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Dimension 20’s Dungeons and Drag Queens is a cultural reset for queer nerds

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dungeons and drag queens It’s a gift for nerds and the LGBTQ+ community – bringing both groups together.

The latest season of Dimension 20 – its 18th – is nothing but a makeshift Celebrity Dungeons & Dragons stream. In true Dimension 20 fashion, everyone at the table is committed to the story they’re telling together (even if they don’t know the rules yet). What results is a perfect display of the Dropout ethos, the art of drag, and the magic of playing your first tabletop role-playing game.

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The full cast of Dungeons and Dragons - including Jujubee, Monet x Change, Alaskan Thunderfuck and Bob the Drag Queen.  Dungeon Master Brennan Lee Mulligan sits with his back to the camera.

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Image: Dimension 20/Dropout TV

Fans praise indie streamer Dropout for its inclusive programming, and dungeons and drag queens Accepts the LGBTQ+ community in no uncertain terms. However, while most of the D&D players (and Dimension 20 fans) I know are queer, most of the queer people I know don’t play D&D. They have been told that it is not for people like us. Until the last decade, they weren’t exactly wrong.

For most of its history, the system of D&D itself was not a safe space for queer people and people of color. Early guidebooks were written as if they spoke exclusively to white, cisgender, heterosexual men. The primary goal of early D&D was to plunder the ruins of ancient civilizations and destroy the strongholds of internally evil races. In the last decade, the rise of actual play shows like Dimension 20 and Critical Role has brought more force behind collective efforts to decolonize the principle of D&D (varying levels of success). However, even before this, despite an actively oppressive system, the marginalized prospered and created community in TTRPG – something we have centuries of experience with.

Today, at a time when the LGBTQ+ community is under constant attack, dungeons and drag queens It is a symbol of dreary, quaint joy. Throughout the mini-series, each of the four queens (Jujubee, Monet x Change, Alaska Thunderfuck and Bob the Drag Queen) experience the range of emotions that can arise from your first D&D campaign. The initial awkwardness of role-playing, the chaotic choices and tangents of new players operating a social contract in real time, and the emotional superiority of devoting yourself to the game and telling a story with the people you love.

“I know it’s not real…” Jujubee said about her emotional journey on an episode of Dimension 20’s talk-back show adventure party (Season 13, Episode 2, “The Bloods and the Crypts”). “We just stepped into it, and we’re having a good time, but there’s some real-life energy that goes into a game like this. […] We are all lost and we are going through this board game made of little but one goal. And that goal is to do something right. And I think anybody can relate to that.”

dungeons and drag queens Provides an easy and entertaining access point for quirks who have never felt safe enough to delve into D&D’s complex (and sometimes infuriating) world of rules, lore, and role-playing . One can watch these four episodes as well as some episodes adventure partyAnd proceed with the basic understanding of the game.

Dungeon Master Brennan Lee Mulligan has no prior knowledge of the show’s four legendary queens. In a master class on DMing for new players, Mulligan creates invisible bumpers to guide his players playing D&D for the first time. He explains each and every mechanic patiently, humorously and most importantly in a way that keeps the momentum going. This “yes, and” style of game encourages commitment from their players while teaching new viewers that making big (and sometimes consequential) choices can make your game more enjoyable – even if you don’t know it. Which numbers to add or what dice to roll.

Brennan Lee Mulligan is smiling in front of the dome, which has been transformed into purple and lavender hues.  Meanwhile the cast of Dungeons and Drag Queens look on laughing.

Image: Dimension 20/Dropout TV

In contrast, seasoned TTRPG players who have little experience in the world of drag understand how immensely talented, charismatic, and funny these four queens are, and in the rare place experienced players can clearly understand and appreciate their Can sympathize with. Once they get the mechanics down, all four naturally fall into the rhythm of this new medium – and they slay.

dungeons and drag queens (a name borrowed from an actual drama show in Seattle) casually blends two unrelated art forms: drag and actual drama. This This shows that the two communities have more in common than one might initially imagine. Both depend on the exchange of dedicated energy from everyone in the room. Both have been the target of misguided moral panic. Both involve the attribution of a new identity to the collective experience. On several occasions, Mulligan has said that playing D&D is like displaying a version of himself filtered through stained glass. “Stories are like that, aren’t they?” mulligan said adventure party, “its place feel safely. […] If you want some catharsis, if you want to feel sadness, if you want to feel anger, if you want to identify with someone, come to this story.

As Dimension 20 exemplifies not only this season but throughout all of its programming, D&D should be a safe place for you to be. As a trans DM and player, embodying characters at my table allowed me to explore aspects of my gender in a space that was safe and with people I trusted.

dungeons and drag queens We warmly welcome such explorations. I can easily see this season of Dimension 20 rising through the bizarre culture that inspires people to adventure, explore, and create a world where we not only live in, but are respected goes.

first episode of dungeons and drag queens premiered on June 28, and can be viewed for free on Dimension 20’s YouTube channel. The fourth and final episode will premiere on 19th July exclusively on Dropout.TV.

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