Drag queens who share scientific expertise are gaining popularity on social media. They bring fun and entertainment to a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics. The podcast Science Friday recently highlighted a few influencers who use their platform to educate people around the world. These drag queens are shining a light on how to make STEM learning engaging.
Science communicators are always looking for new ways to engage people. Authenticity is key. If enthusiasm shines through, everyone gets to experience the wonder of science. It’s also important to reach many people. And these drag queens of science are helping to do exactly that. Because the more diverse the educators, the more likely more people will want to participate in the learning process.
The drag queen Pattie Gonia covers environmental issues while stomping around the great outdoors in boots and fabulous dresses. These posts highlight climate change, plastic pollution, and wildfires. Her mantra is that we have to save the planet because it’s the only one with a Beyoncé on it!
Anna Lytical is a coding whiz. If you’re one of the 300,000 people who play Wordle every day, you may be shocked to learn how simple the game is to code. Her 15-minute how-to video will come in handy if the New York Times starts charging! She covers a range of other topics including programming challenges, how to overcome imposter syndrome, and even a tutorial for eye makeup to match the Google Chrome logo.
RuPaul’s Drag Race took drag mainstream but these STEM educators are proving it’s not just for entertainment. They grew up watching Bill Nye the Science Guy and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. But many of these creators never saw themselves represented. The goal of these drag queens is to communicate about STEM topics while also providing that visibility for the next generation.
Another STEM queen, Kyne, explains math problems and other thought experiments on TikTok. How many holes does a straw have? Why is every snowflake unique? Most of her videos focus not on simple answers but rather on how to think about different problems.
The Drag Queens of Science
Pattie Gonia, Anna Lytical, and Kyne are just a few of the drag queens committed to science literacy. Their social media channels and websites are full of educational resources. More queer content is needed in science education and these STEM superheroes are leading the way.