Why drag queens aren't just a gimmick - they're still relevant

People tend to think of drag as being a bit past it now. It's sold out, lost its edgy, subversive feeling and gone corporate. 

It's just a gimmick, right?

But one of New Zealand's most iconic drag queens, Buckwheat, thinks drag is still a powerful vehicle for change.

Whereas once drag queens were somewhat marginalised by mainstream society, they've now become a mainstream staple. Everyone wants them - from Stag Dos to corporate fundraisers.

For Buckwheat, this isn't a sign it's lost its power - it's just influencing a different audience now.

"There are lots of people out there in the straight community who may not know that they know gay people," Buckwheat says.

For some, their first foray into any form of LGBT culture is when meet Buckwheat for the first time.

"So it's my job to give them a bit of a giggle and to let them see there's more to this than hair and make-up … to connect with me and let them see that we're not that different," she says.

So we can see that drag queens still have a pivotal role to play - they often end up acting as a bridge between the LGBT and straight communities. And despite the fact that these days Drag Queens and shows are more mainstream, they have not lost their ability to be a force for change.