RuPaul's Drag Race's latest casting has sparked a fierce fan debate.
Back in 2018, RuPaul faced intense backlash after telling The Guardianthat drag would lose "its sense of danger and its sense of irony" if bio-queens were included. He then went on to answer a follow-up question about Drag Race's first openly trans woman contestant, Peppermint, by saying she "hadn’t really transitioned" while she was on the show, thereby implying that he wouldn't feature a transitioning queen.
Following RuPaul's much criticized comments, the franchise has been trying to expand the definition of drag for the past few seasons through Drag Race UK's casting of cisgender lesbian Victoria Scone and bisexual queen Scaredy Kat. Not only that, but All Stars season 6 crowned Kylie Sonique Love as its first out trans winner and brought on its first pansexual trans male, GottMilk, last year. However, the franchise's season 14 cast has divided fans thanks to contestant Maddy Morphosis, who is the show's first cisgender, heterosexual queen.
According to Variety, Maddy is the first cast member in franchise who doesn't identify as LGBTQIA+, which has rubbed many fans the wrong way, as some argued that cishet men didn't need to be given a platform on a show that was, supposedly, created to represent and serve as a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Oh yes, the most oppressed group of people needed representation in media.— Cannabis, can you feed my love? (@victowave) December 3, 2021
That said, others pushed back by saying that "drag is for everyone," with drag queen Divina Del Campo tweeting, "There is already enough gatekeeping to art. Money, opportunity, access, geography. Dont try and stop people making or accessing art
drag is for everyone— miguel (@unlckit) December 3, 2021
Drag is for everyone. I've said it before and will say it again. Some of you all don't seem to understand that yet.— Divina De Campo stream DECODED (@Divinadecampo) December 3, 2021
There is already enough gatekeeping to art. Money, opportunity, access, geography. Dont try and stop people making or accessing art. #DragRaceSeason14
Even so, many rebuked the "drag is for everyone" stance in this particular case by saying that cishet men "don't need uplighting in queer spaces," as "that's who we need protection from."
"Idc if drag is for everyone," as one user wrote. "They can do it without taking opportunities from Queer/Trans people of color. This is when gatekeeping is necessary."
Idc if drag is for everyone. They can do it without taking opportunities from Queer/Trans people of color. This is when gatekeeping is necessary. Cis Hetero men don't need uplifting in Queer spaces. Thats who we need protection from. #DragRace pic.twitter.com/RcmkdFeePs— Me I Am Billie Frank (@IndigenousInLA) December 3, 2021
Meanwhile, several more people wondered why some were rushing to "defend a cishet man being on drag race faster than they will defend/support queer women doing drag or being in queer spaces."
"i really shouldn't be disappointed anymore yet here i am," they continued, before another commenter added that it "would have been cooler to see a drag king or another bio queen first." Granted, they did admit that in terms diversity on the show, Maddy's casting was still "a step forward."
cis gays really will defend a cishet man being on drag race faster than they will defend/support queer women doing drag or being in queer spaces i really shouldn't be disappointed anymore yet here i am 😭— 🦹🏻♂️ Inah Demons 🦹🏻♂️ (@inahdemons) December 3, 2021
We all want more diversity on drag race, and having a straight contestant isn't much but it also isn't a bad thing. I think it would have been cooler to see a drag king or another bio queen first but a step forward is a step forward.— ratboy (@Billy_Clark98) December 3, 2021
RuPaul's Drag Race season 14 airs January 7, 2022 via VH1. See what else people are saying about the casting below.
Everyone saying “Drag is for everyone” okay but drag race has always been one of the little queer spaces in media theres so many other talented queer performers that could’ve been on the season.— 𝓕𝓮𝓵𝓲𝔁 𝓼𝓸𝓷𝓲𝓺𝓾𝓮 𝓵𝓸𝓿𝓮 (@nesquiktwink) December 3, 2021
Ah yes, give a platform to a white cis straight men, they obviously don't have any safe spaces.— Cesi 💫 (@dirtyvarus) December 3, 2021
Just like the clubs our safe spaces are becoming less and less.— John Lisle-Campbell (@d3arjohn_) December 3, 2021
I'm sort of annoyed by the fact that so many people are upset with a straight man being on drag race as though he, as a drag queen would have acceptance and celebration among straight folks. Ya'll know that isn't true. Sex with men is a requirement for Drag? https://t.co/IBP4NylCiY— I'm a Pirate (yeah yeah) (@kat_blaque) December 3, 2021
When we say "eVeRy oNe cAn dO dRaG" we say it for women (cis, trans, straight) not for straight men pic.twitter.com/5a1dgTANY1— Candy (@Grumosa069fan) December 3, 2021
Gays can’t have anything to ourselves anymore, and people are clapping to this? Congrats— Fica Em Casa Q A Economia A Gente Vê Depois (@asysoyvy) December 3, 2021
Hot take: Drag is for everyone and we really should give Maddy Morphosis a chance— Wine bird aunt 🦚 (@RyanstheMeek) December 3, 2021
All I'm saying is that there should have been at least two hundred more queer women on drag race before a straight man.— Full Blown Father (he/him) (@FullBlownFather) December 3, 2021
Photo via World of Wonder / VH1
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