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Drag Race star Alaska issues grovelling apology for using racist and transphobic slurs and joking about sexual assault

Patrick Kelleher June 26, 2020
Alaska Drag Race trans

Alaska (Ole Jensen/Corbis via Getty)

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Alaska Thunderf**k has issued an apology for using racist and transphobic slurs in past performances.

Alaska said in a lengthy Twitter statement that she wanted to “address some things” from her past after a video emerged of her saying the N word and the tranny slur in a comedy performance.

“In past performances, I used racial and transphobic slurs, and made jokes about sexual assault. I have also used racist imagery in past looks,” she wrote Thursday (June 25).

“At the time, my intention was not to cause harm in any way. But my intention is not important. The fact is that it was my privilege that allowed me to not only get away with these things, but be applauded for them.

Alaska issues apology, says her privilege ‘shielded’ her from racism.

Alaska continued: “It was my privilege that shielded me from the realities of racism and intolerance, and that made me think it was acceptable to use these things as tools of comedy or entertainment.”

The Drag Race star said she didn’t realise at the time “the power” her words had.

I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and the damage that I caused in making these stupid, harmful, negligent choices.

“They have the power to hurt people. They have the power to make people feel devalued, triggered, targeted, and unsafe.

“They also have the power to embolden people who actually harbour hate in their heart to perpetuate the use of hateful speech and harmful imagery against other people.

“That is unacceptable.”

Drag Race queen apologises for ‘stupid, harmful, and negligent’ comments.

She added: “I apologise. I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and the damage that I caused in making these stupid, harmful, negligent choices.

“I take full responsibility for everything I’ve done in my past. I have learned that it is essential to use my art and my privilege and my platform to make people feel empowered, uplifted, and strong.”

She said she wants everyone to feel “welcome and safe” when experiencing her music, comedy and live performances and vowed to fight for justice and equality.

“As an artist and a drag queen I can’t promise I won’t make mistakes. But I will be accountable and take responsibility for them when I do.”

The drag icon closed out her statement by promising to be “more effective, informed, and uplifting” as an ally going forward and thanked her fans for helping her to do better.

After some white cis fans accepted Alaska’s apology, it was pointed out that it is for those who have been affected by her words – that is, Black people, trans people and sexual assault survivors – to decide whether they forgive her.

More: Alaska, racism, RuPaul's Drag Race, transphobia

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