With the immense reach and social impact RuPaul’s Drag Race has worldwide, the team finds certain moments in the news and pop culture too important to not respond to or engage with, particularly with such an undeniable platform. 2022 featured several anti-LGTBQ laws spreading across statehouse legislative bodies, including most notably, the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Florida. The potential damage of this bill felt so strong, that the moment called for a PSA to respond to this hateful legislation with the incredible queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race using their voice to call attention to this political travesty. The goal was to create a PSA that educated, enlightened and also entertained Drag Race audiences by hearing from the queens themselves, while also directing fans to important resources like The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey.
Sitting down with RuPaul’s Drag Race icons including BenDeLaCreme, Gigi Goode, Kerri Colby and Nicky Doll, we encouraged the queens to share their own stories about being queer in order to demonstrate the power that living openly has awarded these LGBTQ performers. Simply, the act of saying ‘gay’ is power onto itself, and the queens called for audiences to not be afraid to say it – even shout it – because there was no shame in doing so. A key element of the process was partnering with The Trevor Project to make sure the team’s efforts would call attention to an even greater purpose, which just so happened to coincide with the June 2022 launch of Trevor’s National Survey. This survey annually aims to help amplify and destigmatize various challenges and difficulties felt by queer youth. With Trevor we wanted to encourage these conversations, not silence them, like the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill aimed to do. Any PSA face challenges, but thanks to Trevor, the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the Paramount Government Affairs team, this unique RuPaul’s Drag Race PSA had everyone saying GAY!
RuPaul’s Drag Race launched this PSA at the beginning of June 2022, which is Pride Month, an important time in the LGBTQ Community. All 4 participating queens shared the PSA to their expansive followings, coupled with the organic press gained including attention in Out, and other queer online publications. Besides earning 600K views and 29K engagements across platforms, audience sentiment was overwhelmingly positive and reflective of the significance of this important legislation, leading to thousands of fans saying ‘gay’ across the RuPaul’s Drag Race social platforms. This premiere was coupled with the launch of Trevor’s National Survey – which also had record participation – in addition to an ongoing partnership with Trevor, where RuPaul’s Drag Race donated $10 thousand dollars to its efforts to not silence the LGBTQ community, specifically its youth. Both Trevor as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race recognizes there is much more work left to do, and this PSA was simply one element in a much bigger effort toward protecting queer rights.