"RuPaul's Drag Race" producer Fenton Bailey told Deadline that he is pleased that individuals who watched it as a kid were motivated to become a drag queen.
"And another thing is that the show has been on sufficiently long now — and this happens a lot — that queens will say, 'Oh, I remember watching the show when I was a kid.' [Laughs] Which is kind of great to hear — to know that there were kids hiding under the covers in their bedrooms, watching the show late at night, and that it inspired them to become drag queens," Bailey said, according to the outlet.
Bailey said that "whether it's in America or not, we are seeing an attempt to turn the clock back to stereotypical values. To a time when women weren't empowered, when there wasn't marriage equality — there's been a huge sort of retrenchment. And this show is the antithesis of that, because the message of 'Drag Race' is: 'Don’t be afraid to be yourself, be who you are.' And I think that that’s a really important message in today's political environment, and not just in America. I mean, countries with a really strong Catholic tradition — like Spain, the Philippines and Italy — have a really vibrant version of 'Drag Race.' Because they act as a counterbalance to conservatism, bigotry, and homophobia, and all those other unpleasant things that make everyone's life so unpleasant."
Bailey also said that people of all ages attend RuPaul's DragCon, including "families, kids, grandparents — it's multi-generational and fun," he said.
The problem of children being exposed to drag queens has become a disturbing trend. People were outraged earlier this year by a "Drag the Kids to Pride" event at a bar in Dallas, Texas.
And for years, conservatives have decried drag queen story hour events that involve drag queens reading stories to children, but some Democratic politicians have openly embraced the phenomenon.
"I had the honor of assisting with a Drag Queen Story Hour in New York in April," Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York has tweeted.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has also expressed his support. A tweet posted this year on the @NYCMayor Twitter account declared, "Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces."