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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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Kanye West Can’t Answer If He Believes Donald Trump Cares About Black People

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The tap dancing rapper went on Jimmy Kimmel only to get embarrassed in front of a white audience. Kanye West made headlines earlier this year when he sent out tweets of support for Donald Trump. His meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower had some people wondering if the once outspoken rapper had sold out.  Not only did he tweet support for Trump but also for Candace Owens a pro-Trump support who believes racism isn’t that rampant.

Kanye sat down with the late night TV host and talked about his fashion line, his music, and Trump.  Kimmel reminded him of his famous rant “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”  in response to George Bush’s disastrous handling of Hurrican Katrina. Kimmel hit on the administration separation of kids a the border a move that the current administration has used to try to detour “illegal immigrants”.

 

That 5-second pause is killing me considering that this wasn’t live tv. Kanye West isn’t exactly sure why he supports Donald Trump and if he cares about black people.

 

He couldn’t answer the question because Kanye West doesn’t care about black people.

 

 

What happened to this Kanye West?

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Demi Lovato Agrees to Rehab

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Hello Magazine

Our good sis, Demi Lovato, has decided to go to rehab after being hospitalized for overdosing.

On July 24, the singer was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles and has been there ever since. It has not yet been reported when she’ll be leaving the hospital, as the family allegedly wanted to keep her there as to not trigger an episode after bringing up the idea of rehab. However, 25-year-old is committed to getting better and is “going to straight to rehab” upon her release.

Here at King of Reads, we always root for people to work towards becoming the best version of themselves, so we’re rooting Demi on. Hope to hear more from the ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ singer soon.

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Who Did It Then? Travis Scott Says He Had Nothing to Do with Cutting Trans Model out of Cover

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Complex

Rapper, Travis Scott, just released his third studio album Astroworld and a few people took to Twitter calling the artist transphobic for having edited out trans model, Amanda Lepore, from his cover art.

On the cover of Travis’s latest album, Lepore was seen in the original art on the left side of Travis’s face. However, in the final cut, the model has been edited out. According to TMZ, Travis had “nothing to do” with the edit and actually had no idea Amanda was originally a part of the art because he hadn’t seen the original version.

 

 

If Travis has nothing to do with the edit, *someone* does and whoever that is has a lot of explaining to do.

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