During an appearance on NBC’s TODAY show Friday morning, drag mega-star RuPaul Charles spoke about the recent anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment across the country that has had a particular focus on the art of drag performance.The Emmy-winning drag queen and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager that he has to center himself to cope with the negativity.“It’s such a tragedy how our country has become so divided, and it really breaks my heart,” RuPaul said. “I pray for our country and the world, really, and I still believe in the power of love.”This year, conservative politicians and far-right extremists have targeted events where drag queens either had family-friendly performances or read to children in libraries.
Some of the events were interrupted by armed members of the white supremacist groups Patriot Front and the Proud Boys. Republican lawmakers in conservative states have aimed legislation at drag queens.
Republicans have sponsored at least eight bills to limit and even criminalize drag performance in public, according to GLAAD.One thing is sure for RuPaul: his show has opened the door to success for many young, queer people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity for large-scale exposure.RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a global phenomenon since it launched in 2009 with spinoffs in 16 countries.