Drag Race royalty Shea Coulée asked to take part in abhorrently racist performance by a white drag queen during Black History Month

Reiss Smith June 22, 2020
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Shea Coulée entering the Drag Race All Stars 5 werk room.

Shea Coulée entering the Drag Race All Stars 5 werk room. (VH1)

Drag Race legend Shea Coulée shared a disturbing account of being asked to dress “as a slave” for a drag performance during Black History Month.

Shea Coulée confronted fellow Chicago queen T Rex, real name Benjamin Bradshaw, over comments he allegedly made backstage after a show they had worked on together, where she was the only Black person present.

“You had made a joke,” she said, “that for Black History Month it would be funny as a number, as a cast, if we performed to Britney Spears’ ‘Slave 4 U’ with me dressed as a slave while the rest of you whipped me.

Shea continued: “Do you remember that?”

“I do,” replied Bradshaw.

Shea Coulée was ‘blacklisted’ before Drag Race.

Explaining that the experience had stayed with her “for a very long time”, Shea also pointed to other times where she felt belittled by Bradshaw, who she said would police her anger and “boldness”.

“At times, when you felt as if I was being too bold, you used that and weaponised that against me, to try to blacklist me and stop me from working,” the Drag Race All Stars 5 queen said.

“You directly attacked my livelihood, which is an act of violence.”

Shea added that she was “blacklisted” until her appearance on Drag Race, after which Bradshaw allegedly sought to make amends.

Shea made these comments during a Chicago Black Drag Council event on Twitch.

After the stream went viral, a Chicago queer venue, Roscoe’s Tavern, announced it had severed its professional relationship with Bradshaw “effective immediately”.

Shea’s comments came at a time when America and the world is grappling with systemic and violent racism.

The All Stars 5 queen recently spoke at a Chicago Drag March for Change protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, along with Dida Ritz and The Vixen.

“Let me tell you something: we are Black, we are queer and we deserve to take up space,” Shea said at the march.

“White people move aside. When you see us, make space. Somehow I became lucky enough to be somebody who is viewed on TV all around the world and somebody who is considered of value because I’m talented.

“My value shouldn’t be wrapped up in my talent. My value should not be wrapped up in Instagram followers. My value should be strictly based on the fact that I’m a human being walking this earth right next to you.”

Addressing Chicago’s queer nightlife scene directly, she called for venue to “hire Black people in your bars”.

“And I’m not just talking about to wipe up your drinks, I’m talking about I want to see Black managers. I want to see Black people decide who gets to come in and who gets to make the money. And while we’re at it, we need to get a fucking Black-owned bar up in this b***h.”

She added: “We need to make space. If y’all want to see it for us, pull up and open your purse. My name is Shea Coulée and I didn’t come to play; I came to dismantle white supremacy.”

PinkNews has contacted Benjamin Bradshaw/T Rex for comment.

More: Drag Race, Shea Coulee

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