International Drag Stars Shine in Drag Race UK Season 5

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The highly anticipated fifth series of Drag Race UK is about to grace television screens worldwide, featuring two industrious contestants hailing not from the United Kingdom, but from lands across the seas.

Polish-born Alexis Saint Pete and Cara Melle from the United States both relocated to Britain after spending their early years in their respective countries. They have now found their spotlight on the globally revered RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise which began its charismatic reign in 2009. The show, known for its compelling drama, glamorous runways, and epic lip-sync battles, also provides a platform where contestants openly discuss pressing issues like homophobia, abuse, and gender identity.

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Cara, originally from the conservative state of Georgia, yearned to be on Drag Race since she was just 26 but was often forced to watch it in secrecy due to potential family backlash. She fondly recalls the tense yet thrilling experience of watching the episodes, afraid of being discovered by family members. After moving to the UK for her fashion studies seven years ago, Cara found a sense of warmth and acceptance that led her to invest in her drag career full-time.

According to her, while her native America often demanded her drag to be “safe” or even “cookie cutter,” the UK provided the freedom to let the imagination run rampant. However, she highlights that the UK is not devoid of its issues for the LGBTQ+ community.

Londoner Alexis experienced the lack of representation in Poland’s media during his formative years. A place at a prestigious dance school drew him to the UK, which came as a stark cultural contrast to his homeland. Alexis feels that despite the improvements, he still cannot fully express himself in Poland.

In light of their journeys, both queens believe that while representation does put a weight on their shoulders, the essence of being true to oneself outshines everything else.

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