Symone is the first Arkansas queen to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and still took home the season 13 crown. (WOW)
Symone is the toast of Arkansas after her RuPaul’s Drag Race win, but she is far from impressed by her home state’s politics.
Symone said that while “it’s a beautiful honour” to be Drag Race’s first contestant – and winner – from Arkansas, the state’s treatment of trans rights is “disgusting”.
“I don’t think that trans people wanting to be themselves and wanting to have medical attention and all of these things is really the concern you need to be having in our state,” Symone told Advocate. “Specifically when there’s so much poverty, and so many people who go without education.”
In recent weeks, a bill has passed Arkansas’ House of Representatives banning public schools, state colleges and universities from requiring staff use students’ correct names and pronouns if they differ from their “biological sex”.
The state also became the first in the US to ban gender-affirming healthcare for trans minors. Other states now have bills pending which would follow suit.
Symone responded to the bills: “How dare you try to legislate someone’s existence on this earth? It’s disgusting. You don’t have the right to do that to people.”
She also had a heart-warming message for trans people in Arkansas and other states legislating against trans rights: “There is still hope, there’s still light, there’s people around the world and the country who are behind you. So don’t feel alone and don’t feel like it’s over just because this happened.”
Symone added that she hoped being crowned Drag Race winner showed people “it doesn’t matter where you come from… you can survive and do whatever you want in this life if you want it and you work hard for it.”
Symone said she sees activism and Black Lives matter as an intrinsic part of her drag.
“I think now with the platform I have and where we are, I think it’s important to… better the world,” she explained. “I don’t want to ever lose that in my drag.”