Drag Race icon Trixie Mattel slams hypocritical drag bans: ‘I can get a gun, but I can’t wear a wig’

RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Trixie Mattel has pointed out the blisteringly obvious truth surrounding drag bans in the United States.

Drag superstar Trixie Mattel, who competed on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race before returning and winning All Stars 3, has denounced the rise of drag bans sweeping across the United States.

Draconian bills have recently been passed in Tennessee which ban drag performers in public places, and arrive in the midst of rising anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment. Further anti-drag and trans legislation has also already been passed in 12 states aside from Tennessee.

Speaking to her 1.82 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, the drag icon and makeup mogul dissected the issue with an uncharacteristically serious tone.

“None of this should be about whether or not drag is something everyone should like,” she said in a video titled ‘Trixie Mattel Talks Drag Bans’.

“It shouldn’t even be about whether drag is something everyone accepts. It should be about whether something is really about ‘protecting’ anyone – not just children, anyone.”

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One of the main reasons Republican lawmakers are pushing to drag performances is to supposedly ‘protect’ children; ironic, Mattel then points out, given that gun laws in Tennessee are incredibly lax.

“Right now in Tennessee, I can get a gun and carry it round in public, but I can’t put on a f**king wig,” she continued.

“On my second offence of doing drag in Tennessee, I could become a felon. A felon. As a white, rich drag queen that scares me; how do you think people of colour and trans women, and trans women and trans women who are people of colour who do drag feel? They might not get a f**king second chance because police do not treat those people the same.”

Mattel, who owns Trixie Cosmetics, went on to explain how the rise of anti-drag politics have been on her mind every “day, morning and night”, and that she thinks about it “every time [she’s] in drag and every time [she’s] onstage.”

“When I started doing drag fifteen years ago, it was kind of safer and more legal than it is now; how is that happening? How are we moving backwards?”

Mattel then delivered a scathing message to “a**holes from conservative news”.

“Drag is so diverse and so unique and special and different; everyone who does drag does it differently, everyone does it for different reasons, and so there is no way to legislate: ‘All drag is this’.

“I’m here to tell you that I can’t even say that all drag is good. I can’t even say that all drag is interesting to me. To say ‘All drag is bad for kids’ is to say: ‘All movies/music is bad for kids.'”

American drag queen Trixie Mattel performs in California
Trixie Mattel performing onstage (Getty Images/Unique Nicole)

Mattel also explained that her “personal act” is for adults, and that “you couldn’t pay me enough money to go to a library in a wig and read to children“, before unpicking the moral panic around children watching drag performances.

“People act like drag queens march into their living rooms and force their children to watch lip syncing,” she continued. “That is not happening. You’ll never accidentally walk into a drag show.”

Mattel also pointed out a more serious issue; namely the idea that conservatives and those who want to ban drag, could eventually see a trans or gender non-conforming person in public and “call 911”.

“Drag queens are not going to be as affected by this as people who walk around the world with gender expressions that are not exactly traditional. This is real, this really will happen.”

“I don’t see people barging into drag shows, I see this affecting real people.”

“This bill is designed to attack trans people and queer people”

The drag superstar also highlighted pointed out that “well-meaning” small businesses or gay bars (of which Mattel has several, such as the Trixie Motel in Palm Springs) could end up having to refuse drag performers entry on the grounds that they could have their business fined or liquor license removed, effectively bankrupting them.

“The repercussions really have no end… this bill is designed to attack trans people and queer people. That’s what it’s designed to do.”

Mattel, whose signature brand of humour is ‘You were thinking it, but I said it,’ went on to add:

“The only confirmed place where men in dresses groom children for sex… is churches!”

Trixie Mattel performing Grown Up.
Trixie Mattel performing Grown Up. (Laura Duffy)

In a separate train of thought, Mattel also said that the hypocrisy of Republican politicians often leads them to be ‘caught out’, before referencing George Santos’s uncovered past drag career and pro-drag ban Tennesse Lietuenant Governer Randy McNally liking a young gay man’s thirst trap.

She also added that the “drag thing” is being used as a cover-up for “horrible, under-handed, moneymaking, filthy politics under a rug.”

Mattel is also joining forces with further Drag Race icons like Jinkx Monsoon, Katya and Monét X Change with an epic telethon celebrating the art of drag called Drag Isn’t Dangerous.

As the All Stars 3 winner said at the beginning of her video: “The best political statement is to put on that wig and that makeup, and let those wh*res have it.”

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