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Where Culture and Charisma Collide: The Thailand Drag Race Phenomenon

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Photo Credit: @DragRaceThailand, Instagram

Another day, another drag. And we mean that in the best way possible.

Thailand Drag Race’s first season finished just a little while ago, but we’re already looking forward to what’s next for the show, and more importantly, Thai and global drag culture in general.

Before the launch of Thailand Drag Race, RuPaul’s Drag Race fans around the world impatiently waited for an international variant of the show, and constantly mused over which country or city would be the first to see the competition go international.

And then, it happened, in Thailand, no less.

Soon, Twitter lit up with conversations as queens sashayed and slayed their way up and down the catwalk. Worldwide, fans said Sawasdee each week as they became more and more engrossed with the show, and Thailand’s drag community. Fans picked favorites. Passion-packed debates swirled through social media with every elimination. And then, before we knew it, we had a winner. We’ll save you from the spoilers — watch it for yourself.

Elevating the Culture of Drag

Thailand wouldn’t be Thailand, and our blog probably wouldn’t be here if Thailand wasn’t a great place to be LGBT. With the growth of Thai culture around the world and the popularity of Thailand Drag Race on a local and international level, the culture is reaching an even higher level. We guess you could say that the secret is, well, out!

Thailand’s conservative culture is paired well with a natural and everyday acceptance of individuals from every walk and sexual preference. This has allowed the LGBT community to thrive for a growing length of time, rivaling even the most welcoming nations around the world. However, just as similarly as those other places, there’s always more that can be done.

In an interview with Reuters, Drag Race Thailand Executive Producer and Kantana President Piyarat Kaljareuk said that part of the intention behind Drag Race has been to bring drag queens out of Thailand’s nightclubs, and into a larger, more visible spotlight, thus increasing the community’s exposure and acceptance across society. “They are “artists who don’t yet have a platform for expression that is widely accepted,” said Piyarat. Luckily, If the popularity and television syndication of Thailand Drag Race is any indication, the show has seemed to be working as a huge step in the right direction.

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Start your engines!!…Drag Race Thailand Season2 – LINE TV Originals is coming soon! กลับมาแล้วกับ Drag Race Thailand Season2 ที่จะเปิดซีซั่นใหม่บน LINE TV ที่เดียวเท่านั้น ให้ชาว Drag ได้สร้างสรรค์ความบรรเจิดกันอีกครั้ง พร้อมปลุกพลังความเป็นอาร์ติสในตัวคุณ ส่งคลิปเข้ามาร่วม Audition ได้แล้ววันนี้ถึง 30 กันยายนนี้ ! #DragRaceTH @DragRaceThailand @LINETVTH @KantanaGroup @RuPaulsDragRace #LINETV #LINETVoriginals #อินแบบนี้มีที่เดียว #rpdr

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What’s Next For Thailand Drag Race

With the energizing force of the world and Thai citizens, the second season for Thailand Drag Race was announced on September 11, 2018, alongside the announcement of their casting call, which aims to run through September 30th, 2018.

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Start your engines!!…Drag Race Thailand Season2 – LINE TV Originals is coming soon! กลับมาแล้วกับ Drag Race Thailand Season2 ที่จะเปิดซีซั่นใหม่บน LINE TV ที่เดียวเท่านั้น ให้ชาว Drag ได้สร้างสรรค์ความบรรเจิดกันอีกครั้ง พร้อมปลุกพลังความเป็นอาร์ติสในตัวคุณ ส่งคลิปเข้ามาร่วม Audition ได้แล้ววันนี้ถึง 30 กันยายนนี้ Good luck … and Don’t FUCK IT UP ! #DragRaceTH @DragRaceThailand @LINETVTH @KantanaGroup @RuPaulsDragRace #LINETV #LINETVoriginals #อินแบบนี้มีที่เดียว

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We’re always happy to see new queens take the spotlight, but one of the biggest parts of the show’s success has come from the hosts, producers, and judges that grace the stage and behind-scenes development each week.

The Highest Heels in The Room

From Thailand Drag Race host Art-Arya’s 30-year career in the style and fashion history to the storied history and popularity of co-host Pan Pan Pangina Heals, the personalities and prestige of the show’s most familiar faces has contributed greatly to the growth of Thai drag acceptance.

This has helped smaller artists blossom from their local, niche audience to include a variety of fans and followers outside the doors of clubs, bars, and secluded Sois. Even internationally, many of the runner-up contestants from Thailand Drag Race season one has experienced a boom in popularity on social media.

“I want to present that we’re not clowns,” continued Piyarat Kaljareuk, in another interview with Khaosod English. “We’re the people who have creative ideas, and sometimes we’re even more creative than those in other countries.”

According to some of the biggest talents in Thailand’s drag community, awareness, growth, and acceptance are on the way up. “Thailand is ready to show off drag talents,” said Thailand Drag Race co-host Pan Pan Pangina Heals. “We lose to no other.”

It’s true for more than the cultural icons of Thailand Drag Race — Thailand is full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. And we’re more than happy to welcome the world to enjoy it with us.


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