Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@lawrencechaney and YouTube
Lawrence Chaney has said her “blood is boiling” after she watched a YouTube video of someone criticising RuPaul’s Drag Race UK series three for including a cis-gender woman, Victoria Scone, in its new line-up of queens.
Posting a screenshot of the video’s thumbnail and her comments on it on Twitter, the winner of Drag Race UK’s second series said she “had to comment” and the response is just bang on the mark.
Victoria Scone, who is a lesbian, was announced as one of the twelve new queens to enter the werkroom on Wednesday (18 August) and is the first cis-woman on the UK show.
“You’ll just have to get used to it”
In the video 'Why I don’t support Victoria Scone on RuPaul Drag Race [sic]' posted on Thursday (19 August) user Daniel Pérez says Victoria's place could have gone to a person of colour, and that he has “never agreed with having women on the show” because the show is an LGBTQ show and should be giving a platform to the community."
It's worth nothing at this point that Victoria Scone is a lesbian and woman and member of the community who uses she/her pronouns both in and out of drag.
“Having a white cis-gender woman on a show that is catered for the LGBT, it raises my eyebrows […] it’s like take another spot from a guy that actually doesn’t get opportunities like that,” he continues.
Pérez also argues that “what makes a drag queen” is when a gay man transforms into a woman and that the show should be exclusively for gay men and transgender people.
Lawrence was having none of it.
— Lawrence Chaney (@ShadyLawrence) August 19, 2021
Opening her argument, the series 2 winner clarified that Scone is a lesbian and therefore a part of the community before saying that her inclusion will help Scone’s career and will “take her from struggling to get booked for shows because show runners are ignorant idiots like yourself to being in demand”.
Lawrence says that with very few lesbians on TV the representation will help “change the world” and “show a new audience that they can not only do drag but that they are VALID.”
Addressing Daniel’s point that the show should be for gay men, Chaney says: “Drag for me is not female impersonation” and while it can be that it can also be broader and a way to use skills and can be varied in its look. “It is an art form and this art form is NOT exclusive to gay men.”
She adds, “Women raised me, I’m inspired by strong women,” and that Victoria Scone is now one of those because she is unapologetically being herself. She finishes by saying, “Sorry but you’ll just have to get used to it.”
If that isn’t a thorough and well-argued takedown, we don’t know what is. And Lawrence wasn’t the only one to counter Pérez’s arguments with other users commenting similar arguments. The video so far has more than 12,000 videos with 111 likes and 3,600 dislikes.
Daniel ends the video recognising people will disagree with him and saying, “if this is ignorant, please educate me”.
"This is not Miss Universe"
But responding to Lawrence and his other critics Daniel on Thursday doubled down on his comments, emphasising that there should be more black queens on the show and that he doesn't care about Victoria being a woman. He then chooses to use Google's definition of a drag queen as the definitive one and says that he would not accept a biological woman coming on the show saying, "this is not Miss Universe".
There has been criticism of Drag Race UK for its lack of diversity with only one black queen with Lawrence Chaney's series 2 sister and finalist Tayce, saying she was "a little taken aback" by the lack of diversity.
"Hopefully things will improve and for now I wish nothing but the best for the s3 girls. You deserve all the love today, this is your moment LIVE IT UP hounds and f**k it up always", Newport's queen added.
A spokesperson for BBC Three told Attitude in response to the criticism of the lack of diversity: "Celebrating diversity is at the heart of Drag Race UK, and we welcome queens from all backgrounds."
Speaking to the BBC about being the first cis-gender woman on the UK show Victoria Scone said: "It feels right! I definitely didn't invent the art of drag for women. I am not the first and I certainly won’t be the last. But I feel very capable and proud to have made it through the application process and be the first on Drag Race UK.
Me being here is political but you can just have fun with it. That’s why I started. I just wanted to entertain people and that’s what we’re going to do! Drag can just be fun!"
RuPaul's Drag Race UK series thre premieres on BBC iPlayer this September.
The Attitude September Style Issue, is out now.