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Fact-checking Elliott with 2 Ts' post about trans rights & drag bans

Fact-checking Elliott with 2 Ts' post about trans rights & drag bans

Elliott With 2 Ts on RuPaul’s Drag Race; via Instagram
VH1; Instagram (@therealelliottqueen)

“No one else from my season went to the U.S. capitol to fight for trans rights and stopping the drag bans,” the RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant wrote on social media.

Okay, then!

It’s been an interesting week for RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants — current and former — on social media. Among them is Elliott With 2 Ts, a drag performer from Las Vegas, Nevada, who competed in season 13 of the series.

After getting attacked by fans on social media due to resharing (and then deleting) an X post that claimed Elliott was “the real winner” of season 13 instead of Symone, the Las Vegas queen seemingly tried to defend herself by sharing another X post that read:

“No one else from my season went to the U.S. Capitol to fight for trans rights and stopping the drag bans. Again. Really look at the people y’all are idolizing. Because they are not good people. Just because they are the loudest in the room, doesn’t make them.”

Elliott With 2 Ts via X

X (@theelliottqueen)

While it’s probably accurate that Elliott seems to be the only queen from Drag Race season 13 thus far who visited the U.S. Capitol to talk about these social issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community and drag entertainers, her choice to be this specific about her social work reads as a suggestion that no one else has done as much work as she has, or that the kind of work that she’s done was more impactful and/or effective.

No matter how you look at the X post, it reads like a bold statement that suggests Elliott has done a lot of and other Drag Race queens (from her season or otherwise) haven’t done what she’s done — a matter of semantics that is, frankly, odd. After all, there are endless ways for artists who have competed on Drag Race to make statements, advocate for trans rights, and fight against drag bans.

Throughout 2021, Gottmik, the first-ever trans man cast on Drag Race and a contestant in season 13, spoke out several times against the conservative politicians who were pushing anti-trans and anti-drag laws. Gottmik did so in interviews with NBC News and Variety while attending different high-profile events, just to name a few.

Symone, the winner of season 13, also regularly spoke in support of trans people and drag entertainers. For instance, Symone told The Advocate in 2021: “How dare [conservatives] try to legislate someone’s existence on this earth? It’s disgusting. You don't have the right to do that to people. I would say to the people who are there, who are being legislated in such a way, don’t lose hope. Keep fighting. Don’t let them think that this is a win.”

Direct statements and other forms of support also came from the vast majority of season 13 cast members, which was followed by season 14 featuring a record-breaking number of trans contestants who spoke about their struggles and the crowning of the first-ever trans winner of the series, Willow Pill. This was followed by the crowning of Sasha Colby, a veteran drag entertainer and trans trailblazer, in season 15.

In May 2023, an endless list of drag performers and celebrities also gathered for the Drag Isn’t Dangerous telethon that raised $536,087 to fight against conservatives pushing anti-trans and anti-drag bills.

In recent years, season 12 star Brita Filter and All Stars 3 finalist Shangela became the two first Drag Race queens to be invited to the White House and attend an official event while in drag. A group of over 100 drag performers — including Drag Race stars like Latrice Royale, Roxxxy Andrews, and Detox — marched in protest on the Florida State Capitol to fight against the discriminatory laws being pushed against our community, as reported by Them.

Sasha Colby was also invited to an event held by Vice President Kamala Harris, where Sasha spoke about protecting the LGBTQ+ community in a room full of politicians, besides the VP herself.

So while one might stand to reason that Elliott is right about being the only Drag Race season 13 contestant to visit the U.S. Capitol in 2023 to talk about these subjects, it is an impressively misguided move to suggest that no one else is doing different kinds of outreach and social work to fight for the same causes — raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, reaching millions of people, speaking directly to the Vice President, and protesting in front of the Florida State Capitol where then-presidential candidate Ron DeSantis was railing behind these anti-LGBTQ+ laws as a platform for his candidacy in the Republican Party.

Upon hearing different people sharing similar concerns and counterarguments to her X post about visiting the U.S. Capitol, Elliott pivoted to a new lane and wrote in a new post:

“I NEVER in my life ever intended to hurt anyone. And if i did, im truly from the bottom of my heart sorry. But if i said something that i thought was being silly or trying to make a connection and it came across wrong, im genuinely sorry!!! I have nothing but love for everyone.”

Elliott With 2 Ts via X

X (@theelliottqueen)

Elliott wrote one final X post (as of this writing): “But seriously, yall gotta stop with the hate, and the threats, and the harassment. Especially when it is coming from a place of lies. Girls from my season spoke a lot of lies about me that have ruined my chances of anything else drag race in the future. Isn't that enough?”

Elliott With 2 Ts via X

X (@theelliottqueen)

It’s possible to evaluate this entire situation as Elliott having misunderstood a humorous X post about her being “the real winner” of season 13 and resharing it earnestly, causing fans to be upset given the past claims of Elliott saying weird things that sounded problematic.

In an attempt to defend herself, it’s possible that Elliott resorted to opening up these various different tangents that ranged from resurfacing videos of costars complimenting her, to claiming that she’s done more (or more important?) social work for the community, to then ask fans to “stop with the hate.”

But it now seems pretty clear that Elliott has understood where she probably went wrong within this discourse, which is all that one can ask from a celebrity. It is also unfair for anyone to attack and harass Elliott to an extreme that completely eclipses the mistakes she’s made. Let’s put these Twitter (X) fingers down, take a collective deep breath, and move on from a discourse that is frankly not going anywhere productive any longer.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.