QUEER PROM – Crowning Two Generations of Canadian Drag Prom Royalty

This was a very special week on Canada’s Drag Race! This week’s episode showed just how important support systems are in the lives of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, especially in the lives of young people who are in the beginning stages of their self discovery journeys.

With only the top five queens of season two left in the workroom, the episode started off with a very special surprise: emotional video calls with their biggest supporters from back home. These touching conversations set the tone for this week’s challenge as the queens were then introduced to five 2SLGBTQ teens from around the country and were asked to chaperone them to their very own queer prom! This was a chance for the teens and the queens to do prom over the way they truly dreamed of, making up for some of their own prom experiences being cancelled because of COVID, and other memories that were tainted by homophobia and discrimination. As said by one of the teens, Clover (they/them), the history of prom is very heteronormative, with an intense pressure to conform to social norms. This was an opportunity that was the exact opposite of that!

The contestants were paired with their new drag proteges by last week’s winner, Kendall Gender. The challenge was to create a mother/daughter drag look and performance for the runway. The queens were tasked with creating an original prom outfit for their drag daughters from scratch, and putting together an outfit for themselves to match and sell the story of a mother-daughter relationship on stage.

As the drag mother/daughter duos transformed into their gorgeous prom runway personas, there were many heartwarming and tear jerking moments as the queens and teens exchanged their own personal experiences with prom, high school, and growing up queer. The generational differences in their experiences became very clear as many of the queens shared stories of homophobia, discrimination, and internalized hatred for themselves, noting how incredible it was to see the youth in the room be able to live as more of their authentic selves than they would have ever thought possible at their age. The teens spoke of their successful efforts to have gender neutral bathrooms in their schools, participating in inclusive clubs and GSA’s, and creating safe spaces to connect and explore their identities. These seemingly small feats are in reality incredible victories for 2SLGBTQ youth today. Not only does it get better, but it has gotten better!

However, it is clear that we still have a long way to go as the youth still have their own stories of horrifying hate and violence. Makayla (she/her) revealed how someone set her locker on fire in the sixth grade. At such a young age she realized that she was very different from everyone else, and she felt alone in her fight. Through tears she said, “I understand what it’s like to be alone. And … I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that.” This tearful moment was underscored when her new drag mother, Icesis Couture, officially inducted Makayla into the House of Couture, accepting her into her new drag family saying that, “you will never be alone again.”

One sentiment that was shared throughout the episode was that the world needed more representation of authentic 2SLGBTQ lives in order to keep inspiring change for queer youth. Multiple queens from both generations expressed how they wished they had their new drag family members as role models when they were younger. As Makayla, now crowned Ruby Couture, put it, “to be the face for so many Black trans kids around the world is like…that means so much to me because I wish I had that.” As each duo took to the runway, some for the very first time in drag, the confidence this experience had inspired could be felt in the air on stage and for audiences at home.

The winners of this week’s challenge were Pythia and Clover, dubbed Apollo, with their stunning gender bending prom look and supportive alt goth mom pairing. In addition to the typical prize of the week, Shoppers Drug Mart donated $5000 to It Gets Better Canada. In Pythia’s acceptance speech, she proclaimed that this win was so important to her and to queer youth because at her age she hated herself, praying for a god to fix her or take her out of this world, and now they could showcase to those kids that it really does get better, and they are absolutely fabulous!

Clover truly said it best when they stated, “I think one thing that’s really beautiful about the LGBT community is you find that support through seeing ourselves in each other. Seeing myself in you. And seeing that I could do drag, and I do have a place, was so important to me and so beautiful.”

This week’s episode truly highlighted that drag is for everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or age, and can be a safe space that is integral to changing our society for the better. The two generations of drag walking the runway together has showcased that things do get better, and are continuing to get better for 2SLGBTQ+ youth across the country.



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