RuPaul’s Drag Race has released a public service announcement featuring some of the show’s Black alumni, inlcuding Heidi N. Closet, Mariah Balenciaga, Latrice Royale, Mayhem Miller, Widow Von’Du, and The Vixen. The goal of the almost two-minute announcement is to help combat racism amongst its fanbase.
The black and white PSA, which was dropped yesterday, shows the queens out of drag as they reintroduce themselves by their real names. They also discuss other hobbies outside of drag (music, video games, cooking, etc.) in an effort to humanize themselves to viewers.
“I am someone who has experienced injustice and racism at a very young age firsthand. And even though I’ve endured those things, I still tried to look at the positives and look at the good in people, and in the world as a whole,” said Trevien Anthonie Cheek, known to fans by his stage name, Heidi N. Closet.
Together, the queens deliver the overall message: “Underneath the eleganza is a human being just like you. We need to collectively stop the threats, stop the racism that is affecting this community.
The PSA then concludes with one of RuPaul’s signature phrases, “Everybody say love.”, while also directing viewers to the Trevor Project for more guidance on “the intersection of race and LGBTQ+ identities.”
Racism has long been a problem within the Drag Race community, but has recently been running rampant, as queens of color have become targets for harassment on social media by bigoted fans who have thrown racial slurs and violent death threats at some of the cast members. Most recently, Widow Von’Du experienced so much hate that she declared she was removing herself from drag completely in August.
“Thank you to the ‘fandom’ of Drag Race!” the season 12 competitor wrote on Twitter. “You did it! You ran another person of color away from what they love! I try to be strong but y’all done made me feel like I should hate myself and guess what you won!”
This is now the second anti-racism video released by Drag Race’s production company, World Wonder of Wonder, this year. The first video featured queens from all backgrounds voicing their support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In a recent interview with The Advocate, Mariah Balenciaga, who is featured in this week’s video, stated that World of Wonder taking a stand against racism was “long overdue”, while also stating that white queens have a responsibility to “speak up” against their fans’ racism, and also “hold each other accountable.”
Take a look at the PSA below!