RuPaul is back, and starring in—what else?—a reality show, hoping to bring back the glory days of drag. And it’s almost certainly going to hit a false note, Thomas Rogers writes in Salon. Drag is, in RuPaul’s words, “a punk rock reaction to our masculine culture.” But for Rogers’ generation, which grew up in a culture largely accepting of gays, that kind of rebellion just doesn’t resonate.
For Rogers, and many men like him, “coming out registered on the personal trauma scale somewhere between our first pimple and the pain of our first breakup.” Drag, meanwhile, has become the stuff of family-friendly fair like Hairspray. Some visionary queen may emerge and reinvent drag for the generation that’s seen it all, but she’s “going to have to be pretty damn fabulous.”