Drag Race icons send blistering message to Sunak and Tories over LGBTQ+ rights: ‘Get a f**king grip’

An image of UK prime minister Rishi Sunak alongside Drag Race stars Lady Camden, Danny Beard, Ella Vaday and Kitty Scott Claus

Speaking to PinkNews at DragCon UK 2023, the queens of Drag Race delivered a string of no-nonsense messages to the Tories about their treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.

Over the past few months, the Conservative Party has come under fire for delaying the fully-inclusive ban on the barbaric practice of so-called conversion therapy, while prime minister Rishi Sunak recently refused to wear a red ribbon to commemorate World Aids day.

On Monday (16 January), the UK government doubled down on its harmful treatment of the LGBTQ+ community when prime minister Rishi Sunak decided to block Scotland’s gender reform bill, which simplifies the process for trans people to change their gender markers on their birth certificates.

The move has since been condemned by LGBTQ+ activists as a “shameful attack on trans rights”.

DragCon, however, is one place that the LGBTQ+ community will always be embraced. This year, alongside the joyful extravaganza of queer self-expression, which saw everything from sickening lip syncs from the queens of the global Drag Race franchise to family-friendly story time sessions with groups of enthralled youngsters, defiance was in the air – and when the stars of Drag Race UK were asked by PinkNews to give a message for the Tories, they didn’t hold back.

When asked what they would say to the UK’s administration concerning trans and other LGBTQ+ rights, current reigning drag superstar Danny Beard delivered an appropriately blunt one-liner: “F**k off”.

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The winner of Drag Race UK‘s third season, Krystal Versace, had a similarly to-the-point message: “F**king get your s**t together. That’s it.”

Baby, who competed alongside Danny Beard on Season Four of Drag Race UK, emphasised the ridiculousness of decisions about trans and queer individuals being made by straight, cisgendered ones in the Tory party: “So much of it just rooted in ignorance. [They’re] making all these decisions about a community [they] have nothing to do with.

“It’s not queer people going: ‘We feel like we should do this’. This is a bunch of straight people going: ‘This is how we see and this is what we think you’re entitled to’.

“If you just open up your inner circle and spend more time with people in a community, you’d have a lot more compassion for [that] community.”

Season three finalists Kitty Scott-Claus and Ella Vaday also marked their DragCon UK chat with PinkNews by sharing firm words of ‘encouragement’.

And by encouragement, we mean that Kitty shouted: “Oh, pull your finger out. Get it together!” before adding: “If we can make DragCon work a week after Christmas, then you can sort the bloody country out.”

Ella, in a quieter but no-less-impactful statement, reinforced the absurdity of conversion therapy not being banned and took the opportunity to remind the world that the Tory Party had three different prime ministers in as many months: “The fact that last year we all protested because they were going to allow trans people to still have conversion therapy is just f**king ridiculous. So I’d tell them to get a f**king grip and get out of power. Let someone else take over. I’m fed up with three s**t prime ministers.”

Drag Race UK Kitty Scott Claus (L) and Ella Vaday (R) talk about attacks on Drag Queen Story Hour at the 2022 PinkNews Awards. (PinkNews)
Kitty Scott-Claus (L) and Ella Vaday at the 2022 PinkNews Awards (PinkNews)

Trans lives have recently become the centre of a vicious ‘debate’, with even LGBT+ Labour calling for a new definition of transphobia, following a string of concerning comments from leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The queens of Drag Race UK have a fairly simple solution. As Crystal from season one said, her advice for the Tories would be: “Tax the f**king rich and support trans people.”

Crystal’s cast mate Sum Ting Wong echoed her sentiments by pointing out that – shockingly – all queer people want is to be “respected as people”.

The queen added: “We are people, just like anyone else. We are people just like the rich people you protect, we are people just like the white people you protect. We are a marginalised group and all we want to do is survive and be respected as people.”

Lady Camden was the first British queen to appear on the flagship American version of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She finished second, behind Willow Pill, and had a similarly defiant message: “We’re not going anywhere, so f**king get used to it. Let us enjoy the privileges that everyone should deserve, and that everyone should have access to.

“There’s nothing that separates us except opinions and ego.”

Recently engaged finalist from Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs The World, Victoria Scone, proposed a particularly sickening replacement for the Tory government – and Rishi Sunak in particular.

“Burn it the the ground. Start again. Lawrence Chaney for prime minister,” the queen said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Meanwhile, Blu Hydrangea’s “Up the queers,” was a strong and stable answer, while Season Two’s (and Three’s) Veronica Green had a more nuanced answer, that also laid some of the blame on Labour’s weaker-than-hoped performance as opposition: “The biggest problem that we face in this country, that we settle for less and we don’t have we don’t have a strong opposition to counteract what our current government are doing. So they can literally get away with whatever they want.

“I’m not a Tory voter. But do I want to vote for Labour? In their no current state? No.”

The Tories first promised a conversion therapy ban in 2018 during Theresa May’s tenure as prime minister, but Boris Johnson later opted to push ahead with a ban that only covered lesbian, gay and bisexual people. That too stalled.

But, according to ITV News, a fully inclusive conversion therapy ban is now back on the table, with No 10 expected to announce details of legislation in the coming days.