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News Busters
Newsbusters
1 Apr 2023
Alex Christy


NextImg:ABC Declares Conservatives To Be The Real Groomers For Drag Opposition

ABC’s Gio Benitez welcomed season 9 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Alexander “Sasha Velour” Hedges Steinberg to the Saturday edition of Good Morning America to declare that not is opposition to drag racist and sexist, but conservatives are the real groomers.

Benitez led Steinberg with more of a statement than a question, “And you're here as an author this morning because of this book you've written, this memoir and you felt it was really important as a drag queen to be writing this story here because you're looking at the history of drag in this country.”

Steinberg insisted that “This has always been a part of human culture. I think that's the ultimate proof that what we’re doing—that our community is natural, that we belong here on this Earth” and that “the criminalization of drag is something that came is something that came later, that that was part of oppression, that was tied to racism and misogyny in the world and people left to their own devices want to dress up and want to experience joy.”

Dressing up as a woman is not the same thing as thinking that you are a woman, but Benitez wasn’t there to ask tough questions. After some softballs about Steinberg’s mother, grandmothers, and childhood, Benitez lobbed another “And look, your book arrives at a time when we’re seeing this wave of anti-drag laws being introduced in this country. What do you want to say to people right now?”

“I want to say that drag is freedom, drag preaches non-judgment, especially towards queer and trans people, but to everyone. We should have freedom over our bodies and how we dress and how we move and how we dance and dream and I think anyone who finds that threatening is missing the larger point,” Steinberg replied.

Steinberg also claimed “-- it's actually the anti-drag and anti-trans people who are trying to groom and shape their children to feel shame and drag is an antidote to that shame. We want people to experience pride in themselves, joy, and have fun in this life. Life is hard. We got to dress up and make it all that we can.” 

The viral videos that serve as inspiration for these laws almost never come up in these conversations. If having little children stroke the crotches of adults is what Steinberg and GMA consider “fun,” then they have a perverted definition of fun. If they do not, then their anger is better directed elsewhere.

This segment was sponsored by Comcast.

Here is  a transcript for the April 1 show:

ABC Good Morning America

4/1/2023

9:31 AM ET

GIO BENITEZ: And you're here as an author this morning because of this book you've written, this memoir and you felt it was really important as a drag queen to be writing this story here because you're looking at the history of drag in this country. 

ALEXANDER “SASHA VELOUR” HEDGES STEINBERG: Yeah, this is the book about drag that I always wanted to read, and it didn't exist. I wanted to trace drag and queer expression back to the Mesolithic age. This has always been a part of human culture. I think that's the ultimate proof that what we’re doing—that our community is natural, that we belong here on this Earth. 

And I also wanted to show that the criminalization of drag is something that came is something that came later, that that was part of oppression, that was tied to racism and misogyny in the world and people left to their own devices want to dress up and want to experience joy. 

BENITEZ: And you know, I found it so moving, that one of the things that you said is that moment there that we saw where you pulled off the wig and the rose petals came off, that was in large part inspired by your other mother. 

STEINBERG: Yeah. 

BENITEZ: Tell us about that? 

STEINBERG: Yeah, my mom and grandmothers both encouraged—all three of them encouraged me. They, as women growing up, in the '30s and the '50s, they experienced discrimination and they always told me to use any people underestimating you as fuel to just be bigger and bolder and more yourself, so even though none of those women are with us today, I want to celebrate their legacy, I wanted to share their stories in this book, and I hope my drag will reflect a little bit them in me and carry their stories on. 

BENITEZ: When you think of yourself as a little kid, what would you say to that little kid? 

STEINBERG: I -- when I was writing the book, I got to look at some of my childhood artwork and I saw myself drawing myself as a queen, as a witch, as a vampire. I'm the exact same person that I was then. I think we all get formed so early, so I would say you are on the right track, little Sasha Velour. Just invest in yourself, stay true to yourself, don’t let anyone grind you down, just keep going.

BENITEZ: And there are those pictures there. And look, your book arrives at a time when we’re seeing this wave of anti-drag laws being introduced in this country. What do you want to say to people right now?

STEINBERG: I want to say that drag is freedom, drag preaches non-judgment, especially towards queer and trans people, but to everyone. We should have freedom over our bodies and how we dress and how we move and how we dance and dream and I think anyone who finds that threatening is missing the larger point. I think people who -- people -- it's actually the anti-drag and anti-trans people who are trying to groom and shape their children to feel shame and drag is an antidote to that shame. We want people to experience pride in themselves, joy, and have fun in this life. Life is hard. We got to dress up and make it all that we can.