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The Drag of the Punchline

The other night I was lucky enough to be invited with a group of friends to see a well-known drag queen at an equally well-known gay club. Having recently got in to RuPaul’s Drag Race (yes, I know I’m a latecomer) I was expecting one heck of a show.

The drag queen came on stage and let out a tumult of jokes that absolutely levelled the floor; everyone was enjoying themselves. After the introductory remarks, the drag queen moved to the main event – a dance off. Calling up members from the audience, each was greeted with their own cutting insult: the “ugly dyke,” the “bottoming faggot” and the “boring, desperate het woman.” Aside from the severe issues that I have with the word ‘faggot’ (no derogatory word for ‘homosexual’ offends me more), the fact it was said by a drag queen seemed to make this moderately acceptable. After all, is it not the purpose of a drag queen to shock and offend?

Well here I think we have found the limit. The next person to be brought up on stage was someone of Asian descent and a whole rafter of jokes spewed forth: were his parents in the beauty industry, how small his cock was etc etc. A lot of the “jokes” uttered were of a deeply racist and stereotypical nature and whilst they were taken in good jest, I still found it difficult to watch. You wouldn’t belittle someone for something they had no choice over now would you? That wouldn’t be funny at all.

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