Paul O’Grady and the Importance of Drag Queens

Charlotte reflects on the death of legend Paul O’Grady and how he introduced the magic of drag queens to the British public.

On Tuesday 28th March, I was immensely sad to hear that Paul O’Grady had died. O’Grady, for those who are not aware, was an icon of British broadcasting. He had been a constant figure on our television screens for decades. His nasal, northern accent and witty humour was a staple in the homes of many.

In the last decade or so of his life, he dedicated a lot of his time and attention to his passion for animals. For my generation, Paul O’Grady is synonymous with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, of which he was the ambassador and where his show Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs was based. And while this was definitely not the only project of his I can remember seeing in my lifetime, the image of this funny, old man with a deep love for dogs encapsulates how much wholesome joy and love he represented. However, my mother’s memory of Paul O’Grady, equally as fond as mine, is more engrained in his early years in the entertainment industry, as a drag queen called Lily Savage.

 

 

Lily Savage first gained popularity in the London gay scene of the 80s (most notably through her residency at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern). This underground hype translated into mainstream success in the 90s as Lily Savage began to appear on British television. Paul O’Grady was groundbreaking in helping introduce the love and joy and campness of drag and drag culture to the general population when their perception of gay people was highly prejudiced, particularly as a result of the HIV/AIDs epidemic.

Nowadays, drag culture is much more widely accepted in mainstream media (mostly thanks to RuPaul’s insanely popular competitive reality television show, RuPaul’s Drag Race and its many international variants) and it is no longer unusual to see queens like The Vivienne and Bimini Bon Boulash on both our television screens and social media. Drag culture is more mainstream than it has ever been but it was hard for me not to think of the threat that is being posed to it in America recently upon hearing of the passing of Paul O’Grady.

 

 

Dozens of bills have been filed since the beginning of this year across numerous states in the US that specifically target drag performances. With the rise in mainstream drag culture comes an unfortunately inevitable backlash from conservative homophobes who cite discomfort for this artistic mode of expression and performance that defies societal gender norms. With the growth in public exposure to drag queens, there are concerns of the influence these ‘unabashedly queer role models’ will have on children. This just shows a failure to understand the multifaceted nature of drag. Drag can be extremely provocative, sexual and inappropriate for children, but it can also be wholesome, playful, lighthearted and it is ALWAYS a form of entertainment first and foremost.

 

 

Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage is a prime example of this. Lily Savage defied the odds and became a staple of British television in a time where gay people were not accepted by the public because of her sharp wit, charisma and kindness. These qualities resonated with people, surpassing their prejudices and helped allow drag queens and the LGBTQIA+ community become more accepted by the masses. Drag is not an inherently evil or scary thing whatsoever, it is a beautiful craft that prioritises entertaining audiences, making them HAPPY. What more could people want than that?

Paul O’Grady was a lifelong advocate for numerous causes (animals, Save the Children are just some examples) but most notably he was a trailblazer in aiding the positive representation of drag queens and the gay community as a whole. It is an immense shame that there are those who fail to recognise the importance of the likes of Lily Savage and are trying to suppress this mode of expression out of a fear that feels very outdated in 2023.

The sudden death of Paul O’Grady is a great tragedy and now he is gone, the world will be a little less bright. One can only hope that everything he stood for and represented will continue to be a mainstay for the public, because we all need drag queens the same way we all need to have fun. Drag queens are the embodiment of skill, artistry and enjoyment, a beautiful craft that must never be suppressed. To do so would tarnish everything Paul O’Grady achieved.

RIP Paul O’Grady MBE 1955-2023

Comments

comments

88 thoughts on “Paul O’Grady and the Importance of Drag Queens

  1. Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  2. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you need to write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t discuss such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!

  3. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  4. What an eye-opening and well-researched article! The author’s attention to detail and ability to present intricate ideas in a comprehensible manner is truly admirable. I’m totally impressed by the depth of knowledge showcased in this piece. Thank you, author, for offering your wisdom with us. This article has been a true revelation!

  5. Thanks for your publication on the traveling industry. I would also like to add that if you’re a senior taking into consideration traveling, it is absolutely crucial to buy travel insurance for golden-agers. When traveling, older persons are at biggest risk being in need of a healthcare emergency. Having the right insurance policy package for one’s age group can safeguard your health and provide peace of mind.

  6. PBN sites
    We will build a web of privately-owned blog network sites!

    Merits of our privately-owned blog network:

    We carry out everything SO THAT GOOGLE doesn’t realize THAT this A privately-owned blog network!!!

    1- We acquire domains from different registrars

    2- The primary site is hosted on a virtual private server (Virtual Private Server is high-speed hosting)

    3- Other sites are on various hostings

    4- We attribute a unique Google profile to each site with verification in Search Console.

    5- We design websites on WP, we do not employ plugins with assistance from which Trojans penetrate and through which pages on your websites are established.

    6- We never duplicate templates and utilize only individual text and pictures

    We refrain from work with website design; the client, if wanted, can then edit the websites to suit his wishes

  7. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He used to be entirely right. This publish actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  8. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  9. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But think about if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this website could undeniably be one of the very best in its niche. Terrific blog!

  10. Pingback: joker gaming
  11. Nice weblog here! Also your website rather a lot up very fast! What web host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate link for your host? I desire my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  12. Pingback: seattle job search
  13. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. cheers

  14. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  15. Thanks for your write-up on the travel industry. I might also like to include that if you are one senior taking into account traveling, it’s absolutely imperative that you buy travel insurance for golden-agers. When traveling, senior citizens are at biggest risk of having a professional medical emergency. Having the right insurance cover package in your age group can safeguard your health and provide peace of mind.

  16. Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my website thus i got here to ?return the favor?.I’m attempting to to find things to enhance my website!I assume its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

  17. I was excited to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you book marked to look at new information on your website.

  18. Holy cow! I’m in awe of the author’s writing skills and ability to convey intricate concepts in a concise and precise manner. This article is a true gem that merits all the applause it can get. Thank you so much, author, for offering your knowledge and providing us with such a priceless asset. I’m truly appreciative!

  19. The following time I learn a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I do know it was my choice to learn, however I actually thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you might fix if you happen to werent too busy in search of attention.

  20. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  21. That is very attention-grabbing, You’re an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and sit up for in quest of extra of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  22. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I truly believed you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

  23. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  24. I truly love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own personal website and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!

  25. This article is absolutely incredible! The author has done a phenomenal job of presenting the information in an engaging and educational manner. I can’t thank her enough for offering such priceless insights that have definitely enlightened my knowledge in this topic. Hats off to her for creating such a masterpiece!

  26. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  27. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t speak about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

  28. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  29. According to my observation, after a in foreclosure home is marketed at a bidding, it is common for that borrower to still have a remaining balance on the financial loan. There are many lenders who attempt to have all charges and liens repaid by the up coming buyer. Nonetheless, depending on certain programs, polices, and state regulations there may be some loans that aren’t easily fixed through the switch of lending products. Therefore, the responsibility still remains on the debtor that has acquired his or her property in foreclosure process. Many thanks sharing your ideas on this blog site.

  30. I’m very pleased to uncover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and I have you book-marked to look at new stuff on your blog.

  31. I have acquired some new things from your site about pcs. Another thing I’ve always imagined is that computers have become something that each residence must have for many people reasons. They provide convenient ways in which to organize households, pay bills, go shopping, study, tune in to music and in some cases watch tv shows. An innovative way to complete all of these tasks has been a mobile computer. These personal computers are mobile, small, robust and lightweight.

  32. Understanding COSC Certification and Its Importance in Watchmaking
    COSC Validation and its Demanding Standards
    Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres, or the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Agency, is the authorized Swiss testing agency that certifies the accuracy and accuracy of timepieces. COSC accreditation is a mark of quality craftsmanship and reliability in timekeeping. Not all watch brands seek COSC accreditation, such as Hublot, which instead adheres to its own strict criteria with movements like the UNICO, attaining equivalent precision.

    The Science of Precision Timekeeping
    The central system of a mechanical timepiece involves the mainspring, which delivers power as it loosens. This mechanism, however, can be prone to external factors that may affect its precision. COSC-accredited mechanisms undergo demanding testing—over fifteen days in various circumstances (five positions, three temperatures)—to ensure their resilience and dependability. The tests evaluate:

    Average daily rate precision between -4 and +6 secs.
    Mean variation, highest variation levels, and impacts of temperature variations.
    Why COSC Validation Matters
    For watch aficionados and collectors, a COSC-validated timepiece isn’t just a item of tech but a proof to lasting excellence and precision. It symbolizes a watch that:

    Provides outstanding reliability and precision.
    Provides assurance of quality across the entire construction of the watch.
    Is apt to retain its value more effectively, making it a sound choice.
    Famous Chronometer Brands
    Several renowned brands prioritize COSC certification for their watches, including Rolex, Omega, Breitling, and Longines, among others. Longines, for instance, provides collections like the Record and Soul, which showcase COSC-accredited movements equipped with advanced materials like silicon balance suspensions to boost resilience and performance.

    Historical Context and the Evolution of Chronometers
    The notion of the chronometer originates back to the need for accurate chronometry for navigation at sea, highlighted by John Harrison’s work in the 18th cent. Since the formal establishment of COSC in 1973, the certification has become a yardstick for assessing the accuracy of high-end watches, continuing a legacy of excellence in watchmaking.

    Conclusion
    Owning a COSC-validated watch is more than an visual selection; it’s a dedication to excellence and precision. For those valuing precision above all, the COSC certification provides tranquility of mind, guaranteeing that each certified watch will operate dependably under various circumstances. Whether for personal satisfaction or as an investment, COSC-certified watches stand out in the world of horology, bearing on a legacy of precise chronometry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE STAND