The social media accounts of Lala Ri and the dozen other contestants on the upcoming season of fan favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race are already blowing up. But the messages aren’t always kind.
“I try my best not to read the comments because, you know, being a Black girl, we automatically get the racist comments,” Ri tells Monét X Change in a new episode of The X Change Rate featuring the cast. “I try my best not to read the comments and to stray away from all the negativity and just spread positivity, you know?”
As contestant Joey Jay points out, the show’s audience skews young, teenagers even.
“These are children, and so we aren’t just drag queens... We’re political statements,” Jay says. “It’s our job, if they’re watching us, to… if their parents aren’t gonna do it, we’re gonna teach them. This is… no tolerance for racism. We’re not prejudiced. We’re accepting. We’re family. We’re queer. And if you’re not gonna teach the kids that, we’re gonna teach the kids that.”
The way they plan to do that is to spread that message over and over again. Together.
“We are just gonna continue to put that out there that it’s not right,” cast member Denali says. “And I do feel like we have to train this audience in a way, because they are so young.”
So while the queens are competitors, they’re also on the same side.
“Even though it is a competition show where we are putting girls against each other, we are still a cast, all is one,” Denali says. “We are still a family, all is one, so it’s really important to remember that that’s a television show and it happens, but in the real world, you better treat my sisters right.”
The new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres Friday, Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. on Vh1.
— Video produced by Jacquie Cosgrove
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