In addition to having to navigate rivalries (Hi Luxx and Loosey), the incredibly fierce season aired during a time when LGBTQ rights were being put on the line with anti-drag queen and anti-trans legislation across the country. Conversations about the topic would be brought up often throughout the season and Drag Race, MTV, and World of Wonder went on to support and amplify ACLU’s “Drag Defense Fund”.
GLAAD was on the red carpet on the night of the finale to talk to the queens, judges and guests about what drag means to them and their responses to the anti-LGBTQ laws being introduced across the country.
“Living outwardly proud is honestly the best thing we could do right now because they don’t want to see us happy,” Luxx said of the bans. “We just need to do that for all the people who have fought for us before.”
“Drag has not only changed my life, it has shaped my life,” “said Mistress, who is from Texas, one of the many states that have brought anti-LGBTQ laws to the table. “My whole life kinda revolves around drag and the queer community. I’m very blessed to have the chosen family I do and have the experiences I’ve had.”
She added, “Our community, we have a long history of people kicking us and trying to put us down and we always rise… love always wins.”
Sasha sent a message out to trans youth saying, “It’s hard to just say ‘this will get better’ because we really don’t know right now… I know how hard and how scary this feels right now and we’re gonna hold it down for you. I’m out here everyday protesting in drag for you. I’m in rhinestones unapologetically so you all can be safe and I hope that everything works out in every instance in my head like it’s supposed to.”
For Sasha, she says that drag has given her life and a career — and she has learned the valuable lesson of being on time. “So that you get paid — that’s all that matters honey — how’d you think I got all these stones?” she says cheekily.
Anetra said that drag allowed her to be who she is — in and out of drag. “I think when you are playing a character or putting on a face that’s not yours you can kind of remember to come back to yourself and appreciate yourself differently and also love the thing you create as well.”
“Drag is art and not a crime. Just take a look!” she added before blowing a kiss.
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Judge Ross Mathews totally agrees with Anetra’s sentiment saying, “IDrag to me, of course it’s incredible entertainment, but it’s art” while RuPaul’s partner in crime and Drag Race judge Michelle Visage is huge admirer of drag and she has often said that she herself is a drag queen.
“Drag is my everything, drag is why I do what I do. It’s who I am, it’s not just what I do. I identify with it,” Visage told GLAAD confidently. “Everything I am, I owe to this community.”
Visage goes on to refer to the anti-LGBTQ legilsation as “pathetic” because it’s an easy target. “It’s wag the dog,” she pointed out. “I say focus on what you need to focus on: homelessness, poverty, elder care, healthcare, college tuition, the things that really matter, racism, anti-semitism. These are things that have been going on, continue to be going on, so stop trying to take the focus away from the reality by attacking a community that’s always been attacked. We’re going to survive, and we’re going to get through, we’re going to fight louder and harder.”
“Over the history of our community, drag queens have been the superheroes on the front lines during the AIDS crisis, during political fights, during fights for equality, during Stonewall,” said judge Carson Kressley. “I think our drag community is incredibly strong, and fierce, and resilient, and proud, and wonderful.”
All the queens in the largest season of Drag Race were all present at the finale. Loosey LaDuca, Salina EsTitties, Marcia Marcia Marcia, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx, Sugar, Spice, Robin Fierce, Jax, Princess Poppy, Amethyst, Irene Dubois, and Aura Mayari to support their sisters ans well as advocate for the queer community — specifically their other drag sisters out in the world and their trans siblings.
As a queen from Nashville, Tennessee, Aura had a lot ot say about her homestate which was one of the first states to introduce drag bans. “It’s just so sad to see the progress that we’ve made as a communit,” said Aura on the red carpet..”As you can see, as we are celebrating love, we are just celebrating ourselves and it’s just being pulled back so easily by a lot of these lawmakers that don’t even know who we are and don’t know what we do.”
Aura continued, “There’s a lot of kids out there that are not truly embracing who they are as people. I love being an inspiration to a lot of those kids that grow up not knowing what to do with themselves. When they see us, they see us as brave people as warriors, I would say and I hope that helps a lot of kids out there.”
Watch the red carpet intervews from all the queens in the video above.