Monday, April 22, 2024

Drag Race contestants weigh in on alarming wave of anti-drag protests

The new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race debuted this past Friday and a new crop of 16 fabulous drag queens have been unleashed on the world.

While local drag artists and the Queer Forty generation might debate why the Drag Race girls get so much clout and attention, there is no denying the influence they hold given the show’s incredible reach that expands more and more with each season. As such, it is hardly surprising that GLAAD sought out the season 15 cast’s views on the wave of drag protests taking place across the United States.

In 2022 alone, GLAAD reports that there were 141 incidents of drag protests and/or significant threats at drag events in 47 different US states. These incidents were reported at a multitude of Pride events and such seemingly innocuous gatherings such as Drag Story Time. Texas and North Carolina were cited as the states with the most anti-drag protests taking place.

“We for so long, in our culture lived in a very gendered way and to break down those barriers; to of move into this world where gender is not something so rigid is very frightening and I think that drag in that way can seem like a new world that they’re not ready to live in yet.  I understand the fear but if I could just say one thing to people who are afraid of drag: it is not inherently sexual. It is not inherently adult. The only thing that it inherently is is fun,” said season 15 cast member Irene DuBois.

Salina EsTitties added: “I don’t know any drag queen who’s trying to hurt nobody.  Yeah, there’s different kinds of drag – I know my drag can sometimes be very sexy too, but it’s like I am not trying to hurt [anybody.]  People who are swearing by their guns and their bibles are hurting more people than they know.”

While most of the protests have taken place in the south and the Midwest, even LGBTQ+ inclusive safe havens like New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago have seen uprisings. Even more alarming is that some of these protesters were armed and threatening violence. Six states have even gone so far as to introduce legislative proposals for drag bans including Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Michigan, Arizona and Florida.

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 cast

When asked about the people engaging in the protests Loosey LaDuca said: “I think the common thread between all of these people who think that there’s an issue with drag have never actually been to a drag show. I know that every single drag show that I have ever been to, I leave feeling better, more empowered.”

With no resolution in site as of yet, perhaps Texas queen Mistress Isabelle Brooks has the best strategy going forward: “I’m gonna utilize my platform and continue to just bring light and joy to people and take everyone out of their everyday life.  At the end of the day, there’s just stuff that we can’t prevent but we still have to take a stand and try our best to just keep spreading that positivity.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Friday nights at 8PM on MTV.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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