RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Stars Say They Are Pushing Back Against Anti-LGBTQ Protests, Laws

NEW YORK (AP) — Because the forged of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” celebrated the brand new season, they credited the present’s creator with popularizing drag and expressed concern concerning the protests and threats to the efficiency type on the coronary heart of the long-running sequence.

“RuPaul really brought drag into the mainstream, truly made people aware that it’s an art form more than anything” contestant Marcia Marcia Marcia informed The Related Press at Thursday’s season 15 premiere in New York. The brand new season begins Friday on MTV.

“I think everyone was like fine with drag for a little bit,” mentioned the drag queen with the “Brady Bunch”-inspired title. “And now history is repeating itself and people are speaking out against it, which I think is so silly.”

With a protracted and wealthy historical past, drag — the artwork of dressing as one other gender, usually for efficiency — has been attacked by right-wing politicians and activists who’ve falsely related it with the “sexualization” and “grooming” of youngsters. In latest months, protesters — typically bearing weapons — have besieged drag story hours, throughout which performers learn books to youngsters. Bans on youngsters at drag occasions have been floated. In late November, a shooter at a Colorado Springs nightclub turned a drag queen’s party right into a bloodbath and was charged with hate crimes and homicide.

Loosey LaDuca.

Dave Kotinsky through Getty Photos

One other contestant, Jax, mentioned the threats, protests and hate had been “disheartening” however not stunning: “Just like being a person of color, being a minority, growing up in certain communities, it’s something that I’ve had to undergo my entire life.”

“But we always prevail,” Jax added. “We always prevail and we’re always going to come out on top because we’re on the right side of history and we love what we do and we’re not doing anything to harm anybody. We’re just trying to bring love to everything.”

To contestant Loosey LaDuca, as effectively, that is nothing new: “It is really unfortunate that during this time, drag queens have become the new target. But LGBT people are no stranger to being the, you know, the public enemy.”

Assembly threats with warning is okay, LaDuca mentioned, however “we’ll never be scared.”

Final month, New York Metropolis Councilman Erik Bottcher attended a drag story hour in his district. He filmed and posted video of “dozens of homophobic protesters outside with the most disgusting signs verbally attacking the families and the drag queen.” Two days later, he mentioned, anti-drag activists vandalized the hallway outdoors his workplace and gained entry to his residence constructing.

The Season 15 cast of "RuPaul's Drag Race" visited New York's Julius' Bar in January 2023.
The Season 15 forged of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” visited New York’s Julius’ Bar in January 2023.

Dave Kotinsky through Getty Photos

Two of them had been arrested. A 3rd was arrested for assaulting certainly one of my neighbors,” he informed the AP on the premiere. “This is all an attempt to intimidate those of us supporting drag story hour.”

Contestant Irene Dubois has a principle about what’s behind the vitriol aimed toward drag performers.

“I think a man in women’s clothing is inherently hilarious just because we’re like, (gasps) ‘That’s not supposed to happen!’” Dubois hypothesized. “And it’s when the men in women’s clothing stop sort of doing the nudge, nudge, wink, wink and start actually enjoying the way they look in the women’s clothing that people start to sort of say, ‘Wait, hold on, hold on, hold on. You’re supposed to be laughing at yourself. And if you’re not laughing at yourself, we don’t like it.’”

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” decide Ross Mathews paints the progress and regression as “a pendulum swinging.”

Princess Poppy.
Princess Poppy.

Santiago Felipe through Getty Photos

“The further we advance and the more that we are embraced, accepted, celebrated that pendulum — they’re going to try to swing it back, to move our movement back,” he says of anti-drag activists. “But you cannot put this genie back in the bottle. Darling, we are fabulous.”

Marcia Marcia Marcia had a easy message for critics of drag, which she says is “all about fun and expression”: “If you have a problem with those things, I think you need to reevaluate.”

Ultimately, contestant Princess Poppy hopes that it’s the impression RuPaul has made on tradition with “Drag Race” that can prevail.

“I feel like it’s helped a lot of people who don’t really quite understand drag people or gay people or drag queens,” she mentioned. “They don’t really understand because they don’t really understand what we’re doing. But the show, it humanizes us, and it shows that we’re people, too.”