Recent years have witnessed the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer) face serious discrimination that unfortunately is still present both in and out of the community itself.
However, with rises in the celebration of pride and reality TV shows such as Ru Pauls Drag Race, a hit show amongst ally’s and the queer community that expresses their vibrancy, (an ally being a person who actively supports LGBTQ+ despite not being a part of it), is it possible to suggest society Is making a progressive change in the acceptance of such groups?
Jinkx Monsoon, who was crowned winner and America’s next drag superstar in season 5 of Drag Race, spoke to MM about inclusivity, Trump and transphobia in the LGBTQ+ society.
Jerick Hoffer, who adapted the drag lifestyle at the age of 15 told MM they knew been a queen was for them after seeing their very first drag show.
“I’ve always wanted to be a performer, so I always found ways to get on stage. Drag was just another way to perform to an audience but it then became my passion,” exclaimed Jinkx.
Jinkx expressed their gratitude to their family for being as accepting and loving as they were toward Jinkx’s self-discovery, which has now enabled them to have a career based upon the drag persona.
“I think it’s (acceptance) the most valuable thing a queer teenager can have.”
Unfortunately, it is no news that not every drag star or member of the queer community we’re given the acceptance they deserve.
“For those who unfortunately don’t have that acceptance what we do in the queer community is create chosen families.”
A chosen family is a group of people who choose each other to play specific roles in each other’s lives and give the support needed.
“The family that you choose and build yourself is every bit valid and important as your blood family,” says Jinkx.
The artist made it known that its important young people who are just finding their footing in the world to “know that they (chosen family) exist and they are out there.”
With discrimination and a lack of acceptance faced by almost every member of the community, we asked Jinkx where they found this to be most prominent, in which they expressed their problem with organised religions.
“It’s unfortunate that so many religions and so many faiths dictate that you’re not supposed to be who you are…it seems like brainwashing.”
Obviously, whilst some followers of certain faiths accept the LGBTQ+ society it is clear this is still an area where many don’t feel safe.
Homophobia as such has shown to be a common trend within more conservative generations and of course the Trump administration further fuelled this.
“When he was running for president none of us thought it could actually happen.” Jinkx exclaimed.
The drag superstar continued on to tell MM how they’ve received criticism for voicing their political standpoint but has always been quick to shut them down “if you’re going to be a human being living in this world then you need to have opinions and you need to have views.”
“What we see right now is the Trump administration and its followers are people who feel like they’re under attack, just because there’s people trying to make the world a safer and better place for all.”
The way Miss Jinkx sees things are we have to go through dark periods to reach a more enlightened state.
Drag has almost always been considered by the populous as weekend entertainment, however, with Queens being integrated into the mainstream media this is certainly becoming more normalised and is clear they have a lot more to give.
“Drag queens are human beings, we’re multi-faceted and we have many things to offer other than just one-line catchphrases, snapping our fingers and vogueing.
”That’s why I like drag race so much, not only do you get to see the drag persona, but you get to meet the artist behind the persona.”
Followers of the TV show certainly got to meet the artist behind Jinkx Monsoon upon which they were able to further boost their career and go on to release two albums.
With many reality TV shows now coming to light featuring the community such as The Bi Life hosted by Courtney Act this has definitely led to greater acceptance according to Jinkx.
“As long as we’re being given opportunities to represent ourselves then we’re making progress.”
However, progress within the community itself isn’t all that great, particularly for transgender members. The queer community unfortunately has been known to be the perpetrator of transphobia at times.
Monsoon blames this on a lack of education, as not everyone involved with the LGBTQ+ is as up to date as the majority would like.
However, Miss Monsoon firmly believes there is no excuse for this:
“We all have cell phones that are basically magic wands… if you find yourself uneducated on anything its really up to you to educate yourself.”
While the community does have its own flaws, wider society as we’ve previously mentioned also play a part in transphobic comments
“I think what it is we’re having to do is undo centuries of conditioning.”
Jinkx wonders how many of us assume or have been taught that the gender roles imposed on us are the gospel truth, which is simply not the case.
“If you’re able to try a new coffee brand or a different topping on your pizza, then there should be no reason why you can’t listen to a different point of view and inherent new ways of thinking?”
Jinkx obviously has gained themselves a platform with an increasingly clear message that no one should dictate your truth, it should be decided by you and only you.
As a drag queen and gender non-binary person Jinkx believes it’s important to stay on the forefront of progress in which they achieve this by being themselves.
“I think I’m fighting the good fight every single day just by living and existing… we’re here, we’ve always been here, we’re not going anywhere.”
Jinkx plays HOME in Manchester on the 28th, 29th and 30th March on The Ginger Snapped Tour.
“We call it ‘therapy you can dance to’” Jinkx exclaims.
The show examines the darker side of drag fame and is basically a mental breakdown on stage set to a beat.
It’s a funny and a great night out in which Jinkx loves coming to Manchester as Mancunians fully get on board with any and all shows greater fuelling the love and acceptance.