NEW YORK (AP) — As the cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” celebrated the new season, they credited the show’s creator for popularizing drag and expressed concern about protests and threats to the performance style at the heart of the long-running series. do
“RuPaul really brought it into the mainstream, really letting people know that it’s more art than anything else,” contestant Marcia Marcia Marcia told The Associated Press at Thursday’s season 15 premiere in New York. The new season premieres Friday on MTV.
The drag queen with the “Brady Bunch”-inspired name said: “I think everyone was good with drag for a little bit.”
With a long and rich history, drag – the art of dressing up as the opposite sex, often for performance – has been attacked by right-wing politicians and activists for falsely “sexualizing” and “beautifying” children. is related In recent months, protesters — sometimes with guns — surrounded story hours, during which actors read books to children. Children’s drag events are banned. 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.
Another contestant, Jacques, said the threats, protests and hate were “disgusting” but not surprising: “As a person of color, a minority, growing up in certain communities, that’s what I Should have spent my whole life. Life.”
“But we always win,” Jax added. “We always win and we always come out on top because we’re on the right side of history and we love what we do and we don’t do anything to hurt anybody, we just bring love We try. Anything.”
For contestant Lucy LaDuca, too, this is nothing new: “It’s really unfortunate that, at this time, drag queens have become the new target. But LGBT people are no strangers to being public enemies, you know.”
It’s okay to meet threats with caution, LaDuca said, but “we will never panic.”
Last month, New York City Councilman Eric Boettcher participated in a drag story hour in his district. He filmed and posted videos of “dozens of homophobic protestors outside with the most gruesome signs verbally attacking families and drag queens.” Two days later, he said, anti-drag activists vandalized the hallway outside his office and entered his apartment building.
“Two people have been arrested. The third was arrested for assaulting one of my neighbors,” he told AP at the premiere. “This is all an attempt to intimidate us into supporting Drag Story Hour.”
Contestant Erin Dubois has an idea about what’s behind the vitriol aimed at drag performers.
“I think a man in women’s clothing is inherently funny because we’re like, (sadly) ‘It’s not happening!'” Dubois hypothesized. “And it’s time for men to kind of shake, shake, shake, shake and actually start to enjoy the way women in women’s clothes look like people are starting to say, wait. Do it, stop it, stop it, stop it, you have to laugh at yourself, and if you don’t laugh at yourself, we don’t like it.”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Ross Matthews describes progress and regression as a “pendulum swing.”
“The more we progress and the more we accept that pendulum, accepted, celebrated — they’re going to try to swing it back, to swing our momentum back,” he says of anti-drag activists. “But you can’t put that genie back in the bottle. Honey, we’re adorable.
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 should reevaluate.”
In the end, contestant Princess Poppy hopes it’s the impact RuPaul made on the culture with “Drag Race” that prevails.
“I feel like it’s helped a lot of people who don’t really understand drag people or gay people or drag queens,” she said. “They don’t really understand because they don’t really know what we do. But the show, it humanizes us, and it shows that we’re people too.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.