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Queens Bring RuPaul's Drag Race To Durham

RuPaul's Drag Race, HB2, Equality NC, Race
Courtesy of Salima Al-Ismaili

Big name entertainers have canceled several North Carolina concerts and shows because of their opposition to House Bill 2.  But not RuPaul’s Drag Race, which performed Sunday in Durham.

Lots of fans for RuPaul’s Drag Race at DPAC came to see their favorite queen—men dressed as flamboyant women, for entertainment.

Alaska is one of the drag queens.  She said despite the controversy surrounding North Carolina's House Bill 2—which limits protections for the people in the LGBT community—the Drag Race decided to go on.

“I wouldn’t want to like not do a really big gay fabulous thing in a place where people are being discriminated against because they’re gay or trans or fabulous or whatever," Alaska said.

The statewide LGBT group Equality North Carolina took to the stage during the drag show, drumming up support for their petition drive to try and repeal HB2.

The group's Trevor Chandler said they are also glad RuPaul’s Drag Race was not canceled like other big shows including Pearl Jam, Ringo Star, Cirque du Soleil and most recently, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman.

“We really appreciate Bruce Springsteen making a stand and we also really appreciate our allies making sure the LGBT community in North Carolina are not alone and have people who are rooting for them," Chandler said.

One of the provisions in House Bill 2 prevents cities from enacting anti-discrimination protections for members of the LGBT community. Efforts to repeal the law in the state legislature have failed.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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