowed to talk about, so it just sits. And so, bringing a big, glamorous drag show to town gets people talking.”

Each of the six episodes will feature a group of local drag queens joining the show’s three stars in hosting pride parades, drag queen stage shows, and conducting one-on-one interviews.

The showrunners promise to feature a Christian who is also a gay man, a religious mother who wants to regain a relationship with her gay daughter, a man who once had hate for gays, and a father who struggles with mental health issues as he deals with his daughter.

“We were trying to find people who are going through something, and how can they benefit from not only telling their story on a stage but also embracing counterculture through it? In essence, they learn something about the drag community. It’s a little bit experimental,” co-creator Steve Warren added.

The goal, the showrunners say, is to bring “transformative” moments to the small towns and the people with whom they come in contact.

The series will mix pre-recorded and produced stories with drag shows and parade events taped live as they happen. And they promise to be loud and proud about the aim of the show as is in evidence, they say, with the series title: We’re Here. The message is that drag queens are everywhere. Not “just living in a big city; we’re everywhere,” they told Variety.

Ingram and Warren also noted that they did find some resistance to their shows in some of the small towns. They were “shooed off” some properties and barred from others, but in some cases, they claim to have found “unidentified safe spaces for the LGBTQIA community” in the small towns they visited.

“In the beginning, we didn’t know if anyone was going to come, but we had to turn away people. It was amazing,” Warren concluded. “What we really found surprising, and I think it was a lot of the magic and elevation of ‘Drag Race’ and its fans, [was] the local queer communities and allies in town are much bigger than we would assume, living in our bubble. They’ve all had to tuck it away for so long that bringing us to town is a chance to release some of that, and they’re all just so excited to have that opportunity.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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