Drag Race icon Gottmik joins debate on show’s firsts cis, straight man: ‘Drag is for everyone’
RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty Gottmik has weighed in on the show casting its first cisgender, straight male competitor, declaring “drag is for everyone”.
The beloved franchise has welcomed queens from across the LGBT+ community since its inception. However, the news that Maddy Morphosis, the show’s first straight, cisgender male competitor, would compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 has sparked intense debate about people from outside the queer community entering drag spaces.
Gottmik, who was the first trans man to compete on Drag Race, slammed any criticism about Morphosis’ casting in an interview with Variety. The fan-favourite also opened up about the backlash she received when she was the first cast in season 13, where she made it into the final four of the season.
“When I first got announced on the show, I was flooded with people who did not think I should be on the show or I shouldn’t be doing drag,” Gottmik said. “I feel like she’s going through the exact same thing.”
Gottmik then proudly proclaimed that drag is an “art form” that is for everyone as “it’s not about your identity”. She added that anyone’s drag can be “valid” but clarified that “it doesn’t mean you’re always good”.
“And as long as she knows where drag came from and the references and just the background of the sacred form that drag truly is, she’s gonna be fine,” Gottmik added. “And turn it, you know?”
Morphosis addressed the heated responses about her casting on Twitter. She acknowledged the loud backlash against her before sharing that drag was a “safe space” for her to “explore my own gender identity”.
“The people I met, and the experiences I had helped me understand more about gender and sexuality, what it meant to me, and where I fit in with everything,” Morphosis wrote.
She continued: “Drag wasn’t even something I considered when I first started going out.
“It was something that just happened to be in the scene I was in, that I fell in love with.
“But doing drag the last five years has given me the opportunity to further explore my own identity, and also understand more about others’.”
Morphosis added that one of the positives to come from her casting is that “it’s kicking up a lot more talk about representation in the drag scene”. She said she hoped the conversation could “lead to more marginalised groups being showcased and represented” on Drag Race.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 premieres on 7 January on VH1. Fans in the UK can watch the upcoming season on World of Wonder’s streaming service WOW Presents Plus.