Drag Race UK’s Black Peppa throws down gauntlet to allies: ‘Silence equals death’
Drag Race UK finalist Black Peppa has no time for haters or fake allies.
“You’ve seen the news,” Peppa tells PinkNews, fresh from cementing their place as the lip sync assassin of Drag Race UK season four.
“There’s a lot of queer haters and I feel like the one thing we need is a song to uplift us and make us feel happy.”
“Why Is She Calling?”, their debut single, is an homage to ballroom and house music with a prominent sample of Mya’s iconic “Case of the Ex”.
Although they never envisioned themselves producing music, Peppa has “always loved writing poetry” and after collaborating with a friend to put it to a beat, the track naturally came together.
“On release day everyone was tagging me in videos of them dancing to it at bars and clubs. It just made me feel like wow, this is amazing.”
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Drag Race UK season four aired at a time when LGBTQ+ people, including drag queens specifically, are under relentless attack by the media and public, being painted as “paedophiles” and “groomers”.
Despite this, the show remained a celebration. Black Peppa believes the cast managed to be their true selves and reflect the vastness of drag culture.
“My friends were like ‘you gave such a good run, you stayed true to yourself. You never ever change.’ And that to me was all I could have ever asked for,” she says.
But she appreciates how difficult being yourself can be, something that’s been highlighted in recent weeks by the FIFA World Cup being held in anti-LGBTQ+ country Qatar.
Peppa thinks the tournament could have had a much bigger impact.
“As a queer person it would feel good to know that certain people in high places in the football world would use their voice because of the platform they have,” they say.
“That is the most frustrating part. But you can’t force people to do anything and you just have to hope that things can get better.”
One of the people who’s come under fire most is David Beckham, who has refused to give up a multi-million pound deal to act as an ambassador for Qatar.
Peppa thinks it’s important that straight people do their part and be true allies, and it’s something expects from those around her.
“As a straight friend in my life do you realise how difficult it is for me as a queer person to even live day by day?”
As for what people should be doing, Black Peppa encourages them to “speak up” if they hear someone handing out harmful opinions.
They point to both the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting and the recent Colorado Springs shooting at Club Q to show the threat the LGBTQ+ community is still under, and to remind people that: “Silence equals death.”
“People may not love protests but at the end of the day, you’ll share your message and that’s what people are going to remember,” Black Peppa reflects.
“I woke up and saw what happened in Colorado. I was gutted by this because this could have been any one of us, and it’s hurtful.”
Protest is something that Peppa is passionate about, and that is tied to their Caribbean background.
“Caribbean people love to protest, they love to strike,” Peppa explains. “As much as the government might not love it, things change, because the community is all that we need. And if there’s no community, then the country will fail.”
In particular Black Peppa impresses the important of inclusivity, adding: “Whether it’s drag kings, whether it’s non-binary people, the punk movement, whether it’s the kink or fetish community, everyone deserves their space.
“And the minute you don’t have that space, that is just the worst feeling ever.”
For Peppa personally, it feels as though the world is their oyster.
As for future plans, they are keeping a tight lip but tease projects with their drag mother Mo Hart, more music and maybe even a return to the Drag Race universe.
“I feel like I need time to absorb everything that just happened because it’s been a hell of whirlwind,” they add.
“And maybe in the next year or so, who knows, I will be ready to go on Drag Race again.”
Black Peppa’s debut single “Why Is She Calling?” is available to stream on all platforms.
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