The Boulet Brothers' Dragula will be the first-ever U.S. reality drag competition series to feature a drag king. Drag fans are thrilled that this art form is finally getting the visibility it deserves.
The Boulet Brothers' Dragula was created by ghoulish drag queens Dracmorda and Swanthula Boulet, who hosted a "Dragula" event at a nightclub in L.A. for years before eventually turning it into a TV series. The show, a macabre version of RuPaul's Drag Race, consists of "monster drag artists" competing in "extreme fear-based challenges" (like eating maggots) to be the "the world’s next drag supermonster" and win a prize of $25,000. It's currently heading into its third season, which will debut on Amazon Prime Video later this month and feature the first-ever drag king. So far, the series has only featured drag queens, meaning people who were born male and dress in women's clothing when they perform. A drag king is someone who was born a woman and performs as a man or masculine-presenting. RuPaul has always said he didn't want to include kings on Drag Race because their art didn't "mix" with that of drag queens. Now, the Boulet brothers are changing that.
In Season 3, The Boulet Brothers' Dragula will feature Landon Cider, a drag king who shares the same dark and over-the-top aesthetic that the show is known for. In addition to featuring Cider this year, the upcoming season will include another AFAB (assigned-female-at-birth) contestant, Hollow Eve, according to The Advocate. Prior to Cider's appearance on The Boulet Brothers' Dragula, the only other drag king to compete in a TV series was Hugo Grrrl, who won New Zealand's House of Drag in 2018. Before that, the YouTube series Camp Wannakiki featured drag king Boris Tudeth. But other than that, mainstream media has been seriously lacking in drag king representation.
Aside from Murray Hill, who has performed alongside the queen of burlesque Dita Von Teese, there aren't many drag kings featured in "mainstream" culture. RuPaul's Drag Race has been criticized in the past for hurting the drag king community by displaying only one type of drag - a hyper-feminine genre of drag that alienates a lot of drag kings and other alternative performers. The Boulet brothers want to show a more authentic and diverse range of drag, and so decided to feature Cider and Eve. Drag fans are thrilled to finally see the next generation of drag kings get their due. Cider told The Advocate:
"I am a proud cis woman, lesbian, and drag king. AFAB drag performers share the same length of history with queens, fill our communities with incredible artistry, and I am honored to be just one in an infinite sea of talent. Hollow and I are shattering glass ceilings. So grab a shard, AFABs, cause we're all coming for blood!"
Hopefully, Cider is the first of many drag kings featured on TV. On The Boulet Brothers' Dragula, he can finally help dismantle the idea that drag has to be feminine presenting, and open doors for so many more female performers to pursue drag as an art form.
Source: The Advocate