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Drag queens step up security after Club Q shooting

Drag queens Yvie Oddly, Jinkx Monsoon and Alaska Thunderf**k have all added security measures.

By Emily Maskell

Jinkx Monsoon and Yvie Oddly
Jinkx Monsoon and Yvie Oddly are among drag queens to have stepped up security following the Club Q shooting in Colorado (Image: Provided and Twitter/@OddlyYvie)

American drag queens are reportedly taking extra security measures at shows in the wake of the Colorado Springs shooting last month.

In November, a gunman open fire at the LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q, killing five and injuring 25. Eight top US drag queens have since told NBC News that there is now a subdued atmosphere at shows.

Yvie Oddly, the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 and a Colorado native, explained how her shows have changed. Her management company has implemented more security staff for her shows and for the audience to be checked for firearms.

“It is unfortunate that the world has come to this,” the company reportedly told her in an email. “But your safety and that of the communities you visit is the priority.”

“We’re trying to smile and make people happy for the holidays, and in the back of our heads we’re thinking, ‘I hope I don’t get shot,’” Jinkx Monsoon, two-time Drag Race winner, said.

Monsoon, who’s making her Broadway debut in Chicago next year, has already been stepping up her security.

These safety concerns are echoed by RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season two winner Alaska Thunderf**k who has escape routes planned for each performance venue.

“It’s mortifying that we even have to think about these things for something as joyous and celebratory as a drag show,” Alaska said. “Why do we have to be worried about where the exits are and where a safe route to get to safety is? It’s terrifying, but that’s the reality of it.”

Drag shows provide an essential space of joyful escapism for the LGBTQ+ community and it’s a sad reality these events are now having to up protections for performers and audiences in the wake of right-wing rhetoric threatening violence. 

The Club Q follows an increasingly hostile rhetoric from many right-wing politicians who have attacked the LGBTQ community for their own political gain. In the summer, Florida enacted the infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay, Don’t Say Trans’ legislation that effectively prohibits the discussion of anything LGBTQ in schools.

Since then, numerous other states have started to introduce similar legislation, jeopardising the safety of many LGBTQ people.

Despite the recent approval of a bill to codify same-sex marriage by the US Senate (the Respect for Marriage Act has further steps to go before becoming law) there are many more pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation being pushed through state legislatures.