If To Wong Foo had a tawdry hookup with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Queer Eye, HBO’s We’re Here would be the product nine months later. It’s a fact that the world needs more drag right now, and HBO has assembled a remarkable trio of drag queens that are out to change the world using the magic of drag.
Imagine you were in your sleepy town in Montana or Idaho and you see Shangela, Eureka O’Hara, and Bob The Drag Queen strutting down the street. They are three of the most beloved queens to come out of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, and they all represent different facets of drag and different walks of life. Much like Netflix’s Queer Eye, they are traveling across the country (in 3 insanely gorgeous vehicles) to provide a new perspective on the LGBTQIA+ community. Queer Eye is there to change you from the outside in, but We’re Here wants to give you an performing experience like no other.
In the premiere episode, Bob, Shangela, and Eureka take in the history of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and are then each paired off with a future daughter in drag. Shangela mentors Hunter whose best gay friend has recently moved away. Bob immediately connects with Darryl, a straight man who quickly gives himself a unique drag name, and Eureka meets with Erica, a mother who regrets how she handled her daughter coming out as bisexual. There are strut offs in makeup stores and tears shed around the dinner table. Each episode ends with the newly birthed queens performing in a drag show that gives each person an idea of what it’s like to be queen for a day. It’s kind of like the seasonal Drag Race makeover challenge but on steroids. A key ingredient to We’re Here succeeding is how each queen pushes their own ego aside to listen to the plight of their new charges.
We’re Here also doesn’t just want to better hurt parents or closeted gay men. Bob takes on a small drag community when our she-ros visit Twin Falls, Idaho, and Shangela empowers the love of a trans man and his new wife. The rainbow is colorful and vast, and it’s evident that everyone should have the ability to broaden their level of empathy and love. It’s also a harsh reminder that not everyone is ready and willing to wave a rainbow flag. These queens are sometimes visiting very conservative territory and people are unafraid with things they aren’t familiar with. I was nervous several times during the episode when the queens visit Branson, Missouri.
We’re Here has an open heart that bleeds more with everything we are living through now, but it’s smart to have these three queens in charge. They will lead the way for a stronger, more united world. They are warm, intelligent and fabulous, and We’re Here ends up being true, strong, and buoyant.
We’re Here debuts on HBO on April 23.