Drag Race star BenDeLaCreme has addressed the hypocrisy of anti-trans and anti-drag bills making their way through US state legislatures.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Jonathan Capehart asked DeLa to discuss Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming healthcare for transgender children and teens.
“It’s really a terrifying time for so many reasons for the queer community,” she told the host. “We’re being set back so far.”
“My personal attachment to the trans healthcare attacks is not only that I have a huge group of friends through the drag community, who I have a personal relationship with, who are trans, I also have a trans partner and there is so much fear around how people are going to continue to live their full, authentic life,” she continued. “I know people who are starting to figure out how they’re going to hoard hormones in case in their state, suddenly they don’t have access to the things they need.”
DeLa further explained that such legislation “fuels this fire of violence, this perception that trans people are less than, that trans people are somehow trying to disrupt society, trying to do something to your children or your way of life, rather than trying to go around their own business.”
As well as the bill banning gender-affirming care for trans youth, Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, signed one preventing drag performances from taking place on public property or in places where minors could be present.
Although the word “drag” does not appear in the bill, the definition of adult cabaret has been changed to mean “adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors”.
It puts “male or female impersonators” within the category alongside go-go dancers, exotic dancers and strippers.
WATCH: In a Last Word exclusive, @BenDeLaCreme explains how you can be an ally to the LGBTQ community.
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Capehart asked DeLa to respond to those falsely stating that drag is “all inappropriate for kids and families”.
The award-winning queen agreed with the host on his point that not all television, music and various other content is suitable for children – but that doesn’t mean it gets banned entirely.
‘I would argue that seeing drag queens is essential to children’
“Drag is a wide, wide net,” she stated. “There are many types of performance that drag encompasses and there are certainly shows with adult themes that, you know, I think parents get to make their choices as to where they bring their children and there are many wonderful drag events that they can bring their children to.
“I had the pleasure of reading at a Drag Queen Story Hour in Orlando one year after the Pulse shooting and it was a really incredible experience to have all of these families, all of these children, fathered around listening to me read an age-appropriate book about community and togetherness and it was such a loving space.”
DeLa then pointed out the obvious which some people seem to be missing – parents have the choice of where they take their children.
She continued: “You certainly don’t need to take your children to every aspect of drag. In fact, you don’t need to take them anywhere! But there are places where we can embrace them and we can give visibility that these kids might need. There’s a sense and rhetoric that this is somehow harmful to children. I would argue that seeing drag queens, seeing queer people, people from other walks of life, is essential to children.”
You can watch DeLa’s interview below or by clicking here.