CITR-FM: Max Collins - Dragged Out
Dragged Out is a series, first and foremost, about drag in Vancouver. It follows the sudden disappearance of about a half-dozen drag venues over the span of a year. Host and producer Max Collins spoke with over 20 performers, venue owners, city planners, and others involved in the community to understand why, in a time where drag is at its most popular, no space is being made for the art form in a city that claims to be a refuge for queer folks.
The series tackles both fun and difficult topics surrounding drag, including newer forms of drag (drag things, hyper queens, etc.), Two-Spirit Identity and colonialism, a drag battle between the east and west sides of Vancouver, the HIV crisis, DIY drag venues in warehouses, and much more. It aims to explain the importance of drag as an art form to a wide audience, all while giving space and platform to those who are most marginalized in the drag community (e.g. trans/non-binary and Two-Spirit folk, "hyper queens", those marginalized by race). Beyond that, Dragged Out is about the resilience of queer drag performers and fans, in the face of gentrification and, in some cases, attempted genocide. It tells these stories in an empathetic and engaging way, and it ultimately begs the City of Vancouver to see drag not only as a nicety, but as a cultural necessity.
The episode submitted for this category is a look into the history of drag in Vancouver from pre-colonial times up to the mid-2010's. This is the episode where we hear from queens who were around for Canada's first queer rights protests (pre-Stonewall in the U.S.), for the HIV crisis, for the mass gay bar demolition during Expo '86, for the rise of RuPaul, and many other historical events. It is, by far, the episode that best encompasses Dragged Out's intimate-yet-universal storytelling style, and it sets up the series with an explanation of why it's so upsetting that a city rich with queer history like Vancouver no longer makes space for queer artistic expression.
To hear more episodes, listen online at draggedoutpodcast.com or wherever you get your podcasts.
Max Collins is an award-winning Calgary-born producer and podcaster based out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. During her first four years in radio, she has created and overseen production of over a dozen podcast series. Her background in campus and community radio gives her a unique perspective on storytelling, while also having experience with high-quality, commercial audio production. Max takes a keen interest in recounting niche stories in digestable pieces, and her reporting on alternative culture has won accolades on the national level.