After the success of the October 2021 launch of LGBTQ Herstory Month, RuPaul’s Drag Race aimed to launch a new version for October 2022 that exceeded the success of the inaugural stunt. The creative aim of this most recent undertaking, would be highlighting and celebrating the amazing Trans queens that have left an impact on the series and culture due to their participation. The team would gather and photograph 7 iconic trans queens and interview them about the trans heroes that inspire them and deserve the platform that RuPaul’s Drag Race has online worldwide. A major goal was to take the learnings of the first year and build on its success to rollout an even more successful version in 2022. Most importantly, we wanted to educate and inspire younger fans of the show with this incredibly unique and powerful social multimedia stunt.
From simply a logistical standpoint, this project is challenging in the sheer amount of content we are able to capture in a relatively small window of time. Gathering these 7 trans performers into the same room, on the same schedule, is as difficult as it sounds, but all came together because they believed in the inherent good of the project; once together this bond and sisterhood felt profound and powerful. The team was fortunate to find a location, The Morgan Library in Manhattan, that was not only supportive of this project, but visually cinematic and reminded all of us that this stunt was about honoring history in order to progress into a better future. We partnered once again with a favorite queer photographer of ours, Erik Carter, who successfully shot unique backgrounds for all 7 queens plus various backgrounds for the iconic group shot as well. Mastering the schedule of this was a learning from 2021’s execution, which led to an even more successful go around for 2022. And then of course the video interviews led to incredibly moving and compelling moments like All Stars 6 winner Kylie Sonique Love moved to tears as she reflected on her triumphs, and the impact that RuPaul’s Drag Race had on her life. Other queens participating besides Kylie included: Peppermint, Jiggly Caliente, Gigi Goode, Gottmik, Laganja Estranja and Aja. Any Drag Race superfan will tell you how stacked this group ism and the power they render in the community simply by being their authentic selves. Together, this culmination of elements would lead to an immensely successful launch upon its release.
Partnering with Entertainment Weekly, the premiere of the group shot and accompanying behind-the-scenes video was an amazing success with overwhelming reaction and fan consumption. Each day that followed in the month featured original content including unique photographs as well as videos on all of the RuPaul’s Drag Race social platforms including TikTok for the first time this year. Each of the 7 participants shared this content, leveraging their huge followings to engage with the media, and get this buzzy campaign trending. By the end of the stunt, numerous pieces of video content had been released including the celebration of Trans heroes, as well as a new PSA calling attention to the upcoming 2022 election. The Behind-the-Scenes video earned over 250k views and over a million minutes watched on YouTube! Undoubtedly, this project was a smash success and led to the immediate greenlight of a 2023 campaign that will continue to honor and celebrate queens from the RuPaul’s Drag Race community and their queer heroes.