Congressman Honors 'RuPaul's Drag Race' on the House Floor
Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.
Amid a national swell of anti-drag legislative measures, Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif, took to the House floor on Wednesday to honor RuPaul Charles and to celebrate "RuPaul's Drag Race" for culturally uplifting queer artists.
As reported by NBC news, Garcia stood next to a placard that portrayed Mama Ru in a striking yellow dress and in her signature blond wig, as he went into the cultural signifance and joy "RuPaul's Drag Race" has inspired for so many seasons.
"The show has served as a critical space to discuss issues around inclusion, trans rights, mental health and self worth," said Garcia, who identifies as gay. "And this message couldn't be more important as the LGBTQ-plus community continues to fight for equality and acceptance."
The honor comes as drag queens around the country have become the targets of censorship and anti-gay sentiment in conservative states.
"Republican lawmakers in at least 19 states have introduced legislation this year intended to restrict drag performances, with governors in at least three states – Florida, Montana and Tennessee – signing such measures into law," NBC reports. However, a federal judge in Tennessee ruled that the state's anti-drag measure last week was unconstitutional.
With lawmakers arguing that drag is inappropriate and a lewd display, the majority of proposed drag bills aim to stop children from seeing drag performances or participating in drag-related events.
However, many LGBTQ advocates argue that drag queens and LGBTQ people are being used to as a scapegoat for society's deeper issues. Even RuPaul has said his piece on the matter in a national drag advocacy campaign with the ACLU.
"We know that bullies are incompetent at solving real issues," RuPaul said in an Instagram reel in March. "They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective. They think our love, our light, our laughter and our joy are signs of weakness. But they're wrong, because that is our strength."
As a TV show, "RuPaul's Drag Race" has become a ratings juggernaut. The series has won 26 Emmy Awards and has produced spinoffs in more than 16 countries.
Wrapping up his speech on the House floor, Garcia encouraged his fellow lawmakers to "always remember what RuPaul so famously says: 'If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?'"