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Drag Race’s reigning supreme Symone thinks the role of drag is shifting thanks to Black Lives Matter

Maggie Baska April 25, 2021
Symone RuPaul's Drag Race

In a photo released on 19 April, Symone attends RuPaul's Drag Race season 13 finale at Ace Hotel on 8 April 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for VH1 )

Drag Race winner Symone believes the role of drag is shifting because of Black Lives Matter, and she wants to use her platform to “better the world”.

Symone became America’s latest drag superstar on Friday (23 April). She beat out Gottmik, Kandy Muse and Rosé to claim the Drag Race crown and sceptre in a jaw-dropping Britney Spears lip-sync showdown.

In an interview with The Advocate, the season 13 winner said she wanted to use her crown to show “kids and people everywhere” that “it doesn’t matter where you come from”. She said: “All of those things that are stacked against you, you can survive and do whatever you want in this life if you want it and you work hard for it.”

The “Ebony Enchantress” also discussed her powerful “Say Their Names”, Black Lives Matter-inspired outfit on the runway. She told The Advocate that she sees activism and Black Lives Matter as part of her work as a drag artist.

“I think now with the platform I have and where we are, I think it’s important to… better the world,” she said. “I don’t want to ever lose that in my drag.”

She continued: “I want to always speak for people who do not necessarily have the voice that I do. It’s very important to me and it’s definitely going to always be a part of my drag.”

The Drag Race superstar also said that she can see the role of drag in general shifting because of Black Lives Matter. She explained that “there is a place” for activism and drag because, “inherently, drag is political”.

“We are going against a system that is inherently patriarchal,” she said. “So, if it’s your natural inclination to use your drag as more of an in-your-face [approach] to certain things, then absolutely. My runway on the show kind of shows that.”

Symone also proudly stood up for trans rights during the interview. The Arkansas native called the spate of anti-trans laws being debated and enacted in her home state “disgusting”. She added trans people “wanting to be themselves” and wanting to have “medical attention” should not be a concern for the state – specifically “when there’s so much poverty and so many people who go without education”.

“How dare you try to legislate someone’s existence on this earth? It’s disgusting,” Symone said. “You don’t have the right to do that to people.”

She also told the LGBT+ community to hold onto hope because “there’s still light” and people around the world and in the US “who are behind you”. Symone added: “So don’t feel alone and don’t feel like it’s over just because this happened.”

 

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