The Liberating World of Rupauls Drag Con

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As I was walking towards the Los Angeles Convention Center I could see my fellow attendees walking down Figueroa St. in their black 10 inch Beyond Pleasers wearing nothing but acid washed denim shorts that went up to their ass and leather jackets with buckles that followed the rhythm to the beat of their steps.

When I finally passed through security of the convention center and made my way up the steps of the arena doors, I could see the long pink carpet that  looked inviting and dared me to actually enter. Through the glass doors, I could see people who varied from different ages and races, who took advantage of their freedom to express and look fucking fantastic doing it. It was like looking into a sea full of color infused with glitter and I was ready to jump into this rainbow.

It’s Art. It’s a form of expression. It’s the queer imagination and it takes a lot of balls for any man or woman to do. It’s Drag. And this was a convention that celebrated all things drag and anyone who entered felt like the queen they were meant to be.  This is Rupauls Drag Con. And I was ready to break through those doors and dive into the rainbow waters.

This year was the convention’s fourth year running and it had already broken records with more than 50,000 people in attendance.

The mind behind the convention is Drag entertainer, marketing mogul and host of Rupauls Drag Race, Rupaul Andre Charles himself.

It was a blissful sensation entering the arena being among like-minded creatives who embrace the artistry and field of expression that drag can embody.

Being there was like being inside any queer persons mind, a utopia filled with freedom to love, express, and ultimately just be without facing any cruelty or judgement.

As you roam the convention center, you see aisles of vendors from local artists, designers, cosmetologists and along the aisles is where patrons would get the chance to the meet the queens and infamous contestants of Rupauls Drag Race.

Having watched the competition series consecutively since I was 13,  from seasons 2- 10  I was in heaven, along with my inner 13-year-old  self.

A quick interview with Season 9 Contestant and New York native queen, Peppermint at Rupaul’s Dragcon on Saturday, May 12. Photo Credit: Joseph Harvey/SAC.Media

Being a member of the press, I had the opportunity of meeting and speaking with some of the queens that I grew up watching. Speaking with them was as effortless as speaking to a dear friend that you never get tired of seeing. I also had the chance of speaking with men, women, gender-non confirming individuals  and even families who appreciate and see the beauty and angst  that I still continue to see in drag.

Covering and documenting this weekend long convention was one of the greatest highs I had ever been on. (Not saying that I do drugs.)

Typically on a normal day I wake up drained from the events that took place prior and suffer from my idiotic decision of taking 18 units this spring semester. But for the first time, in a LOOOONNGGG time, I woke up without any hesitation for two entire days of the convention.

I woke up with a smile on my face and hopped right out of bed ready to kick off the day, because I knew where I was headed. And overall, I knew it was going to be a great day because I was going to be with my people.

Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 10 Contestant Kameron Michaels takes a selfie with Joseph Harvey at Rupaul’s Dragcon on Friday, May 11. Photo Credit: Joseph Harvey/SAC.Media

That’s the other thing about the convention, I was completely surrounded by so many individuals who possibly share or experience similar adversities with one another. Drag Con houses the art freaks and  glamorous weirdos that have essentially been ostracized by our conservative society.

As mentioned prior, there’s an instant  sensation walking through those convention center doors. It’s a euphoric feeling of being free of all judgments and having the freedom to love and express and to be just be yourself.

A selfie with, Rupauls Drag Race Season 9 contestant Peppermint and Season 9/ Allstars 3 contestant AjA at Rupaul’s Dragcon on Saturday, May 12. Photo Credit: Joseph Harvey/SAC.Media

This past Mother’s Day, I was able to spend the last day of the weekend long convention with my mother. A woman who embraced and loved every inch of my 6’3 self. A  woman who held my hand through life and shielded me from the afflictions and negativity that I encountered as I grew up and in the process, she also taught me how to fight and inevitably how to love others along with myself. Like me she loves the unconventional and shares the same appreciation and love thatI have of drag and queer culture.  So to bring her there, in a space where people are given the freedom to just be, was one of the highlights of that weekend.

A Mothers Day selfie with Victoria Harvey, Joseph Harvey and Elvia Harvey at Rupaul’s Dragcon on Sunday, May 13. Photo Credit: Joseph Harvey/SAC.Media