For a show that's usually focused on lip-syncs, wigs, and death drops, Drag Race got surprisingly emotional in its Jan. 29 episode. As the queens prepared for the runway, Lala Ri brought up George Floyd, sparking a raw conversation about how his death affected each of them. "Being an Afro-Latino from the South Bronx, when I see Black people being murdered by police, it puts so many things into perspective," Kandy Muse said in a confessional.
Symone, who's from the conservative town of Conway, Arkansas, similarly said that as a Black person, "there's a level of trauma that comes" with watching Black people be killed by police.
LaLa then shared that she lives two minutes away from the Wendy's parking lot where police shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on June 12 after receiving a report that he was sleeping in his car, obstructing the drive-thru lane. "[That's] the Wendy's that I go to on a daily basis," Lala said. "And it kinda scared me because I'm like, that could've been me, easily."
Importantly, Tina Burner then turned the focus to transgender people, who are often the target of hate crimes and yet are too frequently left out of the conversation regarding violence against marginalized communities. "You may be scared to leave your house [because of COVID], but think about people of color and like, transgender people who've been scared their whole lives," she said.
This comes after a year in which killings of transgender people hit an all-time high in the U.S., and the rates are especially high for trans people of color. "Trans lives, we're losing them left and right and it's not being recognized," Tamisha Iman said.
In the end, the queens agreed that the summer's events reignited a fire in them to advocate for Black and Black trans lives on their respective platforms. "We have to use our voices and do the right thing," Lala exclaimed. "So use that platform wisely, and get in some good trouble."