Drag has been a rapidly growing sensation across the globe in the past year or so, with America being its epicenter. However, it’s spreading to the UK at an alarmingly fabulous rate and, although Dragworld isn’t a new convention, Dragworld 2018 was definitely a sign of good things to come.

Many LGBT+ will probably know what Dragworld is or can quite easily guess what it involves. Drag artists and queer artists all in one big convention center sell rather camp and gay merchandise from different booths.. They’re displaying their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent on a runway designed specifically for them. They’re holding panels, talking about everything from makeup tips to being a person of colour in the world of Drag and queer culture.

I know, you’re probably finding it hard to find some flaws. Dragworld isn’t perfect, that much is guaranteed. It’s organization and infrastructure is quite messy, with the structure of how you acquire tickets for specific things occurring in the general convention, the layout of the hall, and the schedule itself. These flaws do, sadly, impede on the enjoyment. But, in the wider scheme of things, they’re insignificant.

It requires reflection and perspective to realise what Dragworld 2018 truly is. Some may see it as a time to see their role models; Drag Queens have reached a level of status equivalent to that of any other celebrity. Many queer people pose themselves the question of what their favourite drag queen would do when they’re facing hardship, and to be in a convention centre where they can see their role model happy to see them and having a good time talking to their friends about what they love in a panel. It’s an endearing, heartwarming, and grounding experience.

Dragworld is more than just a convention. It gives a safe, open space for all LGBT+ people to be themselves. There’s no one scrutinizing, no one saying that the way you’re behaving is “too gay”. There are several booths providing make-up and wigs to try on, and no one’s going to give you a funny look when you run over to try one on. There are no rules on how to behave (other than if you’re doing something criminal or antisocial, of course), you can be who you want to be and so will everyone else. It’s a room full of nothing but love and it’s fantastic that LGBT+ people have this place in which they can be themselves.

Many people entertained and interested in Drag have a perspective that only includes queer artists who made their mark in the popular TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Dragworld enables that narrow tunnel to become a long, endless ocean. British and American drag queens alike can be found here , and there are bound to be names you don’t recognise. But the names you don’t recognise are guaranteed to be the ones that shock you the most.

Names like Meth and LoLo Brow are two that come to mind – Meth is heavily influential among Drag Culture in London, is an absolute hoot and knows how to work a stage, and LoLo Brow is a faux queen (a female in drag) who knows how to shock, entertain, and seduce her audience simultaneously with acts such as shoving scissors up her nose.

As an LGBT+ person, I never felt more at home than I did in Dragworld. No one was telling me I couldn’t be me, that the way I was wasn’t up to standard or good enough, and everyone and anyone there was cheering me on, actively, or passively, as long as I was cheering them on too.

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