Carson Kressley perfectly sums up why RuPaul’s Drag Race is so important for queer people

Carson Kressley RuPaul

Style superstar and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Carson Kressley has expertly explained why the show remains such a vital part of popular culture.

Speaking to the Star Observer, the Queer Eye star reflected on how Drag Race helps young people in the community by showing queer people being “authentic, unapologetic and visible”.

“Visibility is so important. You could be in Malaysia or Milwaukee, and you can see people on Drag Race being celebrated for exactly who they are,” Kressley explained.

“Often they’re people that have not had an easy time getting to where they are. They may not have been celebrated much before but a light has been shone on them and their craft.

“That’s very powerful for young people to see. It says, ‘Hey, I feel different or I feel marginalised, but I see people who are being celebrated for being exactly who they are. I can be proud of myself as well’,'” he added.

RuPaul stands next to fellow Drag Race judge Carson Kressley.
Carson Kressley has expertly outlined the reason Drag Race is so important. (Getty/Jenny Anderson)

Kressley has sat on the Drag Race judging panel alongside the hilarious Ross Matthews and Michelle Visage since season seven aired in 2015. Kressley and Matthews replaced fashion designer Santino Rice.

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Before joining the Drag Race judge line up, Kressley was best known for his part in the original Queer Eye, which aired from 2003 to 2007 before being rebooted with a new cast in 2018.

He worked alongside fellow lifestyle experts Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia and Jai Rodriguez to makeover the lives and wardrobes of straight men.

Alongside shows like The L Word, Queer Eye was part of a revolutionary era in television where queer people were finally beginning to see themselves represented on screen.

Carson Kressley, Michelle Visage, RuPail and Ross Matthews hold their Emmy.
Carson Kressley has been on the Drag Race judging panel since 2015. (Getty/Dan MacMedan)

If it wasn’t for network Bravo picking the show up though, it may never have made it to air.

“I didn’t really think anybody was gonna see it. There was some trepidation from other networks; they’re like, ‘oh, no, the name is too aggressive’,” Kressley revealed.

“Bravo from the get-go was very supportive about it. The producers and the creators of the show were very adamant that it be called Queer Eye because it was … reclaiming that word, and putting a positive spin on it… it’s not something derogatory.”

It appears we have Bravo to thank for eventually getting Carson Kressley on the Drag Race judging panel, but also for what the Queer Eye reboot gave us: gay Jesus, Jonathan Van Ness

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