RuPaul's Drag Race winners and queer icons unite for telethon combatting anti-drag politics
RuPaul's Drag Race winners and queer icons are teaming up to make a high-heeled stand against anti-drag politics with a high-profile telethon.
Amid a rise in U.S. state legislation that limits drag as well as gender-affirming healthcare for transgender children, EW can reveal that drag management firm Producer Entertainment Group has partnered with GLAAD, Queerty parent company Q.Digital, OUTtv, Obsessed, Trixie Cosmetics, SERV Vodka, and Headcount.org to launch the Drag Isn't Dangerous campaign, including a one-night-only streaming telethon that will divide proceeds among charities that support LGBTQ causes and drag performers in need.
Featuring a wealth of talent — none of whom are taking a fee for the event — from numerous RuPaul's Drag Race winners to community staples, the Drag Isn't Dangerous telethon will include a mix of live and pre-taped sets as well as testimonials from LGBTQ people as well as straight celebrity allies.
Benjamin Lennox/VH1; José Alberto Guzmán Colón; Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Monét X Change, Jinkx Monsoon, Trixie Mattel.
So far, celebrities announced as taking part in the event include Alaska, BeBe Zahara Benet, Bob the Drag Queen, Brandon Stansell, Darienne Lake, Desmond Is Amazing, Divina De Campo, Eureka, Frankie Grande, Ginger Minj, Jackie Beat, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Justin Martindale, Katya, Kerri Colby, Manila Luzon, Miz Cracker, Monét X Change, Nina West, Peppermint, Salina EsTitties, Sherry Vine, Trinity The Tuck, and Trixie Mattel.
"The only place where men in dresses sexualize children is church," Trixie said in a statement announcing the telethon. Bob added: "The most traumatizing thing about drag isn't harming kids, it's getting sent home first on Drag Race, but I can't relate."
"We are sick of it. These bans are not just about trans people or drag performers," PEG co-founder Jacob Slane added. "It is a systematic subjugation of LGBTQ people. Through the Drag Isn't Dangerous campaign, we want to show that drag performers are not dangerous groomers, sexual deviants, criminals or whatever is the latest evangelical slur du jour. We want to raise awareness and funds to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people who are under attack."
In addition to the Drag Isn't Dangerous telethon, RuPaul and production company World of Wonder partnered with the ACLU to create the Drag Defense Fund, an initiative raising money to fight the rise of anti-drag and anti-trans legislation sweeping America.
Mama RuPaul also spoke out about the political climate in a mini state-of-the-union address on March 8.
"'Hey, look over there!' — a classic distraction technique, distracting us away 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," the Emmy-winning Drag Race host said in an Instagram video, referencing Drag Race winner Jaida Essence Hall's iconic quote from the season 12 political debate challenge. "We know that bullies are incompetent at solving real issues. They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective. 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. Don't get it twisted and don't be distracted. Register to vote so we can get these stunt queens out of office and put some smart people with real solutions into government."
The Drag Isn't Dangerous telethon airs Sunday, May 7 beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Tickets are available at moment.com/dangerous.
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