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Drag Is Not Exempt From The Isms, In Fact, It Is Entrenched in Them

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Online bullying and harassment is real. Many of the drag race queens have had to endure heinous comments and vicious attacks by folks who call themselves fans. I’ve heard several horror stories, as some queens have shared accounts of their own online experiences.

I think it was Morgan McMichaels who was told to kill herself by an angry (and irrational) fan of BenDeLaCreme in response to a disagreement the two talented queens had on drag race. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the other social media platforms are often unkind and disturbing spaces.

DeLa holding up her own lipstick- eliminating herself from the competition.

The further you are on the margins, the more harassment and violence you are susceptible to. I struggle to imagine the experiences of Black trans disabled poor undocumented women on any of the aforementioned platforms, let alone in their lives outside the computer screen and the latest iPhone.

Again, online harassment is real- it takes the form of disgusting words and images, erasure, racism, misogyny, misogynoir, queer and trans antagonism, ableism, and all the other isms. It is sickening (not in the drag way), and a reflection of the times we live in.

As we continue to have critical conversations, it is important that we don’t conflate online harassment with the calling out of white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy which drag race is entrenched in. I feel confident that many queens are intentionally confusing the two to evade accountability, and labeling liberation seekers as attackers.

Drag queens Milk and Trixie posing for the camera.

When a socially conscious fan says, “I think Trixie’s proximity to whiteness was a significant reason she won All Stars 3,” that’s not an act of bullying to Trixie- that is a critique of the violent system we live in.

When a fan says, “Milk’s disrespect of Kennedy Davenport and her drag felt much like anti-Blackness,” again, that’s not an attack on Milk- this is an attempt to hold Milk accountable for their actions, and hopefully spur a conversation that prepares us all to interrogate the ways in which anti-Blackness shows up in our lives.

We live in a system that privileges some folks, and deeply marginalizes others. Drag is not exempt from this system or this conversation; actually, RuPaul has placed drag smack dab in the heart of pop culture. Although we are all queer, that doesn’t mean violence doesn’t exist intracommunity- in particular to Black and brown trans and gender non-conforming folks.

Moreover, when a queen labels social critique as an attack, they themselves are committing violence. They are gaslighting the folks who have a legitimate concern with how the people on the margins of the margins are experiencing a system meant to extinguish their fire. Additionally, we throw away an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation on liberation and accountability.

Although difficult, it’s time for us to be honest. If we’re going to engage these critical conversations, let’s center truth(s). I am observing a lot of conversation on online harassment, and rightfully so. However, I’ve not heard any queen talk about how this toxic system infiltrates drag culture.

There is a reason why. Let’s talk.


Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To SurviveA Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black CinemaEngaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black LoveYou Can’t Outdo Black PeopleBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers), and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

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Ella Mai

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Ella Mai’s self titled album is a 10 out of 10! Every song is good from start to finish.

First, she had everybody wanting to be Boo’d Up…

Then she had people Tripping…

But now she has everybody talking about this amazing 16 track album.

Ella Mai starts the album off by breaking down her name which is her way of letting people know who she is, but it is a way of people connecting with her beyond the music. I found this to be a different approach for her because I have been listening to Ella Mai before she became mainstream.

One conversation on social media is that people do not like when she starts talking after the song is over but she has been doing this for a while.

Does it bang in the car? The answer is 100% YES. This is an album you can play without skipping a single song. Ella Mai only had three featured artists on the album and that is rare for an artist because almost everybody now has an album with almost everybody featured on it. If you have not listened to the album I would suggest you do!

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The Long Awaited ‘Tha Carter V’ “FLOP” or “NOT”

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4 damn years! After 4 long years, Lil Wayne finally drops Tha Carter V and it sold pretty well despite the mixed reviews that have been floating around. The album was initially scheduled to be released back in May of 2014 but the legal battle with Birdman held him from releasing. After listening I give it a 7 out of 10. When listening it did not give me the Wayne that I was expecting. One tweet, in particular, said exactly what I was thinking.

The #UproarChallenge became popular after social media comedian Shiggy posted him dancing to the song on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#Mood : Where The Love Go? 💔🤷‍♂️ @therealswizzz @liltunechi 😂😂😂💯🔥

A post shared by Shoker🃏 (@theshiggyshow) on

Even Wayne’s boys got in on the #UproarChallenge

The songs that stood out the most were Mona Lisa, Open Letter, Hittas, Problems and Used 2. Tha Carter V has some bangers, but if I can’t bang the whole album in the car and have to skip songs there is a problem. Overall the album is a solid good 13 songs.

 

Did the long-awaited Tha Carter V live up to the hype for you? Comment below “FLOP” or “NOT”

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Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Call It Quits

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We all saw it coming, unfortunately. Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are reportedly splitting up according to TMZ. The couple who were engaged have called it quits.

Sources close to the former couple tell us AG and PD split this weekend, with both parties acknowledging that it simply was not the right time for their relationship to take off. We’re told the two still have love for each other, but things are over romantically. via TMZ

Sources have also said that the recent death of Ariana’s ex Mac Miller was the breaking point. Mac Miller died early last month on the 7th of September. Ariana posted a heartfelt message on her Instagram.

 

 

This has been a troubling year for Ariana and we wish her the best.

 

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