Drag Race stars such as Jinkx Monsoon, Aquaria and BenDeLaCreme have called on allies to speak out against anti-drag laws making their way through various US states.
Tennessee recently became the first to ban drag shows from taking place in public spaces and/or places where minors may be present.
Similar anti-drag bills have been introduced in at least 14 other states, including Arizona, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
The language used varies from bill to bill, with Tennessee’s not explicitly mentioning the “drag shows”.
Instead, it defines “adult cabaret” as “adult-oriented performances” that include “male and female impersonators” which should not take place where minors could be present.
A number of high profile drag performers have since taken to social media to share their outrage at the legislation and call on their allies to speak out against it.
Jinkx Monsoon, Drag Race’s first two-time winner who is currently starring in Chicago on Broadway, called out the silence of those who have ever made money off of a drag queen or enjoyed the art of drag.
“Yet again, queer people are the only people talking about queer issues, even though we’ve been the court jesters for a lot of ‘allies’ lately – but I guess y’all are just fence riders when it comes to choosing between right and objectively evil,” they wrote on Instagram.
Ours is a revolution of love, empathy, and truth— you can’t ban those things. We will fight this battle the way our predecessors did: with grace, compassion, and throwing a brick if we have to. https://t.co/wc4urEXt2m
— Jinkx Monsoon (@JinkxMonsoon) February 23, 2023
In a previous post, Jinkx said her “heart was broken” to learn of Tennessee passing anti-drag and anti-trans legislation.
“We are fighting an uphill battle as a direct result of the progress we have made – and the insidious efforts of the conservative right (and well, ALL Republicans at this point, you f**king evil cowards). I want to be angry, and yell, and scream,” she continued.
“I wanna dismantle every press outlet that continues to give a resounding voice to vitriol and bigotry.”
BenDeLaCreme said the laws “are nothing more than scapegoating to distract from the REAL issues impacting everyday people in the cities and towns where these bills are being passed.”
She added: “We all know that the almighty dollar wields so much power in this country so I really hope that businesses involved in nightlife and entertainment BOYCOTT the cities and states who pass these bills. Let them feel the ramifications of an economy without queer entertainment and queer establishments.”
Jackie Cox urged her followers to call out major companies staying silent on the matter.
She tweeted: “I know y’all want every celeb/company you know to speak out against what is happening in Tennessee but their gov is not gonna care, because those companies are not based in TN. Let’s get specific: @FedEx YOU ARE ONE OF THE BIGGEST COMPANIES BASED IN TENNESSEE WHY ARE YOU SILENT?!”
I know y’all want every celeb/company you know to speak out against what is happening in Tennessee but their gov is not gonna care, because those companies are not based in TN. Let’s get specific: @FedEx YOU ARE ONE OF THE BIGGEST COMPANIES BASED IN TENNESSEE WHY ARE YOU SILENT?!
— Jackie Cox (@JackieCoxNYC) March 5, 2023
Season eight winner Bob the Drag Queen urged anyone who enjoys entertainment based around drag to challenge the aforementioned legislation.
“If you watch Drag Race, Pose, Legendary, Dragula, etc. you need to make your choice heard,” they wrote on social media. “These anti trans/ anti drag bills are actually starting to make their way through, and after that have taken down trans and nonbinary people. . . GAY BOYZ, YOU’RE NEXT!! Trust and believe.”
See how other Drag Race stars reacted to the legislation below:
Shows are getting shut down, people are losing jobs, performers are being harassed just for showing up to work (we were called slurs and screamed at to leave just 2 nights ago!), and now a speaker at CPAC has called for the ERADICATION of Trans folx?! We can’t let hate win!
— Ginger Minj (@TheGingerMinj) March 6, 2023
Allies…… 🎤📣🗣️ …… please. The floor is yours. The world is trying to crush my unbeatable community. They won’t and could never, but its definitely past time to speak up. Please help us safely progress and thrive without fear.
— Aquaria 🤌🏼 (@aquariaofficial) March 6, 2023
As parts of the US bring in a drag ban and far right commentators call for an "erraddication of transgenderism from public life" …I wondered where all those flag waving allies went, are they busy, unaware or were they only there for the street party pic.twitter.com/t82rih7bL4
— Cheddar Gorgeous (@CheddarGorgeous) March 5, 2023
Hello allies and guest judges or anyone who got a check for contributing to @RuPaulsDragRace. Would love for you to speak up for our queer community now plz 💕
— Joey Jay (IS GAY🥺) (@joeyjayisgay) March 6, 2023
U know that energy we use every Friday to be vocal about our opinions on runway looks, challenge winners, lipsynch losers? THAT ENERGY is NEEDED NOW to protect our queer people & spaces! What’s happening in Tennessee is just a stepping stone in a much larger, much scarier picture
— Daya Betty (@daya_betty417) March 5, 2023
Y’all- now is absolutely the time to stand up and make moves. Between Tennessee and legislators using words like “eradicate” against trans people it’s time to drop the internal petty judgement and fighting and suit up for the bigger enemy rn.
— ❄️Denali❄️ (@denalifox) March 5, 2023
If you watch Drag Race, Pose, Legendary, Dragula, etc. you need to make your choice heard. These anti trans/ anti drag bills are actually starting to make their way through, and after that have taken down trans and nonbinary people. . . GAY BOYZ, YOU'RE NEXT!! Trust and believe.
— Bobbiana (@thatonequeen) March 7, 2023