NEW YORK (AP) — As the cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” celebrated a new season, the show’s creators credited the popularization of drag and expressed concern over protests and threats to the performance style at the heart of the long-running series.
“RuPaul really brought drag into the mainstream, really made people realize that it’s an art form more than anything else,” contestant Marcia Marcia Marcia told The Associated Press at the season 15 premiere in New York on Thursday. The new season starts Friday on MTV.
“I think everybody was cool with drag for a while,” said the drag queen with the “Brady Bunch”-inspired name. “And now history is repeating itself and people are speaking out against it, which I think is so stupid. .”
Another contestant, Jax, said the threats, protests and hate were “disheartening” but not surprising: “Like being a person of color, being a minority, growing up in certain communities, it’s something I’ve had to deal with 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 try to bring love to everything.”
It’s nothing new for contestant Loosey LaDuca either: “It’s really unfortunate that drag queens have become the new target during this time. But LGBT people are no strangers to being a public enemy.”
LaDuca said it’s OK to face threats with caution, but “we will never be afraid.”
Last month, New York City Councilman Erik Bottcher attended a campaign class in his district. He filmed and posted a video of “dozens of homophobic protesters outside with the most disgusting signs verbally attacking families and drag queens”. Two days later, he said, anti-hauling activists vandalized the hallway outside his office and entered his apartment building.
“Two of them were arrested. A third was arrested for assaulting one of my neighbors,” he told the AP at the premiere. “This is all an attempt to intimidate those of us who support the hour of the campaign.”
Contestant Irene Dubois has a theory about what’s behind the vitriol directed at pullers.
“I think a man in women’s clothing is inherently laughable just because we’re like (gasp) ‘That shouldn’t be happening!'” Dubois posited. “And when men in women’s clothes stop doing nudge, nudge, wink, wink and start actually enjoying how they look in women’s clothes, people start to kind of say, ‘Wait, hold on, hold on. You’re supposed to laugh at yourself. And if you don’t laugh at yourself, we don’t like it'”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Ross Mathews paints progress and regression as “the swing of a pendulum.”
“The further we go and the more this pendulum embraces us and embraces us and celebrates us — it’s going to try to turn it back, move our movement back,” he says of anti-drag activists. “But you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Honey, we’re fabulous.”
Marcia Marcia Marcia had a simple message for critics of the move, which she says is “all about fun and expression”: “If you have a problem with these things, I think you should reconsider.”
In the end, contestant Princess Poppy hopes to win the very impact that RuPaul made on culture with “Drag Race.”
“I feel like it’s helped a lot of people who don’t really fully understand drag people or gay people or drag queens,” she said. But the show humanizes us and shows that we are human too.”