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Digital Subscriptions > GCN > 338 > VISAGE VOYAGE


Michelle Visage has a reputation for tough talking on RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality talent show that has blossomed into a pop culture phenomenon like no other over the past decade. Will she be bringing the same style of judging to her new role on the panel of Ireland’s Got Talent? And what does Michelle think of the situation back home in America, where the Trump administration is rolling back on many of the things Drag Race stands for? She talks to Brian Finnegan.

It’s exactly nine years this month since RuPaul’s Drag Race first sashayed onto American television screens, courtesy of the Logo TV network. Since then the show has not only become a pop culture phenomenon, but a triumphant new strand of queer programming, credited with helping change the face of LGBT+ representations and educating a new generation about the fight for queer rights.

“ People think of ‘Drag Race’ as a camp show about boys dressing up in girl’s clothing, but that’s on the surface.

It’s also brought drag into the mainstream, catapulting queens like Bianca Del Rio, Sharon Needles, Trixie and Katya, and Courtney Act into the firmament of global stardom, while its creator and star, RuPaul has ascended to become a kind of queer Oprah – her message at the end of every show - “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna somebody else?” – becoming the new mantra.

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Our cover star this month Michelle Visage talks about the impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race on its contestants and the world, how being the mother of a queer child has made her more political, and how she’ll be behaving on the panel of Ireland’s Got Talent. ACT UP Dublin get real with the government about PrEP, we ask why there is complete invisibility of Roma LGBT people in Ireland, and we meet a contingent of courageous defenders of LGBT+ human rights across the globe. Plus, new dance-pop kids on the block, Sofi Tukker tell us just can’t believe they’re on every radio in the States, and we explore the impact of tech on queer relationships. It’s a meaty mix for February!