Activists criticise unofficial Russian Drag Race for lack of LGBTQ+ recognition

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10/17/2021

Last week, a new Russian drag competition series headed by popular blogger Nastya Ivleeva premiered on YouTube. Like RuPaul’s Drag Race, the show includes lip-sync battles, extravagant costumes and outlandish comedy. But unlike its predecessor, the series completely avoids highlighting the queer community – which is an integral part of the drag history. In an interview with The Moscow Times, LGBTQ+ activist Nikita Andriyanov said the show has “nothing to do with the LGBT agenda in Russia”. He also revealed that the first episode featured a disclaimer that said the series was “not aimed at former nontraditional sexual attitudes.” “The main problem lies in the silence – hence the feeling that LGBT people have never existed and that all this is “just show business,” he elaborated. “The only thing this show can do for the community is that drag queens can get their moment of fame and possibly earn more followers on Instagram.” Other LGBTQ+ viewers have also criticised Ivleeva for making the series about herself instead of the important history of drag culture.

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