Drag Race moves towards trans inclusivity

Rachel Badham December 31, 2020

RuPaul has changed one of the most notable Drag Race catchphrases to make the show more inclusive of trans, non-binary and gender diverse contestants. Nearly every episode of the US show has shown RuPaul saying: “Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best woman win”, however the opening episode of the 13th season saw the host alter the phrase to “Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win” in a move to include gender diverse drag queens. 

The Drag Race season 13 contestants

The show has been criticised in the past for its lack of trans and non-binary inclusivity, so many have praised the catchphrase change, including season 13 star, Denali, who tweeted in praise of it. A Twitter user responded to Denali, saying: “This is so important! I’m so glad RuPaul is finally taking accountability and being responsible for his queer audience.”

RuPaul previously amended the catchphrase to “ladies and gentlemen, start your engines” on All Stars 4 for episodes featuring returning queen Gia Gunn, who had come out as a trans woman after originally appearing in season 6 of Drag Race. Season 13 features the first trans-masculine drag queen, Gottmik, to star on the show. Drag Race UK season 2 is also due to feature two non-binary queens, Ginny Lemon and Bimini Von Boulash.