#long #homophobia #drag #queens #Paloma #Drag #Race
Pigeon from “Drag Race France”.
TELEVISION – There were ten to start the adventure. As of this Thursday, August 4, there are only three, the three great finalists of the first edition of Endurance race FranceFrench adaptation of the American competition RuPaul’s Drag Race broadcast from June 25, every Thursday evening on the France.tv Slash digital platform and on France 2 every Saturday, after Fort Boyard.
The competition, during which drag queens compete in events that combine singing, theater, dance and modeling, has nothing to envy its older American sister. Week after week, she proved to be just as entertaining, funny, moving and willing to champion the interests and diversity of French drag. And this, without forgetting the strong messages of self-acceptance.
Among the strong personalities of this season, one of them has been able to detach herself from the game, it is Paloma. A notorious Fanny Ardant impersonator (and secretly Ludovine de La Rochère), the queen of comedy has also proven herself a fierce competitor on the catwalk, as evidenced by her portrayal of a sketch by celebrated fashion illustrator Erté for the Haute Parade. couture fashion.
Paloma doesn’t have her tongue in her pocket. Above all, when it comes to remembering that the art of drag is not just about rhinestones and glitter, nor about defending the issues that run through the LGBT+ community. The HuffPost interviewed her.
The HuffPost : In some of the interviews you have given since the launch of Endurance race France, you speak of the art of drag as a political act. What do you mean by that?
Pigeon: From the moment I risk getting my ass kicked wearing stilettos, a wig and makeup on the street, it’s a political act. Drag is above all an art that deconstructs society, a society that has been built according to heterosexual norms. Our art is to deconstruct gender. I myself have felt the pressure of having to be a manly boy, when I am not. I still exist in society. It’s important to open doors for the next generation, queer or not.
As long as there is homophobia and people insulting us on the street or on social media, there will be a need for drag-queens and drag-kings to change things.
The Huff Post: The presence in the government of Caroline Cayeux, who had previously made comments against marriage for all, has sparked protests. What do you think ?
Pigeon: It simply shows that the current government, which claims to be progressive, is in fact carrying out the conservative policy of François Fillon, but in disguise. The Manif pour tous, although it has the right to exist in public space, opposes laws that have been debated and voted on, such as marriage for all and the PMA for all. What they want is to question things previously validated by the government. I find it very contradictory on the part of Emmanuel Macron to see her, today, next to him.
Also, when Caroline Cayeux talks about ” This people “I want to remind you that ” This people “They are also voters of the government, they are voters, people who matter, who pay their taxes and therefore their salary. That does not exclude us from the public debate. We are here and we are many.
The HuffPost: The other current news is the monkeypox epidemic. In the space of a few weeks, the circulation of the virus has continued to progress to more than 1,800 cases in France. Men who have sex with men account for 96% of these cases. Aides, Sidaction and Acte-Up deplore the lack of support for the epidemic from public authorities. Is that a sentiment you share?
Pigeon: Exactly. When Covid arrived, there was a general panic. The nothing. When I went to get vaccinated, the doctors made it clear to me that they were not going to have enough doses for everyone, but on top of that, no one had found out what was happening. No one outside of the LGBT+ community knows.
The government puts a bell on a disease. The message it sends us is that we manage internally. However, it is a disease that can have serious repercussions if not treated well. [elle peut s’avérer douloureuse et créer des complications, notamment chez les enfants, les femmes enceintes, et les personnes vivant avec le VIH, ndlr].
I find this to be indicative of what is called a pink wash. We like to bring queer people into the media and political debate. But when it comes to really taking an interest in our problems, there’s no one left. It makes us understand that we, as gays, lesbians, bi or trans, continue to be excluded from this society. there are people “normal” and there is us. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as a minority.
The HuffPost: Along with stigma, crimes and offenses against LGBT+ people have increased by 12% compared to 2019, according to SOS Homophobia, in France. Do you feel safe?
dove : After the vote on the PMA law for all, in 2021, Manif pour tous organized a mobilization to challenge. I, who show very little, went to the counter-demonstration organized by queer people. We were 70 to break everything. Among us, many harmless young people with inclusive flags. Result: the police gassed us and pinned us to the ground. Some were even arrested.
My vision may be truncated because I live in Paris. Here, many queer people aren’t afraid to walk down the street with blue hair or manicured nails. We live in a cosmopolitan city. People do not care. Where I come from, Clermont-Ferrand, there was no strange place at that time. In my high school, I was the only one who said I was gay. If I check the people I was with in high school at the time, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a package has gone out.
However, since Endurance race France came out, I get dozens of messages every day from kids thanking me for starting to talk about their homosexuality around them. Even so, while there is still fear of revealing oneself, of coming out of the closet, it is that not everything is fixed.
The Huff Post: So yeah, rendering isn’t everything, but is it important to you?
Pigeon: I have the feeling that with the other candidates for Endurance race France, we are the first queer people to occupy this niche on television. Certainly, we have had openly gay TV presenters for a long time, like Laurent Ruquier or Olivier Minne, but they have not often, if ever, taken a position on these issues. On the contrary, the ones we can see on the screen sometimes hit us, like Matthieu Delormeau [le chroniqueur de TPMP a notamment été critiqué en 2021 pour avoir tenu des propos homophobes à l’encontre de Bilal Hassani, ndlr].
We need another representation, positive images, a diversified discourse with different personalities, and not just clichés. and that’s what drag race He brought. Each of us brings in our own way a vision of the spectrum, which is obviously not fully represented. For example, La brioche is a trans woman. She is pansexual, in a relationship with a woman. She raises a lot of questions about gender and sexuality. Muse’s Soa defines herself as non-binary, she doesn’t want to be defined by one gender or another. She also has no gender. Here we bring different speeches.
The HuffPost: Is there interest in seeing this program in the public service?
Pigeon: Yes, also on France 2. We are still talking about a channel whose group broadcasts Louis the Brocante. It is a big step forward. Reach a wide audience, not just LGBT+ viewers. I received a message from a woman. She wrote to tell me that she had never been interested in what drag was until then. She tells me that she finds us all impressive, both for our talents and for the resources we possess. She is not the only one. I receive several testimonials that tell me that they watch the program as a couple or as a family with their children. The spread of drag raceIt is a real hit in the anthill.
The Huff Post: the hearings of drag race France are good and the yields too. Doesn’t that show that viewers are ready for other forms of entertainment?
Pigeon: We’re not on a reality show where people are swinging glasses of water at each other’s faces. That’s not The angels of reality TV. It does not correspond to the classic codes of French entertainment. There are real moments of emotion, humor and lightness. And it raises real social problems. [comme la séropositivité de Lolita Banana, l’agression homophobe de La Grande Dame, la réception du coming out chez les proches, ndlr].
I come from the world of theater and cinema and I saw something there. When a show is successful, we keep producing it with no questions asked. Really bad shows have been going on for years. The people look. So the producers think that’s what people want to see and they don’t want to see anything else. And I don’t agree with that. If you write a slightly better script, people will still watch it. When we improve things, people are happy because we stop taking them for idiots.
See also in The HuffPost : Appeared as a drag queen on television, this American pastor sanctioned