Sasha Velour, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race season 9, has given her U.S. audiences a history lesson - speaking out against comments made by RuPaul earlier this month regarding members of the trans community doing drag.
“Trans women, trans men, AFAB [assigned female at birth], and non-binary performers, but especially trans women of colour, have been doing drag for literal centuries and deserve to be equally represented and celebrated alongside cis men,” Velour said at her monthly Williamsburg drag show, “Nightgowns”, Vanity Fair reports.
She continued: “From the second there was drag, trans people were doing it. And when cis women started being allowed in theaters, then cis women doing drag was part of theater..."
"Drag is literally so ancient that it predates modern understanding of gender, of transness, of queerness. Drag predates modern ideas of gender, of theater at all. Drag predates the word ‘drag’ itself.”
During an interview with The Guardian earlier this month, RuPaul was asked whether he would allow trans women to compete on future seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race.
"Probably not," he responded. "You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body. It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing."
Even though RuPaul has since issued an apology, numerous past contestants of the popular reality TV program including Velour, Willam and trans woman Gia Gunn, were vocal in their criticism of the remarks.
Now, it seems, Velour is on her own mission - to change the perception of drag and empower a new generation of LGBTIQ+ people.
“There is more than RuPaul’s Drag Race,” she said.
“The future is in your hands. So document it, talk about it, research it, celebrate it, Facetune it—or not. And just f*ckin’ enjoy it. So, on with the show!”