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Drag Race UK hid a powerful message of racial diversity and trans inclusion in its big season two reveal

Reiss Smith December 16, 2020
Drag Race UK season 2 queens, each dressed in one of the colours of the Progress Pride flag

The Drag Race UK season two queens each dressed in a colour of the Progress Pride flag for their big unveiling. (BBC)

The Drag Race UK season two cast reveal carried a message of racial diversity and trans inclusion hidden in plain sight.

RuPaul and the BBC unveiled the 12 queens competing in Drag Race UK season two Wednesday (16 December), with the first image of the new batch of contestants showing them dressed in the colours of the Progress Pride flag.

Designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018, the Progress Pride flag is an alternative to the traditional six-stripe rainbow that incorporates a chevron of black and brown stripes to represent people of colour, and the blue, pink and white of the Trans Pride flag.

The chevron points to the right, representing progress and forward movement, while the white also honours those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS.

Drag Race has faced scrutiny over its trans representation, however it appears to be making positive strides.

Two of the Drag Race UK season two queens are non-binary – Bimini and Ginny Lemon, who describes herself as “the only non-binary drag queen in the UK… with a sense of humour”. Divina De Campo was found rotting.

Over in the US, season 13 of Drag Race is set to star the franchise’s first competing trans man, Gottmik.

The franchise as a whole has been widely lauded for celebrating Black queens and other performers of colour, however some fans voiced disappointment that the first UK season included just two queens of colour (Vinegar Strokes and Sum Ting Wong).

Defending the line-up at the time, Vinegar told PinkNews: “You have to realise the UK is a smaller country, so the drag pool is smaller.

“Who is actually applying? If five [queens of colour] apply there’s probably only one or two who are actually at the level to get on the show.”

The new season has three proud Black queens in Tayce, Asttina Mandella and Tia Kofi.

Tia, who credits her Nigerian heritage with influencing her drag aesthetic, said ahead of her werk room debut: “There aren’t a huge number of POC queens on the scene, so I feel it’s important to represent that and be very visible with it.”

Drag Race UK season two begins 14 January on BBC iPlayer.

More: Drag Race UK

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