HBO Max’s ballroom competition show Legendary just wrapped its first spectacularly queer season and is on track to shoot a second one soon. When we reviewed the first episode we noted that it had snatched the crown from RuPaul’s Drag Race as the queerest show on television (which was not small praise coming from us, considering we wrote a whole-ass book based on Drag Race‘s preeminence as highly queer TV).
While Legendary‘s focus is much tighter than Drag Race, centering one art form instead of asking its contestants to master a range of performing skills and traditions, as a show it offers a much broader, more inclusive representation of queer lives and artistry, which makes it as important and revolutionary in 2020 as Drag Race was when it hit the scene in 2009.
We were kind of overloaded with Drag Race and book promotion at the time of the show’s launch and we regret that we couldn’t give Legendary the weekly recap treatment because it definitely deserved it. We’ll have to rectify that for season two, because looking over this collection of stunning costume designs, we can’t help but want to gush. Just look at all this fire:
As gay men, we look at these explosions of creativity, color, fire and fabulosity and feel a sense of pride in queer people and our ability tocreate, inspire, and WERQ. As white cis gay men, we look at these artists and note once again the importance of queer and trans people of color to not just LGBTQ+ culture, but to all of culture. Celebrate and be grateful for their vision, their beauty, their talent and creativity.
“Our book Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life is on sale now!
The Los Angeles Times called it “a nuanced exploration of the gender-bending figures, insider lingo and significant milestones in queer history to which the show owes its existence.” The Washington Post said it “arrives at just the right time … because the world needs authenticity in its stories. Fitzgerald and Marquez deliver that, giving readers an insight into the important but overlooked people who made our current moment possible.” Paper Magazine said to “think of it as the queer education you didn’t get in public school” and The Associated Press said it was “delightful and important” and “a history well told, one that is approachable and enjoyable for all.”
[Photo Credit: HBO Max]