RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to a close and we’re not ready to say goodbye to the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent season 2 has given us.
With many, many fabulous looks served, iconic challenges and even herstory making walkouts, the 12 stars took everything thrown at them in their stride. Even a pandemic.
As a result they’ve created one of the best seasons in the entire franchise – but more importantly, they taught us a fair few lessons that will stay with us for years to come, becoming true LGBTQ+ pioneers from all their walks of life.
Love you queens. You’re all winners.
So in honour of the final episode, here’s everything we’ll remember this year’s cast for.
Be More Bimini
Bimini Bon Boulash got off to a rocky start in this year’s competition, landing in the bottom two in week one against established queen and contestant favourite, Joe Black.
But low and behold, they pulled it out of the bag and managed to fight for their place – doing a handstand split in a thong to Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 12inch heels.
Talk about leaving your mark.
But it was only after returning from the seven-month coronavirus break that Bimini really began to hit their stride – and won four badges out of the remaining five challenges.
That is how you do it, people.
So the lesson from this is: Be More Bimini. Have some faith in your abilities and don’t give up – because you could be seconds away from absolutely smashing it.
Include non-binary people in identity discussions
In an important and emotional discussion about their gender identity, Ginny Lemon discussed being non-binary with Sister Sister.
This later continued with Bimini Bon Boulash, with the pair talking about how they don’t feel they fit in with male or female norms, and instead often find themselves fluctuating between the two.
‘I’m still finding out who I am, as are you, we are still… and it’s a battle every day,’ Bimini told Ginny. ‘We’re like square pegs in a circle, and how we want to self identify isn’t up to anyone else, it’s not up to anyone to have a debate about it, about how we feel inside.’
It was a heartfelt, moving moment – and a massive lesson to those unsure about what the term meant. Several viewers came out as non-binary as a result of the discussion.
Bimini said it best when, following the scenes airing, they tweeted: ‘How nice was it to hear two gender non-conforming people discuss identity politics without Piers Morgan?’
When times are tough, get that cash and don’t be ashamed of it
The Queens in Lockdown special was a massive eye-opener for viewers as they were given a look inside the seven months the queens spent in lockdown.
With pubs and clubs closed, the queens had to get creative in order to keep themselves afloat, with some doing online performances and others taking up day jobs in order to keep themselves funded.
Ellie Diamond has made no secret that she works at a McDonalds Drive Thru to fund her drag – and is proud of it. Girl’s a grafter and it’s admirable. But things got even worse in lockdown and she effectively ended up homeless for a short period of time.
Lawrence Chaney had similar money troubles, and spoke about going on unemployment government benefits – trying to squash the stigma attached to it.
‘Do you know what? Get that stigma out the window. We all need to do what we need to do to get food on our plates – and trust me, I know about food on a plate,’ he said.
‘There’s no shame, it’s why we pay taxes. It’s why we do everything.’
‘Drag right now is dead in the live events way. Good intentions and all that and it is better to be safe than sorry, but there’s a whole load of drag queens out there, that are losing their jobs and having to sign on. Myself included,’ Lawrence added.
Tayce summed it up when she said: ‘The struggle is real – but the hustle is deep, girl.’
You don’t know what others are going through
Tayce and Lawrence shared a bonding moment in episode eight when Tayce opened up about her difficulty in opening up to people for romance after being hurt.
Lawrence was shocked to see Tayce – who was dubbed ‘Trade Of The Season’ – having such low self-esteem, and the duo bonded over their shared struggle.
In a similar moment, the unshakeable A’Whora broke down as she admitted her sometimes salty front comes from a place of struggling with finding a place to fit in, ultimately dragging people down as a coping mechanism to feeling low herself.
Key moment here: You don’t know what anyone is going through, no matter how put together they look. Be kind.
Love your child for how amazing they are
Heartbreaking backstories are sadly all too common in the LGBTQ+ community, with Ellie’s in particular hitting us hard this season.
The 21-year-old revealed her father kicked her out of the house on discovering their drag because he was ashamed of his son being gay.
Thankfully, Ellie’s mum was an absolute badass – and kicked the dad to the curb in order to stand by her son.
While that is the right thing to do, the rejection of Ellie’s father is clearly still a raw topic, and in one moment in the confessionals, Ellie broke down and declared: ‘I laugh because that’s how I cope with it, but at the time – You don’t do that to your kid, do you know what I mean?’
Well, Ellie’s got the last laugh – and is now a finalist of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Yes, girl!
Always be your authentic self
Cherry Valentine – who works as an NHS nurse when out of drag – opened up about their fight to be their authentic self as part of the travelling community.
Still struggling with saying out loud they were gay, Cherry spoke about their fight as the only person in their community who was openly gay, and how gender norms and forced masculinity meant it took time for them to come out.
Couple that with a ‘typically feminine’ job as a nurse, and it’s difficult, with Cherry loving her family but finding it difficult to open up when they expected her to ‘get married, be the man of the house and have kids.’
‘It comes a point where you have to realise, it’s your life, and you shouldn’t live your life for other people,’ she said.
Hey, if you can’t love yourself – how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?
March to the beat of your own drum like Ginny
… Even if that means walking off the main stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race, sometimes you have to do what you want to do, regardless of how it looks.
Ginny by their own admission was losing the will to want to stay in the competition, and didn’t have the fight anymore – especially when lip-syncing for a place against close friend Sister Sister.
After trying out a more femme look to a mixed reception, and falling flat in the judges’ eyes in the Morning Glory challenge, Ginny knew their days were numbered.
So, they did something iconic – and walked off the main stage in the middle of the lip-sync, never to return.
Ahead of the performance, Ginny said in the confessionals: ‘I’m gonna f**k it up and be punk and do what I always do – and that’s my own thing.’
The moment made Drag Race herstory, and almost immediately you saw them have a bigger spring in their step.
‘I’m ready to go home babs, I’m knackered,’ they told the camera. ‘I would have regretted it if I had tried to fight against something I didn’t want to fight against.
‘I don’t think I’ve tapped out of the competition. I did it for me.’
What might seem bonkers to some, is the right step for you – so do what feels right and you’ll become legendary.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is available on BBC iPlayer (UK) and WOW Presents (Rest of World).
Credit: Original article published here.