On last night's episode of Drag Race, the final five queens competed in the Gayest Ball Ever, serving three looks on the runway. There were hits and misses, but we were most baffled by Ru's choice to chose the Village People as a category, meaning that one of the queens -- Alexis Michelle -- was made to do a culturally appropriative Native American drag look. Really, you guys? In 2017? On a queer-run TV show?
Some might have been relieved that Michelle didn't walk the runway in the standard white girl at Coachella Native American headdress, but her actual choice may have been worse: and bow and arrow on her head. What might have been a clever choice for someone of actual native descent just comes off as mockery, reducing real Native Americans to tired stereotypes.
What was worse than Michelle's drag was RuPaul's joke that Michelle's Native American look had left the judges with "reservations. Reservations have a long history as a tool of white colonizers to segregate, control and oppress Native Americans, and no pun should belittle that.
\u201cHey @RuPaul (@RuPaulsDragRace) indigineity isn't a drag costume. Reservations aren't a joke, and appropriative SW Native culture isnt queer.\u201d
— st. pastiche (\ud835\udcec\ud835\udcea\ud835\udcf7\ud835\udcf8\ud835\udcf7\ud835\udcf2\ud835\udd03\ud835\udcee\ud835\udced) (@st. pastiche (\ud835\udcec\ud835\udcea\ud835\udcf7\ud835\udcf8\ud835\udcf7\ud835\udcf2\ud835\udd03\ud835\udcee\ud835\udced))
\u201c@moon__mist omf rupaul just said "your native american couture left the judges with....reservations" and i yelled NOOOOOO\u201d
And Ru, come on, did you really make Peppermint, a transgender woman who came out publicly on your show, lip sync to "Macho Man"? At no point in the filming of this episode did some intern who minored in Gender Studies say something? Not cute, Drag Race.