As Pride month ends, show drag performers some love

Drag queens, kings and others in the LGBTQ community face daily attacks and harassment. They deserve support year-round.

SHARE As Pride month ends, show drag performers some love
A performer waves at the crowd during the 51st Annual Pride Parade on the North Side on Sunday.

A drag performer waves at the crowd during the 51st Annual Pride Parade on the North Side.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

During Pride 2022, the nation has seen some right-wing politicians and leaders who seem more passionate about using their power to protect children from drag queens than from deadly assault weapons.

Some, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — want to make it illegal for adults to bring minors to drag events.

Our view: Get a grip, and give drag performers a break. They, and others in the LGBTQ community who face daily attacks and harassment, deserve support — not just during Pride month, but year-round.

Drag shows usually feature larger than life characters dancing to great music, showing off their fashion, extravagant hair and whatever extra padding is needed to create illusions and fun entertainment. Their audience might be at nightclubs, parades, a family brunch or even those oh-so-frightening story hours for kids.



Republicans in states like Michigan, Florida and Texas have proposed laws that would ban children from attending drag shows because they think the shows are too sexual for children. A concern for conservatives nationwide is “drag queen story hours,” where drag queens host family-friendly events and read children’s books.

Fabian Rodriguez, 38, nationally known as Chicago drag queen Naysha Lopez, has been a drag performer for about 22 years and is a host at the famous gay bar Roscoe’s Tavern. As Naysha, she has competed in the popular competition reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — also referred to as “the olympics of drag” — and recently strutted down the stage in March at the iHeartRadio Awards paying tribute to Jennifer Lopez.

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If you’re concerned about drag, listen to Rodriguez, who actually wasn’t a fan when he was first exposed to it.

“I didn’t understand it. And that’s what happens a lot within our community — we get attacked because it’s something people don’t understand, something they don’t get,” Rodriguez said. “Politicians are the ones who are sexualizing drag queens ... Politics is going to affect us, to what extent, I don’t know. But we are a resilient people, and we are not going to tolerate it.”

Drag queens, drag kings and non-binary performers are a shinning light for queer people, especially during Pride month. Think about it: Spending hours in the heat in full makeup, a wig and colorful, extravagant outfits meant to cheer up the rest of us, at parades and other events.

The least we can do is show them some love — especially during Pride month — cheer them on and, most importantly, tip them well.

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