RuPaul has issued a moving statement on LGBTQ+ rights after RuPaul’s Drag Race was nominated for an incredible 11 Emmy Awards.
In the wake of rollbacks to LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, including Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, RuPaul said he was proud Drag Race could provide “light, love, and laughter” to the queer community.
RuPaul wrote on Instagram: “As the basic human rights of LGBTQ+ people are being threatened once again, I want to thank our peers in the Television Academy for acknowledging the achievements of the beautiful and talented souls that work in front of and behind the cameras at RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“Through the miracle of drag, our spectacular season 14 queens have touched hearts and opened minds around the planet.
“We will never take for granted the platform we’ve been given to tell authentic queer stories, and pledge to do everything in our power to continue to spread light, love, and laughter.”
The Drag Race franchise is up for 11 awards at the 2022 Emmys, including nods for Untucked and Michelle Visage’s web series Whatcha Packin’.
Series 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race was a hit with fans, and was particularly notable for featuring five trans contestants, including three who came out during the course of the season.
Kerri Colby and Kornbread ‘The Snack’ Jete were out when the season began, with Willow Pill, Jasmine Kennedie and Bosco opening up about their gender identities later on.
Willow Pill, the season’s winner, explained that being on the show made them feel “euphoria” after not taking part in drag throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Much of that [exploration of their gender] is due to being on Drag Race and feeling euphoria being Willow for the first time since quarantine and being around a bunch of queer and trans friends on set,” she said.
Kennedie came out in a memorable Untucked episode, and thanked Kerri Colby for helping her to “affirm” her gender identity on the show.
“Seeing Kerri, seeing how confident she is in who she is, it just further affirms what I’ve been feeling my whole life,” she said.
“I definitely do feel that I am trans, and I’ve been so scared to say it. I have held back from it for so long because I didn’t want to hurt my dad. But, I can’t lie about it anymore: I am trans.”
Other notable trans queens that have previously appeared on the iconic reality series include Laganja Estranja, Monica Beverly Hillz and Peppermint.