Drag Race star Jackie Cox gives candid take on the show’s Jeff Goldblum controversy
Drag Race season 12 queen Jackie Cox addressed the impassioned discourse that follow Jeff Goldblum’s comments about Islam and LGBT+ acceptance.
Jeff Goldblum appeared as a guest judge on season 12’s political debate episode.
Jackie Cox memorably walked the runway in a stars and stripes kaftan and hijab look, a tribute to her Iranian Muslim heritage.
During the judges’ comments, Goldblum asked Jackie if there was something in Islam “that is anti-homosexuality and anti-woman”.
“Does that complicate the issue? I’m just raising it and thinking out loud and maybe being stupid,” he said.
His comments inspired a fierce debate among Drag Race fans. Some asked whether they were necessary, while others defended the actor’s apparently earnest inquiry.
On the whole, many were in agreement that the brief runway segment wasn’t best placed to discuss what is a very complex topic.
Jackie Cox, speaking after her Drag Race elimination, gave her take on the exchange.
“There’s a difference between an oppressive religious government or a government that oppresses people in the name of religion versus personal freedom of expression of culture and religion,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
“This is a country founded on the principle of the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state.”
Jackie said that earlier on in season 12, she had discussed the difference between the Iranian government being anti-LGBT+ people, and Iranian people – “certainly the ones I know in my life” – not being that way.
The Drag Race star continued: “And there are queer people in that group who are underrepresented who don’t have that voice, and there are practicing queer Muslims.
“I am not one of them, but I’m here to represent them and my own interpretation of the Islamic faith — my own version of which I grew up with.
“Perhaps for Jeff and the audience, they hadn’t thought of those things as separate before, or hadn’t thought through that all those complicated feelings can exist at the same time in one person.
“It’s not as simple as, well, I don’t agree with what the Iranian government says, therefore I don’t support any part of my history or culture or what my family does or doesn’t believe.”
Jackie hopes Jeff Goldblum discourse will educate people.
When asked about the reaction to her conversation with Goldblum, Jackie said that she didn’t want to “take away from anyone’s reaction to those questions and for anyone’s feelings of how that affected them”.
“It illustrates how we can approach the same question from a different point of view,” she continued.
“There’s this feeling that so much of Western media has portrayed us as terrorists, as these negative connotations… I know for so many people in our community, it’s always a little disheartening that those are the first things people think of.
“Hopefully, this will be a conversation for people to learn more.”
Jackie Cox will appear with the other season 12 queens this Friday (May 22) for Drag Race‘s “virtual slumber party reunion”, followed a week later by a special at-home finale episode.
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