Sadly it's happened again: another person of color has become the subject of hate from the followers of RuPaul's Drag Race so much so that they have decided to withdraw from the public eye.
"Thank you to the 'fandom' of Drag Race!" season 12 competitor Widow Von Du wrote to Twitter Sunday. "You did it! You ran another person of color away from what they love! I try to be strong but y'all done made me feel like I should hate myself and guess what you won!"
"You make me feel like I should have just stayed a Kansas City queen!" she continued. "I hate doing this so much and I don't wanna do this anymore!"
During her tenure on the show, Von Du made quite the impression. Though she was eliminated in episode nine, placing seventh, the Kansas City personality showed herself to bean awe-inspiring performer winning the first challenge of the season and going on to put on a legendary lip-sync to Chaka Khan — while Khan watched. Followers of the show have made Von'Du the subject of their hate for sending Jan Sport, who she competed against in the Chaka Khan lip sync home. She's become the latest in a long lineage of queens of color to be the subject of this hate. Brita Filter, also a competitor on the season, said that she has had her family threatened by fans, and stepped back from social media as a result.
"It's crazy the level of talent that this past season has had and it's impact during the pandemic was so major, yet there are girls from our season ready to step away from all of this because [of] some of you hateful people," season winner Jaida Essence Hall wrote in a tweet. "I pray the universe doesn't pay y'all back what some of y'all give out because y'all are going to be [in] a terrible place."
While fellow queens have made a concerted effort over the last three seasons to speak out publicly about this hate, condemning it, during the airing of All Stars 5, the show itself began to speak out as well. This came as the world at large was going through a reckoning surrounding race, demanding that those in power use that power to leverage it against hate. For various episodes, official Drag Race accounts eschewed live-tweeting and instead shared resources for followers to support Black communities, and also directed fans to not spread hate.
In the wake of Von'Du's tweets, fellow alum and fans of the show began to post messages of support. Jujubee declared today "Widow Von'Du Day," and others have also posted. Von'Du tweeted to Kameron Michaels, who has also withdrawn from the spotlight at times to protect herself mentally, that she planned to "take a little vacation."