RuPaul supports drag queen story hours during Emmy win speech

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RuPaul defended drag queen story hours at libraries while accepting the outstanding reality competition award at the Emmys on Monday night.

Drag shows, including readings at libraries, in several states have been the target of multiple anti-drag show bills in recent years, and protestors have gathered at libraries in opposition to drag queen story hour events. 

“If a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her, because knowledge is power, and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you,” RuPaul said Monday. “So listen to a drag queen.”

The Human Rights Campaign lauded the speech “on the importance of protecting our power as LGBTQ+ people in the face of anti-drag attacks.”

RuPaul, when asked in 2020 if he ever imagined the LGBTQ community and drag queens would be as accepted as they are, questioned if that acceptance was all it seemed.

“I don’t know how accepted it is,” he said in a “CBS Mornings” interview. “At our core, we’re all really still the same. … We’re more polarized in our country than I think I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime.”

Last year, singers Hayley Kiyoko and Lizzo both brought drag queens on stage during performances. Lizzo, in protest of a recent law restricting drag shows in Tennessee, brought 20 drag queens, including  “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Asia O’Hara and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, out on stage during a Knoxville show.

A Tennessee law banning “adult cabaret” in public or in front of minors was signed in February by Republican Gov. Bill Lee. It was blocked by a federal judge in April, hours before it was set to go into effect.

In November, the Supreme Court declined to allow enforcement of a Florida law that prohibits children from attending drag shows, keeping in place a lower court ruling as a legal challenge continues.

C Mandler, Leo Rocha and Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.

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