Drag Race icon Sasha Velour slams anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers for ‘trying to groom children’

sasha velour

RuPaul’s Drag Race icon Sasha Velour has become the latest of the show’s alumni to slam the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ+ hysteria sweeping the United States.

Appearing on Good Morning America to promote her upcoming book, The Big Reveal, Sasha Velour called drag an “antidote to shame” and hit back at right-wing politicians fuelling anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, saying “anti-drag and anti-trans people are the ones trying to groom their children”.

Opposite anchor Gio Benitez on Saturday 1 April, Velour was asked what she wanted to say to those proposing the “wave of anti-drag laws being introduced” – to which Velour had a characteristically astute response.

“I want to say that drag is freedom. Drag preaches non-judgement, especially towards queer and trans people, but to everyone.

“We should have freedom over our bodies and how we dress, and how we move and how we dance and dream – anyone who finds that threatening is missing the larger point.”

Velour addressed the hypocrisy displayed by conservative lawmakers and GOP politicians when they term queer people “groomers” – a recently co-opted insult levelled at LGBTQ+ individuals and entertainers.

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“It’s actually the anti-drag and anti-trans people who are trying to groom and shape their children to feel shame over something innocent and natural and human – drag is an antidote to that shame.”

“We want people to experience pride in themselves, and joy, and have fun in this life! Life is hard, we gotta dress up and make it all that we can.”

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, though a judge has temporarily blocked the law. Further anti-drag and trans legislation has also already been passed in 12 states aside from Tennessee.

Velour is best known for winning the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2017, instantly securing her place in the halls of Drag Race fame with her iconic rose petal/ wig reveal against frontrunner and favourite for the crown, Shea Coulée.

During her appearance on GMA, she was full of compliments for the show.

“I’ve gotten to see Drag Race change the world, de-stigmatise drag – I hope that my book and my shows and what I do in the world can be part of that; to show that this is an art form for all people.”

The Big Reveal “trace[s] drag and queer expression” back in time, and Velour emphasised that drag is something that’s always existed throughout history.

“It has always been a part of human culture,” she continued. “I think that’s the ultimate proof that our community is natural, that we belong here on this earth.

“I also wanted to show that the criminalisation of drag is something that came later, that that was part of oppression and was tied to racism and misogyny in the world; those left to their own devices want to dress up and experience joy.”

Sasha Velour's wig reveal in the final of Season 9.
Sasha Velour’s wig reveal in the final of Season 9. (VH1)

Elsewhere in the interview, Benitez echoed one of RuPaul’s signature questions from Drag Race, asking Velour what words of advice she would impart to her younger self.

“I’m the exact same person that I was then,” she added. “I think we all get formed so early, so I would say: ‘You are on the right track, little Sasha Velour. Invest in yourself, stay true to yourself, don’t let anyone grind you down; just keep going.”

The Big Reveal: An Illustrated Manifesto of Drag by Sasha Velour is out now.