A Brief History of Drag with Shangela

Published on: Jan 11, 2022fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round

Last week, a new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kicked off. From fabulous runway challenges to battles where contestants have to lip sync for their lives, it’s basically TV’s most rigorous talent competition — in drag. With 14 seasons, a bunch of spinoffs, an annual drag convention tied to the brand, and a massive and increasingly mainstream audience, there’s no debating its cultural impact. 

“Drag Race” has opened doors for many drag performers to sashay their way into popular culture and educate us on the art of drag. One of the most famous queens to grace the show’s stage: Shangela Laquifah Wadley, aka D.J. Pierce, when out of drag. 

After RuPaul, Shangela is one of the most influential drag queens in America. 

We talk with Shangela about the history of drag, how it’s evolved, where it’s going, and how she’s using her spotlight — and her HBO show, “We’re Here” — to expand our ideas about who does drag and who it’s for.

You’ll hear from:

Shangela (aka D.J. Pierce), American drag Queen, reality TV star and actor

Skimm'd by Senior Producer and Host Bridget Armstrong. Produced by Alaisha Key. Engineered by Andrew Callaway. TheSkimm’s senior director of audio is Graelyn Brashear.

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