‘Drag Race’: What Does It Mean to Be a Drag Mother?

Adam Salandra

The upcoming season of RuPaul’s Drag Race features a cast full of queens who are connected to past contestants from the franchise. Some are friends with previous queens, some have worked together in the past, and many are the drag daughters of past Drag Race superstars.

Drag Race Sharon Needles and Aquaria
Sharon Needles and Aquaria

Season 10 contestant Aquaria is the drag daughter of Season 4 winner Sharon Needles. Miz Cracker is the drag daughter of Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo is the drag daughter of Season 3‘s Alexis Mateo. And Asia O’Hara is the drag mother of Season 4 runner-up Phi Phi O’Hara.

But what exactly does it mean to be a drag mother? And how does a new queen go about getting one?

What’s a Drag Mother?

When an aspiring drag queen is just starting out in the world, she needs someone to turn to for guidance, support, and makeup tips. When a more seasoned queen takes an ingénue under her wing, that usually means she becomes her “mother.” RuPaul herself is regarded as such a pioneer and trailblazer that many drag queens deferentially call her “mother,” as well.

It’s a beautiful mentor-apprentice relationship that can help a younger queen learn the tricks of the trade, including how to get bookings around her city. Most new queens find a drag mother by exploring the club scene or having friends in the community who dabble in the art.

RuPaul's Drag Race Miz Cracker and Bob the Drag Queen
Miz Cracker and Bob the Drag Queen

Drag mothers often give their daughters their drag names as well. Sometimes it’s the full name, and other times a queen just takes on the last name of her mother or the drag family she’s adopted into.

But a new generation of young queens is rising and many of them were inspired to get into drag because of Drag Race itself, learning how to apply makeup via YouTube instead of looking for a drag mother to get tips from.

Past Drag Race Mothers and Daughters

While Season 10 of Drag Race may be full of drag mothers and daughters, it’s definitely not the first time that contestants have been related.

Season 8’s Dax ExclamationPoint is the mother of Season 7 winner Violet Chachki. All Stars 1 winner Chad Michaels is mom to All Stars 3 contestant Morgan McMichaels. And Season 6‘s Darienne Lake is the drag mother of Season 2‘s Pandora Boxx.

Drag Race Haus of Edwards
Haus of Edwards: Laganja, Alyssa, and Shangela

But one of the most famous drag mothers from the series is Season 5 fan favorite Alyssa Edwards, who counts Laganja Estranja and All Stars 3 stunner Shangela among her drag daughters.

Will the queens of Season 10 have learned enough from their drag mothers to snatch the crown? We’ll find out when the milestone tenth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres on Thursday, March 22 on VH1.

Adam Salandra
Adam Salandra is an Entertainment Editor for FANDOM. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog pup or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.