‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ cast push back against hate, threats

NEW YORK (AP) — As the cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” celebrated the new season, they credited the show’s creator for the popularity of drag and expressed concern about the protests and threats to the performance style. at the heart of the long-running series.

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

“I think everybody’s been as good in drag for a while,” said the drag queen with the “Brady Bunch”-inspired name. “And now history is repeating itself and people are speaking out against it, which I think is so silly.

With a long and rich history, drag – the art of dressing as a different gender, often for performance—has been attacked by right-wing politicians and activists who have falsely linked that with the “sexualization” and “grooming” of children. In recent months, protesters – sometimes with guns – have sat in on drag show time, where performers read books to children. The ban on children at drag events has been dropped. In late November, a shooter at a Colorado Springs nightclub turned a drag queen’s birthday party into a massacre. and was charged with hate crimes and murder.

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Another contestant, Jax, said threats, protests and hate were “frustrating” but not surprising: “Just like being a person of color, being a minority, growing up in certain communities, that’s something I’ve had to deal with my whole life.

“But we always win,” Jax added. “We always win and we always intend to be on top because we are on the right side of history and we love what we do and we do nothing to harm anyone. We’re just trying to bring love to everything.”

Also for contestant Loosey LaDuca, this is nothing new: “It’s really unfortunate that in this day and age, drag queens have become the new target.” But LGBT people are no strangers to being, you know, the public enemy.”

It’s OK to meet threats with caution, LaDuca said, but “we will never be afraid.”

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Last month, New York City Councilman Erik Bottcher attended a drag history session in his neighborhood. He recorded and posted a video of “dozens of gay protesters outside with the most disgusting signs verbally attacking the families and the drag queen.” Two days later, he said, anti-drag activists vandalized the hallway outside his office and entered his apartment building.

“Two of them were arrested. A third was arrested for assaulting one of my neighbors,” he told AP at the premiere. “This is all an attempt to scare those of us who support drag story time.”

Contestant Irene Dubois has a theory about what’s behind the glaze aimed at drag performers.

“I think a man in a woman’s clothes is inherently funny just because we’re like, (gasp) ‘That’s not supposed to happen!'” Dubois hypothesized. “And it’s when the men in women’s clothing stop push, push, blink, blink and start actually enjoying how they look in women’s clothing that people start saying, ‘Wait, wait, wait, hold on, Wait.’ You should be laughing at yourself. And if you’re not laughing at yourself, we don’t like it.'”

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

“The further we get and the more we’re embraced, accepted, celebrated that pendulum — they’re going to try to swing it back, to move our movement back,” he says of anti-drag campaigners. “But you can’t put that genie back in the bottle. Baby, we’re awesome.”

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

Ultimately, contestant Princess Poppy is hoping for RuPaul’s influence has done on culture with “Drag Race” that will win.

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


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