Be prepared to fall in love with this award-winning independent dramedy, Alaska Is A Drag, which explores the issues that LGBTQI communities must contend with.

Leo (Martin L Washington Jr) is 20-something, works at a fish cannery in a small seaside Alaskan town and dreams of one day being an international drag queen superstar, exclaiming “I’ve been in training to be a superstar my whole life!” His fellow workers are homophobic and have heated altercations with him daily. His twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington), whom he has a close relationship, is in treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease.

Leo started playing dress-ups as a child wearing his mother’s dresses who once commented, “You know what’s depressing? You look better in that dress than I ever did!”

Enter Declan, the mysterious drop-dead gorgeous new worker at the cannery, described by Tristen as “kind of cute in a fucked-up kind of way.” Is he attracted to Leo or is he sending mixed messages? And Kype – is he really a homophobe or secretly in love with Leo?

This is a low budget film, an enjoyable look into the lives of these very real and likable characters who are fighting their own demons. Audiences will warm to Leo’s flamboyant nature and marvel at Tristen’s courageous and positive outlook towards her health issues.

Homophobia and sexual discrimination are an important part of the story, but themes of ‘coming out’, acceptance, being proud of one’s gender identity, and the importance of nurturing dreams to reality also resonate profoundly.

Premiering on Netflix, New Year’s Eve

★★★ ½

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