in this excerpt from The XChange Rate, Monet X Change discusses racism in the fandom with the queens of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13.
MONET X CHANGE: Racism in the fandom is very rampant. It is very real. It's very pervasive. But you have people like Kandy Muse who is, literally the day after you guys were announced, was speaking out, lifting up the-- her other sisters in the cast. How do you guys plan on battling the racism in the fandom during, after, and now even before the season even aired?
KANDY MUSE: Well, you know me, I'm very opinionated.
You know, I've seen a few of my friends go on the show, and I've seen how some of the Black girls and the girls of color get treated on their cast. As girls of color in this industry, we have to work 10 times harder, and you know, from being in New York City, not every Black girl has a show. Not everybody has a hosting gig. You have to work 10 times harder, and for me, it's just important because I think there are times where certain queens from the "Drag Race" alumni [INAUDIBLE] stay shut and don't say anything.
LALA RI: I try my best not to read the comments because, you know, being a Black girl, we automatically get the racist comments. I try my best not to read the comments, and to stray away from all the negativity and just spread positivity. You know?
SYMONE: Everyone is a human being. Like, you wouldn't want-- you wouldn't want anyone to say that to you, so what makes you think it's OK for you to say to somebody else?
- Drag was pioneered by Black trans women. So why--
Like, no, not here.
JOEY JAY: Right, and like, the main demographic of this show is very young. It's 13 to 17. And they don't know who Marsha P. Johnson is yet. These are children, and so we aren't just drag queens. We don't just lip sync to songs that we like. We're political statements, and this kids--
JOEY JAY: So it's our job, if they're watching us to-- if their parents aren't going to do it, we're going to teach them this isn't-- like, no tolerance for racism. We're not prejudiced. We're accepting. We're family. We're queer, and if you're not going to teach the kids that, then we're going to teach the kids that.
DENALI: Anyone that comes out of [INAUDIBLE], we are going to just continue to put that out there, that it's not right. And I do feel like we have to train this audience in a way because they are so young, and because, at the end of the day, there is implicit bias. And people are going to come at our seasons and our characters, and even though it is a competition show where we are putting girls against each other, we are still cast all as one. We are still a family all as one. So it's really important to remember that that's a television show, and that happens, but in the real world, you better treat my sisters right.
ROSE: I think that the main thing is, this doesn't get addressed often enough, and us just talking about it right now is a crucial first step. Like, letting the fans see and hear us being concerned with this, that we are passionate about it, that we're going to act on it and be united in doing so. It's a competition, but like, there's no place for racism. We are-- we are a family now, so like, y'all can--
- We are sisters.
- So don't try it.
- Don't try it.