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RuPaul slams ‘stunt queen’ lawmakers for legislation banning drag shows

The Emmy-winning entertainer spoke out in a video against bans and restrictions on drag shows.
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/ Source: TODAY

One of the best-known drag queens, RuPaul, is calling out politicians for what he says is a “stunt” to distract from real issues the United States faces.

In a video shared to his Instagram on Wednesday, RuPaul defended drag shows amid recent anti-drag and anti-transgender legislation being passed and considered by lawmakers.

The creator, host and producer of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” slammed what he called “stunt queen” politicians and said recent legislation targeting drag shows is a technique to distract from "the real issues that they were voted into office to focus on: jobs, healthcare, keeping our children safe from harm at their own school."

“But we know that bullies are incompetent at solving real issues. They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective," he said. "They think our love, our light, our laughter and our joy are signs of weakness. But they’re wrong because that is our strength. Drag queens are the Marines of the queer movement.”

RuPaul attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, CA.
RuPaul in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 4, 2018.Presley Ann / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images file

He ended the video stating “a social media post has never been as powerful as a registered vote.”

RuPaul’s post comes on the heels of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signing a bill into law Thursday that will criminalize some drag performances.

The law — which takes effect April 1 — bans “adult cabaret entertainment” on public property or at locations in the state where they can be viewed by minors.

States like Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma and Utah are also considering similar bans, while The Associated Press reported that the Arkansas governor also signed a bill into law restricting “adult-oriented” performances.

Bills that would seek to ban public drag performances aren’t the only issue at hand. The governor of Tennessee also signed into effect a ban for transition-related care for transgender minors, with several other states doing the same.

RuPaul previously spoke out against the ban on minors attending drag shows in June 2022 when the topic was being discussed by lawmakers in Texas.

While on “The Late Late Show,” RuPaul echoed similar sentiments about what the performer said was lawmakers’ “diversion tactics.”

“They have changed the narrative away from the gun debate into this drag queen thing. It’s like y’all want to help your kids? Take away them guns, that will help your kids. Drag queens ain’t hurting nobody!” he told host James Corden.

RuPaul isn’t the only person who has recently spoken out about the bans. “Drag Race” stars including Sasha Colby, Kerru Colby, Laganja Estranja, Kylie Sonique Love and Heidi N Closet, among others also expressed their frustrations in a video for the the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.