Gay congressman Robert Garcia honours RuPaul on House floor in rousing Pride Month speech

Robert Garcia RuPaul speech

Gay Democrat Robert Garcia has celebrated Pride Month by celebrating drag icon RuPaul’s legacy on the US House floor.

On Wednesday (7 June), the representative for California’s 42nd congressional district took to the floor to mark the start of Pride Month “by honouring the one and only queen of drag, RuPaul”. 

“An artist, a philanthropist and a barrier-breaker. RuPaul Charles has become an American phenomenon and an icon. Nobody has more charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent than Charles,” Garcia said.

Garcia went on to honour RuPaul’s career, praising accomplishments including becoming the “first gay Black man to host his own talk show, The RuPaul Show”. 

“He is most known, of course, for his multi-Emmy award-winning show, RuPaul’s Drag Race,” he added.

Garcia told The Advocate that his speech was intended as a stand against ongoing attacks on the LGBTQ+ community from Republicans and the far-right in the US.

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He said: “Drag is an art form, and it’s also a uniquely LGBTQ, queer art form. 

“So to attack drag is to attack artists within our community. The same artists, by the way, that have always stood up for the broader gay rights movement.

“They are the same artists that have led protests led parades, fought for marriage equality, fought for equal rights at the workplace, and raised money during the HIV and AIDS crisis

“So all of these rights that we as a broader community sometimes take for granted, at the front lines of [past] marches and the marches we’re still in have always been drag queens and trans people.”

The Californian Democrat also praised RuPaul’s activism and philanthropy, saying his work had been “incredible for our community”.

Garcia, who led the charge to expel scandal-hit George Santos from the US political system in March, paid tribute to Beyoncé in a speech in Congress, claiming the singer is “forever the moment”. 

In the US, a raft of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced this year, with numerous states attempting to ban drag performances.

Some of the bans have been so vaguely-worded that they could cover pantomimes, Shakespeare performances or even Halloween costumes.