Drag Race icon Choriza May blasts Tory leadership contenders’ ‘outrageous’ lack of LGBTQ+ allyship
Drag Race UK’s Choriza May has explained how visibility is an “amazing political move” LGBTQ+ people can take to “fight these crazy politicians” in the Tory leadership race.
The Spanish queen of Drag Race UK fans’ hearts told PinkNews it was “really surreal” to consider the track records of the Conservative MPs running to become the next prime minister. The pool to replace Boris Johnson was narrowed down last week (20 July) to the final two candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.
Choriza admitted to sometimes questioning if the hostile behaviour towards LGBTQ+ people from the country’s top lawmakers is “really happening” or if they are “really blind” to their “outrageous” actions.
“The fact it took so long for Boris to just finally get the f**k out,” Choriza said, “and it just speaks volumes about what’s going on not only in this country because, funnily enough, very similar stuff is happening in Spain at the moment.”
She added: “It’s like I can’t escape it so I just have to face it.”
Sunak claimed he would end “new HIV transmissions by 2030” and address rising LGBTQ+ hate crime. However, he failed to make a stand for the trans community as he said any “disagreements” within the Conservative Party should be handled with “respect and understanding” without descending into “personal attacks”.
When she was equalities minister, Truss spent more time hitting out at so-called “identity politics” and whining about people jumping on the “woke bandwagon” rather than meaningfully advocating for queer rights.
She also failed to deliver on Gender Recognition Act reform or bring forward long-promised legislation banning conversion practices in the UK.
Choriza said the lack of allyship from politicians helped her realise “it’s a global problem” as societies are “going back instead of moving forward”.
“Going back to Spain, we had a massive deal about this new law that was gonna favour trans people – like everyone was against it,” Choriza recalled. “And it was like, ‘What are you talking about? Come on, it’s 2022. We need to realise trans people exist, and the quicker you face it and accept it in your life, the happier you’re going to be’.”
She continued: “It’s just very sad. But it pushes me to be more to be more visible, and that’s all we can do.
“Because at the end of the day, not only are we fighting for what we have today, but we want the children – who are the future – to really come a lot stronger.
“They are going to need to be a lot stronger than we are to face what’s coming because it’s not looking good for any of us.”
Choriza thought being visible is an “amazing political move” because taking up space for the LGBTQ+ community can help “fight these crazy politicians that are running our country” and hopefully welcome more inclusive leaders in the future.
It’s not just politicians in the UK and Spain that are attacking the LGBTQ+ community as right-wing mobs in the US turned their ire towards drag performances. Several Republican politicians suggested legislation banning minors from family-friendly drag events or punishing parents for taking their children to such performances.
Choriza May said it was “really scary” to see hateful people “feel the need to plan all these crazy strategies” to rally against LGBTQ+ people “gaining power, being more comfortable with who we are and being more visible”.
“They don’t realise the more they try to build these obstacles for us, the harder we’re going to work,” Choriza said. “If anything, as a community, we are used to this. We have had to fight for our visibility our whole life, and this is what we do.”
She continued: “I think, even when we reach a point where we are comfortable with the visibility we have, we still need to fight for other parts of our community like the trans community, non-binary people.”
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Choriza added that anyone who says drag is not for kids should “shut up” because “drag is an art form just like any other”. She explained it wasn’t right for people to “generalise” that drag can’t be accessible for people of any age as there are some “singers whose music is not for kids”.
The Drag Race icon described how she created her new single “Feeling Fruity”, which was released on Friday (22 July), with her nieces in mind. She wanted to make a “clean song” that every member of her family could enjoy and fans could play for their kids.
The song also has close ties to Choriza May’s time on Drag Race UK as the name of the song is derived from the runway theme on the episode where she was eliminated. The track also featured the glorious River Medway, who walked off the stage alongside Choriza in a shocking double elimination.
Choriza paid homage to the iconic moment in the imagery for the single as fans can see a reflection of both Drag Race queens on the runway in the reflection of her funky pink sunglasses.
She told PinkNews that paying homage to the moment was “almost like making lemonade out of lemons” that RuPaul gifted to them.
“I think Ru sometimes gifts you these little moments, and it’s up to you how you really approach it afterwards,” Choriza said. “We could have been depressed that we were double-eliminated.”
She added: “But the way we see it is like we were eliminated together so we didn’t have to go through all that pain by ourselves.
“We got a sister to really have a shoulder to cry on and just support each other, and that’s really how our relationship has been.”
Choriza May’s new single “Feeling Fruity” featuring River Medway is available to stream on Spotify.
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