Bianca Del Rio declares ‘elder gays’ are being dragged back in time with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation

Bianca Del Rio demands respect from right-wing, anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers. (Getty)

RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio fears “elder gays” are being pulled back through history as anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment increases around the world.

Bianca, who took the crown in the sixth season of Drag Race, in 2014, and who is currently hosting the spin-off web series The Pit Stop, is hardly one to hold back when confronted by someone (or something) with whom she doesn’t agree.

Earlier this year, she lambasted Caitlyn Jenner after the former Olympian referred to LGBTQ+ people as “domestic terrorists”.

She’s also not afraid to take on some of her fellow Drag Race alumni, while a video clip of her eviscerating a heckler at one of her shows frequently goes viral. In short, she’s not one to mess with.

Now she’s taking on anti-LGBTQ+ legislators, telling them: “We deserve respect as well.”

Laws passed by Republican politicians in several US states particularly single out trans people, with trans youth barred from accessing gender-affirming health care and prevented from playing in sports team that match their gender identity.

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In March, Tennessee became the first state to outlaw public drag performances, before the law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge earlier this month.

Similar bills are still being pushed in other states though, while some presidential hopefuls, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis, have a history of whipping up anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.

In response, Bianca will lead a “Pride Never Stops” campaign on streaming service Hulu, which will include the live streaming of five major Pride marches this month.

“As a child, there was no drag celebrated on television. We never discussed it,” she told Variety when discussing why Pride needs to be seen and celebrated on screen.

“My first association with anything gay was from the TV show Solid Gold. For me, it was exciting to even see Carol Burnett.

“It’s not that long ago that this was the world we were living in, which makes it really scary. Us elder gays are experiencing this happen again, which is insanity.”

A lot of LGBTQ+ representation on TV and in film didn’t occur until the ‘90s, meaning many queer people who are now in their thirties or older never got to see themselves represented while growing up.

In addition to providing representation, Bianca stressed that “Pride Never Stops” is necessary in bringing Pride to places where bigots are trying to prevent it.

Earlier this year, a Florida Pride parade was cancelled due to the state’s anti-drag bill, which DeSantis signed into law in May.

Similar laws are being considered in Alabama and Arizona.

In the UK, a right-wing backlash and media hysteria has caused at least one Pride event to be cancelled, at a school in Derbyshire. 

But Bianca won’t let the hatred get her down. “We’re here. We’re human beings,” she told Variety. “We pay taxes and s**t. We deserve respect as well.”