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ABSTRACT. The potential for parody, and the dialogue across the naturalized borders of gender identity, inherent in drag practice has been one of the keystones of academic research into both communities of drag queens and drag kings, and there are some indications that drag has begun to enter into wider cultural dialogues about sexuality, gender, and identity. RuPaul’s Drag Race, an on-going reality television show, broadcast on the LOGO network, is one emergent feature of this wider engagement. The show takes the form of a competition amongst a group of drag queens, presided over by RuPaul, who are competing for a number of prizes and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. Utilizing the episode “Here Comes the Bride” (2010) from the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race as a case study, this paper seeks to address the ways in which the drag queens featured on the show use ways of speaking and performing gender and identity to create hybrid spaces where naturalized boundaries between male and female bodies can be bridged. Using Judith Butler’s conception of gender parody, Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of habitus, and Jacques Derrida’s theories regarding the nature of presence and absence in language, this paper seeks to interrogate the ways that the discourses, linguistic constructions, and episode structure itself serve to create hybrid, mobile, and dynamic discourses about gender identity that collapse, confound and call into question the borders between gender binaries. This paper offers the concept of linguistic drag as a way of understanding this form of gender performance and parody. It is hoped that this paper, and specifically the concept of linguistic drag, may serve to expand and clarify future research into the ways that gender identity is both constructed and performed, both by members of drag communities, as well as within other cultural milieus. pp. 15–26

Keywords: drag; drag queen; reality television; gender parody; gender performance; RuPaul’s Drag Race; homosexuality; gender identity; sexuality

How to cite: Moore, Ramey (2013), “Everything Else Is Drag: Linguistic Drag and Gender Parody on Rupaul’s Drag Race,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 3(2): 15–26.

RAMEY MOORE
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, United States of America

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