Drag Race winner Yvie Oddly issued a statement slamming a Republican lawmaker for “feigning outrage” over her performance at an Oklahoma university.
The star was booked as the headline act of Crimson and Queens, an annual drag show held at the University of Oklahoma which exists as “a platform for OU students and other local performers to showcase their art and increase visibility for the local LGBTQ+ community”.
One of the state’s lawmakers, Republican Rep. J.J. Humphrey, called for the president of the University of Oklahoma to be fired for pushing what he called a “woke and perverted agenda” on campus before the show had even taken place on 28 April.
Yvie was reportedly going to be paid $18,000 (£14,300) for her appearance, according to information obtained via a public-records request at a time when her contract was still “pending execution”.
Responding to the backlash from Republicans, who are currently pushing an anti-drag agenda across the US, Yvie accused Humphrey of “feigning outrage” at her performance.
“He’s upset that my that I was paid ($500) more for a major, one-time appearance than what the school’s football coach makes daily – which is funny to me because I definitely don’t make anywhere close $6.4 million a year,” they wrote on Twitter.
— Yvie Oddly (unveritable) (@OddlyYvie) May 2, 2023
Yvie continued: “I think it’s ludicrous that any lawmaker would be this deeply concerned with how student groups choose to spend their budgets, especially since the money has to be spent anyways.
“It’s even more ridiculous to compare the cost of booking a guest for one day to the daily income of a school employee because there will always be a discrepancy; that’s simply how jobs work. If you employ anyone for a full-time position then you should pay them well (and both staff members I was compared to are paid QUITE well if you add up their yearly incomes).
“But if you want to employ an independent contractor for a specialized need (like say a professional drag queen for a college drag show then the rate has to be higher.
“If you want Taylor Swift to sing at your kid’s birthday it’s going to cost way more than you pay your babysitter.”
They then pointed out that, as an openly queer celebrity, they have “never been paid as much” as their straight counterparts.
“The cost of a commencement speaker typically ranges from $30k to upwards of $100k!” Yvie added. “And that’s just to talk on a microphone-which I did in addition to creating my own + costumes, crafting artistically impactful numbers, dressing up in full stage persona, and performing live.”
She then questioned how much this year’s speaker is being paid and asked if, since her fees are considered “unacceptable”, his will be considered an issue.
“My very existence is just a hot-button issue right now”
Rounding out her statement, Yvie said: “Of course that last question is rhetorical: Because I’m a drag queen. Because my very existence is just a hot-button issue right now. Because there are people who are truly scared of how I dress, who I love, and what bathrooms I use.
“But mostly because politicians see that social fear as an easy wav to rile up their constituents and win another term. They’d rather control people they don’t understand instead of focusing on the difficult, life- threatening issues they’ve been unable to fix.
“In short I know that lawmaker is only acting out because it’s easier to make someone else a villain than it is to do the hero’s work. Maybe try some some heels and a nice dress? My constituents seem to love it.”
The apparent controversy over Yvie’s performance comes at a time when Republicans continue to target drag across the US.
States such as Tennessee and Florida have introduced bills which have the potential to limit and/or restrict drag shows if they take effect, which a number of Drag Race stars have publicly spoken out against.