Tuesday, November 27, 2012
CARNIVAL CRUISES BANS DRAG FROM DRAG STARS AT SEA CRUISE
If fans of RuPaul's Drag Race were looking to hang out with some of their favorite queens, it looks like the only way you're going to have a kiki with your favorite kai kai's is by seeing them at a club tour stop near you. Word on the street is that there is some shade in the air on behalf of Carnival Cruises, who says that you can come on their ship and see some of your favorite drag superstars, but only in your boy regalia.
AL & CHUCK, who are sponsoring the event says that Carnival Cruise is a family cruiseline and that (in their ignorant minds) having a bunch of non-payroll boys in dresses and 80 pounds of make up will not only scare the kids (and have parents uncomfortably explaining to their kids what drag is) but that Drag Race functions are PRIVATE functions, and that only the performers are allowed to be in drag.
Here is a statement from AL & CHUCK:
Dear Valued Guests and Friends,
We hope that this brief note finds you well.
By now, we are sure that most of you traveling with us on the upcoming Drag Stars At Sea: Caribbean Adventure - Revenge of the Wench have received Carnival's letter regarding their regulations concerning costumes and masks (under which traditional "DRAG" falls under).
We are sympathetic to your sentiments that you have expressed via email and social media. As a gay man who has been partnered for 25 years, I have suffered many forms of discriminations because I am part of the GLBT community. But please take note, Carnival's regulation is NOT an example of discrimination. Carnival is an ally of the GLBT community. Please understand that this cruise could not even be happening on the GLORY if Carnival was not an ally of our segment of society. When they say they are a "family friendly" cruise line they mean it in both the traditional and metaphorical sense of the phrase.
Carnival's "no costumes rule" is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. As a gay business, we would not have organized this cruise if they were prejudiced against gay people. This rule goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers that travel on all Carnival cruises. It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests - NOT to marginalize a few.
Additionally, we know that transgendered members of our community will be aboard with us during this event. Please do not worry, Carnivals rule is not meant towards you. Your right to live your identity is always supported.
Finally, Drag Stars At Sea is a cruise venue for you to meet the stars of RuPaul's Drag Race UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Just as you would not go in costume (other than on Halloween) to a club to see them perform, neither should you on the GLORY. Again, our desire was always to bring this incredible talent together in one place for you to enjoy along with all the other benefits of the VALUE of a mixed guest cruise. We pointed out to you that a private charter (and they are excellent cruises) can be DOUBLE what you are paying for this experience. This is an opportunity for your favorite entertainers to shine for YOU! We will of course, still have our parties and events aboard (the rules of which are outlined in your travel package) for you to join in on the fun.
Ultimately, let's use this opportunity to set an example so that all the world can see that the GLBT community can follow rules and regulations just like everyone else. Finally, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, we have done our absolute best in creating this event. We have tried to communicate effectively and bring you the best possible experience, which we believe would not be available to you any other way. At the end of the cruise, I hope you will agree with my sentiment humbly expressed here.
Chuck and I look forward to meeting you on board....we promise you the best time of your lives!
Here's a letter from Pandora Boxx, who is clearly upset by the news:
“I was so excited to be a part of the Drag Stars at Sea Cruise and to meet so many of you in person and enjoy our time at sea together. It is so disheartening to myself and I know you too, to receive an email from Carnival Cruise Lines only a few days before that is, well, you can read it and decide for yourself. I, personally say let your freak flag fly. We should never be told how to dress, how to act and certainly ever be told not to be ourselves. Just know that we will still enjoy ourselves and party, even if it’s like 1920.”
It just goes to show that while we have come so far in LGBT exposure on TV and while RDR has made people more open minded when it comes to drag, we still have a long way to go with companies who are quick to drop the bullshit "family values" title whenever they need to justify their ignorance. So the drag queens can make their coins in drag, but if anyone wants to come dressed as Jujubee or Raven, they won't be allowed on the premises? I say people should take their outrage to sponsors AL & CHUCK and if they won't listen to you demand a refund and future promoters need to take their business elsewhere.
- 5 Deadly Venoms
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