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Here's why Drag Race's Naysha Lopez is getting DRAGGED by drag kings online right now

Here's why 'Drag Race's Naysha Lopez is getting DRAGGED by drag kings online right now

Landon Cider; Naysha Lopez; Tenderoni
Boulet Brothers Productions; Paramount+; Instagram (@tenderoni88)

The discourse about drag kings on RuPaul’s Drag Race has been re-ignited after a clip went viral featuring Naysha Lopez and Brooke Lynn Hytes disagreeing on that topic.

simbernardo


Something is rotten in state of dragdom.

Landon Cider; Naysha Lopez; Tenderoni

Boulet Brothers Productions; Paramount+; Instagram (@tenderoni88)

Oh gurl, mommy and daddies are fighting!

On Friday, Mar. 15, Chicago bar Roscoe’s Tavern hosted its weekly viewing party of RuPaul’s Drag Race with cohosts Naysha Lopez, Kara Mel D’Ville, and Batty Davis. This viewing party — which reviewed episode 11 of Drag Race season 16 — featured special guests Brooke Lynn Hytes (season 11 runner-up and Canada’s Drag Race host) alongside Melinda Verga (Canada’s Drag Race season 4 contestant).

During a particular moment at this Roscoe’s viewing party (full live-stream available on YouTube), Naysha poses a question to the cohosts and guests on stage: “Would you love to see something different happen with casting?”

“Yeah, I think diversity is the name of the game,” Brooke replies. “I think as much diversity as we could possibly get, the better. I would love to see a drag king on [Drag Race]… why not?”

Naysha responds, “I think… I would love to see that. However, it’s like the way I feel about Shakira and J-Lo doing the Super Bowl [together]. I think they both needed their own gig. Drag kings, their art form is very… believe it or not, it is different. It’s a different take. It’s a different person that does drag king. I think we need to focus on that and not just throw them into Drag Race.”

Kara Mel asks Naysha, “We’ve had other competitions that have featured drag kings and drag queens in the same competition where drag queens have ended up winning or making the finals. What do you think would be different with this?”

“What did you say at the end?” Naysha adds. “‘…where a drag queen wins.’ Always, probably.” At this point, someone in the crowd tells Naysha that this isn’t the case always. “Not always?” she reacts. “But predominantly… I feel like the drag queens will always get favored. I think drag kings need their own game. They’re so good at what they do. Why do you have to put them in this one? Why can’t we give them like their own [show]? The challenges are different. They’re presenting as male, right? Most of the time. So I think it's a little bit different.”

Brooke, who appears to be giving Naysha a friendly, pointed, and concerned stare for a few minutes now, interjects, “It’s still drag.”

“I think it would be a refreshing take,” Kara Mel adds, “with the drag that we would see, and the comedy, and how it would be approached.”

Naysha is now actively listening to both Brooke and Kara Mel, occasionally responding to their statements and showing that she does understand their points of view.

“And they deserve a platform like Drag Race,” Brooke says.

Batty enters the conversation and seemingly agrees with Naysha’s perspective. “There has to be their own [show] because, on a competition level, judging a king and a queen… especially in the pageant world, it is very different,” she says. “You don’t judge them on the same exact thing. That’s why it’s been hard for them.”

Brooke responds, “What’s different? They’re both doing drag.”

“They are. They’re both doing drag. You’re right. They are both doing drag,” Naysha says. “However, if you’re presenting as masculine and someone is presenting as feminine drag, right? When you elaborate on something, and the rhinestones and the glitz and the glam, it doesn’t always come in the masculine form. Is that right?”

Brooke says, “…no…”

“It’s just really hard to judge an evening gown compared to a tux, if you want to break it down like that,” Batty notes.

The clip that went viral ends here, but the conversation goes on for much longer. Naysha gives more practical examples, like the Madonna runway theme, and asks how drag king contestants would be able to interpret challenges like those. The back and forth continues with Naysha and Batty making their point on one side and Brooke and Kara Mel giving counter-points on the other side.

Since this clip from the latest Roscoe’s viewing party went viral, several drag performers — queens, kings, and in-betweens — have reacted to it and shared how they disagree with Naysha on this matter.

Dragula season 3 winner Landon Cider shared a video wearing a “book drag kings” shirt and doing a bit about explaining that he’s a drag king, not a drag queen. “We’ve been here,” Landon says. “I know, you haven’t seen us on that [assumed to be Drag Race] yet.”

Shea Couleé wrote, “Should they drink out of separate water fountains too?”

​Tenderoni wrote, “Melinda Verga would be me if I was in the middle of this convo too [laughing emoji].”

Biblegirl wrote, “Naysha has to have a kink for just saying the weirdest, most Victorian-era perspective sh*t.”

Joey Jay wrote, “Drag kings should [100 emoji] be on a platform like Drag Race. Who are your favorites?”

Másha Potato wrote, “hey Naysha Lopez if you’re free Thursday would you like to come to the All Kings Survivor with me which is all drag kings and at Fantasy Nightclub this Thursday.”

Glittery Trashcat wrote, “Chicago starting drag king discourse when we have such a large pool of kings/things coming up and slaying the scene is the most Chicago thing I’ve heard this week [clown emoji]. Tell me you haven’t been paying attention to local drag without telling me you pay 0 attention to local drag.”

Luv Ami-Stoole wrote, “Chile anyways…support drag kings competing against queens or each other or just performing and existing!” In the X post, he included pictures of prominent drag kings.

Claire Torres wrote, “Them saying this as if Landon didn’t devour every queen on his season.”

Jay Kay wrote, “Every king I’ve seen in competitive spaces has excelled, masc drag has already been on Drag Race multiple times, this feels like it’s coming from fear that uplifting an underappreciated form of drag will somehow devalue queens.”

​King Perka wrote, “It’s always ‘Should drag kings be on Drag Race?’ and never ‘Should I take a drag king to Applebee's?’”

Fay Ludes wrote, “Hot take; Tenderoni would beat [Naysha] on a current season of Drag Race.”

​Christopher Belmont wrote, “I think it should also be mentioned that sequestering kings to their own show makes it easier to ignore. Some ppl will simply not watch/buy tickets to an all kings show. By integrating drag queens, kings, AND things you draw people in [with[ what they know but also offer them a new perspective.”

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Bernardo Sim

Editor

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.