In 74 countries, LGBTQ relationships are OUTLAWED. In Russia same-sex couples are barred from adopting children and public displays of homosexuality are prohibited. There are 13 countries where “homosexual acts” can get you the death penalty. Iraq has no laws against homosexuality, but militias are known to execute suspected gays.
To call attention to this, if you tune in to RuPaul’s Drag Race season eight marathon tomorrow on Logo, and you won’t see any of Mama Ru’s gorgeous outfits or lots of other things we love and take for granted in the U.S..
Just in time for Coming Out Day, LogoTV is censoring all queer people and dialogue from the show to illustrate,
“a show of solidarity with LGBT people living in countries where such images are blocked entirely and where coming out is not safe or legal.“
Said the network said in a statement, this will,
“providing a glimpse at what life could be like in countries where LGBT people can’t turn on the television, open the newspaper, or go to social media to see positive and relatable images.“
Research by GLAAD shows that even in America, LGBTQ media visibility is still lacking. Only 4% of regular characters on primetime broadcast programming are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, there are no trans characters on broadcast TV, and only three recurring trans characters on cable.
Visibility matters because depictions of queer people are often cited as a means to move public opinion. As said Vice President Joe Biden famously said in 2012,
“I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public more than almost anything anybody has done so far.“
We forget how lucky we are in this country. One Reddit user wrote of Drag Race last year,
“I am from Morocco, and me and my friends watch on internet every ep + Untucked. RPDR is the best TV show ever. Simply the best. I hope one day homosexuality would not be a crime and gay bars become less of a secret.“
In an ABC interview RuPaul said Drag Race‘s appeal certainly reaches beyond borders,
“At its core, it is the story of the tenacity of the human spirit. We get to see these kids who have been pushed aside by society, who’ve made a way for themselves to be seen and to be great. And watching them thrive throughout these challenges is captivating, especially knowing their stories. And I know their stories because it’s my story. It really is the story of really everyone who thinks outside the box.“
Can I get an AMEN?