RuPaul’s Drag Race stars emphasise importance of queer stories as anti-LGBTQ+ laws sweep US

Drag Race legends call out 'bigoted' anti-LGBTQ+ legislation at MTV Awards. (Getty)

RuPaul’s Drag Race legends shared a powerful message against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and in solidarity with the US writers’ strike at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

Since the RuPaul’s Drag Race empire began in 2009, bringing drag culture into living rooms across the US, LGBTQ+ lives have never been more under threat. While basic LGBTQ+ rights are debated in mainstream media, states such as Tennessee are trying to roll-out anti-drag bills and queer TV shows are being relentlessly cancelled. It means representation is more important than ever.

On Sunday (7 May), RuPaul’s Drag Race once again proved its cultural impact after its popular spin-off series Drag Race All Stars won Best Competition Series at the MTV Movie & TV Awards, beating All-Star Shore, Big Brother, The Challenge: USA and The Traitors.

Drag Race All Stars 7 winner Jinkx Monsoon, runner-up Monet X Change and contestants Jaida Essence Hall and Trinity the Tuck accepted the Golden Popcorn award in a pre-taped message.

After Monet thanked the 77.5 million voters and gave their gratitude to RuPaul’s Drag Race for “giving life to and telling the story of so many queer people and queer people of colour”, Broadway legend and Doctor Who star Jinkx explained why bringing this representation to screen is so “important”.

“At this time it’s so important to hear queer and trans stories from queer and trans people, to meet the artists behind the artistry and see the human beings there, so we can have empathy for one another and halt these blatantly bigoted anti-queer, anti-trans legislations,” she said.

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Jaida then brought attention to the Drag Defense Fund set up by RuPaul’s Drag Race, MTV, and World of Wonder in response to “threats against drag performers all across the world and especially here”. The fund, set up with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), will “help support ACLU’s work to defend and ensure LGBTQ+ rights all across the land”.

ACLU do “expansive advocacy” work including courtroom battles defending LGBTQ+ rights, guidance on state-level legislation, and challenging anti-LGBTQ+ censorship in classrooms.

Before the queens wrapped up, Jinkx also touched on the hottest topic in Hollywood right now, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. Writers across the industry have walked out in pursuit of fair pay, causing several productions to be halted, delayed or affected in some way.

This included the MTV Awards themselves, which changed from a live show to a pre-taped ceremony last minute after host Drew Barrymore pulled out in solidarity with writers. “As drag queens and independent artists we know how important it is to advocate for yourself and your worth and that’s why we queens stand with the writers in their strike,” Jinkx summed up.

Their words were echoed by Comedic Genius Award winner, The White Lotus Jennifer Coolidge who shared her support of the writers strikes during her acceptance speech as well. The night also saw LGBTQ+ icons Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey win the well deserved Best Duo award for The Last of Us, while queer horror favourite Scream VI also swept the awards.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 premieres Friday (12 May) on Paramount+ in the US and on WOW Presents Plus in the UK and internationally.

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