RuPaul’s Drag Race UK‘s The Vivienne, has described a ban on drag shows for children as “madness”.
The winner of the first season of Drag Race UK, 30, commented following Tennessee introducing one last week.
It’s the first US state to pass such a ban. However, several other states including Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma have also introduced similar legislation.
There have been protests against Drag Queen Story Hour sessions on both sides of the Atlantic in recent months. Additionally, several UK sessions have been entirely disrupted and called off.
Speaking exclusively to Attitude ahead of the Dancing on Ice final on Sunday (12 March) The Vivienne gave her reaction to the situation.
“It’s just madness,” she said simply. “There are two conversations: there’s this whole ‘drag isn’t for children, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And to an extent, yes, not all drag is for children, just like not all movies are for children, just like stand-up comedians aren’t for children,” she continued.
“There are different facets of everything in life that children shouldn’t be a part of. I’m an adult comedian when I’m on stage. However, if I’m on Dancing on Ice, I know how to edit myself for a family show.”
The Vivienne also highlighted “a much wider conversation about trans women who work as drag queens”. She asked: “Where is the line between what is drag and what is a performer?”
Pointing to issues such as gun violence, trans rights, and abortion rights – which are all contributing to people dying – The Vivienne reasoned: “Drag queens reading the child a storybook that may help them immensely, is a lot less dangerous.”
The Vivienne also pinned the “madness” on politicians on the right “finger-pointing,” and targeting minorities.
The Vivienne has also helped change perceptions of drag on the show.
“I get so many messages from people saying, ‘I’ve never seen RuPaul’s Drag Race and I didn’t know who you were and we fell in love with you as a person.’ You get to see me a lot out of drag on Dancing on Ice. All my interviews and my BTS are out of drag. People can see, ‘Oh, it’s just a normal person. They’re just wearing something different than the other competitors.’
“Basically, everyone is in drag on Dancing On Ice anyway with the amount of costumes and rhinestones and everything. I’ve had parents messaging me and sending videos of their kids watching Dancing on Ice, dancing to Dolly Parton, and saying, ‘Thank you, my son is obsessed with what you’re doing. And it’s just showing him that he is allowed to dance around the living room like Dolly Parton if he wants to an not be judged for it.’
“I just want to say thank you to those parents,” she closed.
The grand final of Dancing on Ice airs on ITV1 and ITVX on Sunday 12 March at 6:30pm.