Stephen Lang for Miami Beach Pride

Drag Race star Carmen Carrera has urged young transgender people to “give less focus” to those who don’t understand them as anti-LGBTQ+ legislation continues to sweep through the US.

Speaking to GAY TIMES at Miami Beach Pride 2023, she explained that Pride continues to be essential for LGBTQ+ people as it allows “us to come together and share ideas and also find that safe space among one another”.

“I think that there’s this nuance with Pride,” she continued. “There’s so many different kinds of people nowadays and Pride is open to everyone, and especially now with everything that’s going on here in the States and how people are literally trying to take our rights away as we speak, we need to be able to come together and remind ourselves who we are because we spent so much time fighting, but we’re more than that.”

The performer, who is best known for competing on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race, added that there is also a benefit to attending Pride events in person when possible.

“We’re more than just our bodies, we’re more than just our sexuality,” Carmen said. “We are creative, loving, beautiful people and so, sometimes, you need to see that and that’s why Pride is so important, because we have to see each other. You know, we can see what we show people online, but it’s nothing like in person. It’s nothing like the real thing.”

READ MORE: Miami Beach Pride 2023: Everything to know about this year’s celebration

Despite the atmosphere at Miami Beach Pride being “alive” and “vibrant”, an array of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has been introduced in the state of Florida.

This includes restrictions on discussions of LGBTQ+ identities in the classroom to an array of anti-trans bills targeting both sport and gender-related care, among other things.

In light of this, Carmen urged young trans people to remember “the most important” thing is to love yourself above all else.

“You know that you’re special, you know that you’re amazing, so let’s start there, okay?” she explained.

“Let’s not forget that and don’t get too lost in trying to fight and trying to get people to change their minds about who you are. Sometimes people won’t accept you, and that’s okay.

“You know, the most important part is that you accept you and that you love yourself and that’s something that you are going to be developing as a human being throughout your entire life.

“So let’s give less focus to the people that don’t understand you and less focus to those that don’t resonate with your experience because they’re not like you and more focus on growing your amazing self so that you can show them why they’re wrong.”

READ MORE: Shantay you slay! Here are the 20 best lip syncs in Drag Race HERstory

Looking to the future, Carmen shared that the “possibilities are endless” at the moment and she is excited to travel now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

“I really miss the stage,” she said of what fans can expect from her upcoming endeavours. “I miss performing and doing my thing and I love modelling and I love acting, but I think maybe more performing and connecting back to my community. I think my community needs me and so I just want to be there for us again.”

@gaytimes Listen to Carmen, kids 💖 #carmencarrera #carmencarreraedit #transrightsarehumanrights #transgender #transrights #transcommunity #transyouth #transyouthmatter ♬ Music In Your Heart (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP

Miami Beach Pride took place from 1-16 April 2023, with Carmen Carrera taking to the AT&T stage to host some of the main weekend’s celebrations.

Follow @GAYTIMES and @miamibeachpride on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with this year’s event in full.