Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Drag Race stars speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation

RuPaul’s Drag Race celebrated its 200th episode on February 24 with a special viewing event at Heart in West Hollywood and they also took to the camera to voice protest against the tide of anti-LGBTQ legislation bills sweeping the country.

Season 15 queens Sasha Colby and Marcia Marcia Marcia were on hand for the festivities alongside Drag Race alums Angeria Paris VanMichaels (Season 14), Heidi N Closet (Season 12), Jackie Cox (Season 12), June Jambalaya (Season 14), Kerri Colby (Season 14), Kylie Sonique Love (Season 2 & All Stars 6 winner), Laganja Estranja (Season 6), Priyanka (Drag Race Canada Season 1 winner), as well as Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (Season 10 & Season 11).

The event, which included a performance from Sasha, was a celebration of the Emmy Award-winning reality competition and the ground it has broken for the LGBTQIA community. Although things have progressed since Drag Race aired its first episode on Logo TV in 2009, the queer community continues to be the target of discrimination.

Drag story hours have been protested by numerous people and Tennessee seems to be leading this charge. The state has introduced bills to ban public drag performance as well as gender affirming care for minors. Montana also approved legislation to ban minors from attending drag shows.

As of February 2023, state legislators have already introduced 300 anti-LGBTQ bills – and that number continues to rise. This news isn’t something that the queens are taking lightly. At the 200th episode celebration, the queens gave some fighting words of support and courage during this time.

“It’s wild to see what’s going on as all these anti-trans bills being disguised as anti-drag bills,” said Sasha Colby. “You know what we’re not gonna do? We’re not gonna let them take us down. We’re going to keep doing what we need to do. Because you know what? Drag is for us and drag is art.”

She continued, “We’re doing something right when the government is nervous about us… if it wasn’t for drag, not only would I not be Sasha Colby, but I think I would be a very broken person, alone person. Without drag, I wouldn’t be able to figure out who I really am and my voice. And that’s what they want to stop from us, so let’s not do that.”

“Stay woke, stay brave, and stay in drag,” Sasha punctuated.

Kerri Colby, Sasha’s drag daughter, continued that sentiment saying, “This is all just a game and a ploy to distract… this is nothing but a distraction to break people’s focus from being about their life and being about their truth. If you’re not focused on what you need to do, you’re going to get caught up in everything that you are not meant to be caught up in.”

Kerri, like Sasha, sees drag as a touchstone that saved her life – and they are not the only ones.  “That’s why this tradition has gone back for hundreds of years and it’s brought so much positivity,” she said. “I’m on here to just continue to spread that positivity because we need more of that.”

Drag was a life saver for Laganja Estranja. “If it wasn’t for drag, I would have never found my truth as a trans woman,” she said.

Jackie Cox and June Jambalaya also offered words of encouragement for people to unite and fight against the negativity and these laws. And like the other queens, the joy and art of drag helped Jackie and Jambalaya find acceptance and live authentically.

Kylie Sonique Love bluntly said, “This isn’t the first time they tried to do this shit and it won’t be the last. So we’re going to keep just doing what we do and inspire and encourage everybody and do it with a smile on your face.”

Heidi N Closet shared that she has been on the frontlines when it comes to protesting. “It has truly brought out a side in the world that I have not seen in many many years,” she said. “Being a gay, Black man from the south, I’ve seen such bigoted behavior and such disrespect and racism and every time those things come to light it tears us apart.”

Like her sisters, she sees drag as an art that brings people together and helps people be their authentic self. “We’ve really got to stop this attack.”

Season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race airs Fridays at 8pm ET/PT on MTV.

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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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