You're a star, baby!
With 15 seasons now complete and plenty of international spin-offs airing around the world, RuPaul's Drag Race has truly become a phenomenon.
Fenton Bailey founded the show's production company, World of Wonder, in 1991 and has been an instrumental part of Drag Race's mainstream popularity.
Now, the executive producer is documenting the show's journey, along with the importance of queer representation on TV, in his new book ScreenAge.
"I wanted to write this book because I just felt that television has had such a bad rap over the years, [so] I thought it was time to set the record straight," Bailey tells Out. "As I was writing the book, I began to see this connection between the rise of visibility of [the LGBTQ+] community and the spread of television. That's what TV has done. It has made us as a community be visible in a way that we've never been visible before."
After Bailey was exposed to LGBTQ+ representation for the first time on TV, he decided to move to America from the UK to pursue a career in media.
Once he traveled across the pond, Bailey met his partner Randy Barbato and the one and only RuPaul. A couple decades later, RuPaul's Drag Race was born and everyone got to witness drag in its highest form.
"TV changed my life. [In the book,] we talk about Randy and I meeting Ru back in the 1980's. What an impactful moment that was for us. I love the [Drag Race] community and the fandom. The support for the show is great. I also love the fact that straight people have embraced the show, because in a way, they're the ones who need to see it. Ultimately, the world is a pretty dark place at times and the message of diversity and inclusiveness is what some people need to hear."
With millions of Drag Race fans around the world, Bailey hopes anyone who watches the show or reads ScreenAge can see the power that TV truly has.
"Thanks to TV, we've all been exposed to people we would never have met or even knew existed. It pointed me in the right direction. That's why ultimately TV is such a good thing and has done miracle work. It's really been a lifesaver for so many in so many ways. We must try to contribute joy to the world."
ScreenAge is available where all fine books are sold.
'Drag Race' EP Fenton Bailey Celebrates TV Success in New Book 'ScreenAge'youtu.be