Alaska Thunderf**k shames Republican lawmakers over anti-drag attacks: ‘I never thought it’d come to this’

A graphic composed of an image of Drag Race icon Alaska Thunderf**k, people holding American flags

Republicans have waged a war on drag, and Drag Race icon Alaska Thunderf**k says it’s “offensive” politicians haven’t been protecting kids from the real threats they face in the US.

The list of threats to kids in the US is long. Young Americans face epidemic levels of gun violence, health inequality, mental health issues, abuse, neglect, poverty and not to mention the long-term health consequences of being exposed to environmental toxins from industrialisation and climate change. 

For a party that claims to care so much about kids, Republicans have been quiet on tackling such issues. Instead, they’re laser focused on attacking drag performers amid a wider pushback on LGBTQ+ rights, and Alaska isn’t here for it. 

“I never thought it could come to this, especially since we’re in a country that has a lot bigger problems than drag,” she tells PinkNews. 

“And if you ask the average American what they’re concerned about with the road this country is going down, I don’t even think drag makes the top 10, honey. 

“I mean it just doesn’t. It’s like healthcare is a disaster. People don’t make enough money to have basic necessities. Climate change is really bad, like pollution. 

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“All of these things – there’s a litany of issues that are really actually concerns for this country. So this is, it’s frustrating, it’s offensive and it’s dumb.”

Yet, here we are. In the US, the 2023 legislative session opened with a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills, and right-wing legislators from Texas to Arizona have focused on cracking down on drag instead of actually protecting their constituents. 

There’s been over 160 anti-LGBTQ+ protests and threats targeting drag events since early 2022, according to GLAAD. False rhetoric was deployed against performers in midterm campaign ads, and an Oklahoma donut shop was firebombed after the business hosted a drag event. 

Drag Race icon Alaska Thunderf**k and her Drag Queen of the Year co-host Lola LeCroix stand side by side while wearing white
Drag Race icon Alaska Thunderf**k and her Drag Queen of the Year co-host Lola LeCroix talk about the Republican attack on drag. (Provided)

At such a time of such hostility towards the drag community, Alaska still wants to ‘shine a light’ on the beauty of the art form.

Her new show Behind the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition is a must-watch for anyone with an interest in drag. It’s an insight into the Drag Queen of the Year (DQOY) pageant, which Alaska says highlights a “huge spectrum of different types of drag artists” and proves that “drag can really be anything you want it to be”. 

The DQOY pageant is hosted by drag besties Alaska and Lola LeCroix.

Lola says it’s “extremely frustrating” to see the attacks on drag. But entertainer admits it’s been a very scary time to be a drag performer especially in where she lives in Pennsylvania as the state fluctuates between acceptance and hostility towards queer people. 

“In this part of the country specifically, you can just be going to your job, and you don’t know if you’re going to have Proud Boys outside of your event,” Lola says. “You don’t know if you’re going to have Nazis outside of your event.”

She continues: “I never thought that I’d be going to work afraid of going to work being a drag queen. It just doesn’t make sense, and I never thought that I would experience that in my lifetime – let alone in my 30s. 

“But it’s terrifying, and I think a lot of it is just a ‘Look over here’ because we want changes like gun reform. We want children to go to school and live. 

“And it’s more so like an attack on us like: ‘Well, you want our children to go to school and live? Well, we don’t want you reading books to our kids.’ 

“You know it’s just a pushback and a slap in the face to bigger issues they really need to worry about.”

Drag icon Alaska Thunderfuck and partner Lola LeCroix sit side by side in an interview for documentary series Behind the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition
Behind the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition follows Alaska and Lola as they put together the titular pageant. (OUTtv)

Alaska says drag is her “whole life” and it’s the “only job that she’s had for longer than like a year” or not been fired from. 

So she has “no choice but to do this” amid the onslaught of hate, but there’s still been “tonnes of moments of inspiration” including seeing the performers take the stage on 14 May for DQOY. 

“That is one of those moments, seeing what everybody brings, that is like foolishly inspiring, and there’s so much joy and there’s so much inspiration going on there that you know that’s a reason to keep going,” Alaska says. “That’s a lot of reason.”

Behind the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition is now streaming on Froot.tv.

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