Known as the OG of the Rupauls Drag Race UK social media accounts, the boys had wished for years that the time would come for the spotlight to shine on our incredible UK drag scene. Well, the time came in 2019 when the very first cast of dolls aired on BBC Three in the autumn of 2019. Even before the show, the social media account was looking healthy with a strong following of fans and drag artists alike. Not that numbers mattered as the boys have a strong passion and love for Drag, but just who are the passionate fans behind the fan-favorite account? Well, we aim to introduce you to the wonderful Charlie and Lucas, who we had the pleasure to meet whilst working press together at DragworldUK 2019. Both are just as lovely as you’d hope, down to earth and a lot of fun, so fun we finally got to sit down to talk about drag passions, press, glitterbeam radio, and of course Drag Race UK. So sit down racers and read on….
DragAdventures: You’ve been part of the RPDR scene for a while now and are for sure one of the most popular social media accounts here in the UK. How did RPDR UK Fans come about and did you ever think it would get this massive when you started it?
Charlie: So rpdrukfans started in early 2015, I discovered Drag Race during a pretty difficult time personally and instantly fell in love with the sense of togetherness and positivity which I believe the show stands for. Hearing quotes such as ‘If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else” and ‘everybody say love!’ was just what I needed at that point in my life. As the show started to grow I wanted to show my support for it and so I started a Twitter page dedicated to all things Drag Race. As this was before Drag Race was such a huge cultural phenomenon, I think I was one of the very first fan pages and so got noticed pretty quickly by some of the biggest names from the show, such as Michelle Visage, Bianca del Rio, Jinkx Monsoon and even mother herself, RuPaul.
With every season the show has grown, so did the Twitter and so I decided to get my partner, Lucas to help me to manage it and to help create the rpdrukfans instagram, our Facebook page (although unfortunately someone had already used our name on Facebook and continues to imply he is associated with our brand, which he isn’t, that’s something which I still find really frustrating) and eventually our website.
I had no it would get so big or lead to so many opportunities, including our own radio show God Save The Queens on GlitterBeam, being invited to events such as DragCon, live screenings etc…but I am really grateful that rpdrukfans has and still continues to grow as a brand.
DragAdventures: You’re a dynamic duo that’s juggling your platform next to full-time jobs, which can be quite stressful (yes, we’ve been there as well) … Do you have set tasks in RPDRUK that each one of you does specifically? What are your favorite aspects and/or challenges of developing an online brand, what’s the biggest misconception?
C: Yeah it can be difficult at times, we both have full-time jobs in the hospitality sector, and run our own digital media business so it can feel very full on at times! I think it’s at its most ‘stressful’ when two seasons run back too back as we have now with Drag Race S13 and Drag Race UK S2 both airing, but you know what I still LOVE Drag Race and so am often picking up my phone constantly to post, read posts, check if there’s any T…its kind of an addiction!!
Lucas: Yes I agree, I originally joined rpdrukfans with little knowledge of drag race or the queens, which I think was an asset when looking at the pure marketing strategies of the brand, looking at it more as a business than doing it for the love of drag. My main role with rpdrukfans was to help grow the brand outside of the Twitter account and I also take responsibility for all the digital photography and editing we get from events. I now focus mainly on continuing the growth of the followers on Instagram and creating content for our socials.
Charlie: For me, I think the biggest challenge can be that we have to deal with the ‘toxic fans’ ALOT. I have a no-tolerance policy on rpdrukfans, a bit of shade is all part of the world of drag but when I see hateful, nasty, and vile comments from people claiming to be ‘fans’ it upsets me so much, and for me its an instant block. The biggest misconception is probably that running rpdrukfans is our full time paid jobs and that we work for the BBC, World of Wonder, or RuPaul herself!
DragAdventures: Speaking of the dynamic duo, can you please each describe each other really quick? Who are your favorite drag artists? Any hot guesses for Season 2 of RPDRUK and/or Season 13 of its US sibling?
Lucas: Charlie is a ‘people person’ who finds it easier to engage with other people on a relaxed level as I always take a more business approach first, and he is the ‘drag expert’ which is great for me when we are at events and I might not know who a Queen is or what season they are from! My absolute favourite Queen is Bianca del Rio!
Charlie: Yeah I think we work really well together because Lucas prefers to work more ‘behind the scenes’ and I am much more interested in getting out there, interviewing the Queens and fans…I guess I am the heart of rpdrukfans, and he is more the brain!… also I can sometimes get really bad anxiety, and Lucas is always there to calm me down and help me to rethink a situation and not go into panic mode!…as for Hot T on upcoming seasons…well I think this season of Drag Race UK might have a ‘bit’ more drama than we had on DRUKS1…I think the Queens are a bit more competitive and yeah…there might be some fireworks!
I really struggle when it comes to picking favorites, honestly, I just can’t pick..and I am a Virgo and you can’t make me! (laughing)
DragAdventures: We‘re all part of this wonderful world called social media; although, at times, it can get quite messy – what are some of your tips for anyone just joining the fandom maybe because they started watching RPDR UK? What are absolute no-gos when (inter)acting with queens and fellow fans?
Lucas: Never force a follow back or ask for a favour when you are just starting out in the fandom, also Charlie told me early on to NEVER touch a Queen’s hair!
Charlie: Yes! That’s a golden rule! I would say don’t be rude, don’t be demanding, and don’t forget that these Queens are also human beings! Just because they are your favourite, and you know evvvverything about them, they don’t owe you a follow back or to reply to your DM’s, be kind, be respectful and you will get that back!
DragAdventures: During this lockdown, we all have been reminiscing about 2019, when life seemed so much easier and brighter … especially during that one weekend in August, where drag fans from all over Europe came together to celebrate drag in a massive green- eh convention center in London: DragworldUK. What were your personal favorite moments of the convention and how did you prepare for it?
Charlie: Oh my god that seems like a lifetime ago right! Well, an absolute highlight was hanging out with you guys! It was so amazing to spend a weekend surrounded by Drag, and the people who LOVE IT! One of my highlights was also getting to see some incredible UK talent. Unfortunately, our jobs mean we work most weekends/evenings so we just don’t get the time to make it to many live shows, so getting to sit and watch amazing drag artists slaaaaaaying that runway stage was a personal highlight for me!
Lucas: Yeah I agree, meeting other members of the press who were interested in drag. We, also from our hard work on rpdrukfans had press passes so getting to hang out with some of the Queen’s backstage and in the areas away from all the chaos, where they could relax was amazing!
Dragadventures: You attended the finale watch party of RPDR UK, how did it feel to be at that crowning moment, did it feel like a full circle? What was the highlight?
Lucas: I think it felt extremely exclusive and it was amazing to just hang out and talk with celebrities, non-celebrities, the press, and talk about drag race UK…..
Charlie: Yeah I mean it felt like you were in the ‘inner circle’ of Drag Race UK and that felt like a huge privilege, and like we had really earned that moment! For me as well because it was at Twitter UK HQ, and Twitter is where rpdrukfans started out, that felt really special. I think you could absolutely describe that as a full-circle moment for us…we actually also got invited to what would have been Drag Con LA 2020, which was AMAZING as it was World of Wonder who contacted us and invited us out there…we were so so gutted it got canceled, but hopefully, when the world is a bit more back to normal, we will make it to a Drag Con stateside!
DragAdventures: Hopefully, 2021 will be the year we all get to return to (a somewhat) normal life again – what would be your absolute dream goal to achieve with RPDR UK fans?
Lucas: If running this account could be our paid full time job, that would be the DREAM!
Charlie: Yes!! I agree! For me, I am loving hosting our review show and I have lots of guests lined up for God Save The Queens ( Saturday’s and Sunday’s 7pm on GlitterBeam) going forward! I would love to move into creating a podcast and some more digital media content such as video interviews with the Queens etc… maybe get some more people on board to help run the account and just to also continue to hopefully make this fandom one which is positive, fun and all about celebrating amazing Drag talent, both on and off the show!
RPDRUK: THANKS SO MUCH for talking to us and for everything you guys do to help bring amazing drag content to us drag fans!!
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