For the third weekend in Chicago, protestors took to the streets in support of Black Lives Matter. This time, they were led by drag performers.
Organized by Jo Mama, the Drag March for Change marched through Boystown, Chicago's gayborhood, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. There were 12 speeches, with Dida Ritz, Lucy Stoole, The Vixen, and Shea Couleé among them. While the speeches and action addressed anti-Blackness and systemic oppression at large, in notable reaction to the killing of George Floyd, it was also specifically about Boystown, which has had a long history of racism.
In her speech, RuPaul's Drag Race's Shea Couleé addresses all of that. Here we've culled together clips that we have found online and transcribed them, in-full, below.
Let me tell you something: we are Black, we are queer and we deserve to take up space. White people move aside. When you see us, make space. Somehow I became lucky enough to be somebody who is viewed on TV all around the world and somebody who is considered of value because I’m talented. My value shouldn’t be wrapped up in my talent. My value should not be wrapped up in Instagram followers. My value should be strictly based on the fact that I’m a human being walking this earth right next to you.
We built this. I want you to look around at everything here, we built this. And I should not have to stand here on a loud speaker and ask you for fucking permission to walk through the door. So you know what we’re going to do? The same way years ago y’all wanted to say that you would take back Boystown from the Southside trash, well guess what? Southside showed up and we’re taking it back now. You want to show up? Y’all need to hire Black people in your bars. And I’m not just talking about to wipe up your drinks, I’m talking about I want to see Black managers. I want to see Black people decide who gets to come in and who gets to make the money. And while we’re at it, we need to get a fucking Black-owned bar up in this bitch.
We need to make space. If y’all want to see it for us, pull up and open your purse. My name is Shea Coulee and I didn’t come to play; I came to dismantle white supremacy.