GLAAD’s Jose Useche took to the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Tuesday night and gave the opportunity for attendees to send messages to their LGBTQ fans.
“Always be you and f*ck what everybody else has to say,” said rapper Saweetie. “Be you because if you believe in yourself, everybody else will. If you like it, we like it. I know that’s right.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars winner Jimbo shared the same sentiment. “I would say, ‘stay weird’,” Jimbo said to his fellow ‘queerdos’. He added, “Have a good time, live your best life and do whatever the f*ck you want!”
Digital creator Chris Olsen spoke about the importance of chosen family while icon, activist and Drag Race judge Ts Madison bluntly said, “Be yourself, bitch. Step your pussy up, honey. Get a job. Own a business, bitch” when asked to send a message to her queer fans.
Drag Race finalist Luxx Noir London told Useche that she appreciated being able to connect with fans.”[It] really means a lot and you take it for granted sometimes until you’re in a room full of people screaming your name at a nightclub at 2 in the morning,” she said. “It really just makes you feel an extra appreciation for the people who support you especially when you’re someone like me who kind of got a little bit of pushback from the fans on their season. To actually have people come to you and tell you about how much you mean to them and how much you’ve impacted them on a scale that has impacted them standing in front of you. It means a lot.”
Considering the VMAs are a night of music, reigning Drag Race queen Sasha Colby talked about why music is important to the LGBTQ community. “I think that a lot of queer people are really creative and a lot of us don’t express ourselves in the conventional ways, so I think music really helps us to connect,” she said. “A playlist can really do so much and connect so many people and I think in this time that’s what we gravitate towards.”
Allies from the rock group The Warning said of their music and how it connects with the queer commity: “We’re very happy that it reaches everybody — that everybody can relate to it.” They added that there music offers a safe space for everyone. “Rock is such a genre for everything and everyone,” they said. “There’s no boundaries there’s no rules.”
“My music ended up getting played a lot in the ballroom scene,” said Prince Derek Doll of how the LGBTQ community has responded to his music. “I have a song called ‘Chop’… it’s been really well received…I make music that kind of makes me feel good. It can reach anyone.”
He continued, “I just had a performance last week and I was the only LGBTQ artist on the stage but the way that the crowd interacted with me and they received me so well, it kind of validated that it doesn’t matter about being queer or not… it’s like ‘show up as who you are’. There’s space for all of us and your guests will make room for you. So I’ve been blessed. Good music is for everybody.”