Shea Coulée has something to say.
The “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” star recently joined in on an IG Live Town Hall with the Chicago Black Drag Council and she personally confronted fellow Chicago queen T Rex, real name Benjamin Bradshaw.
OUT reports that Coulée alleged that the fellow performer suggested that she play a slave during a black history month performance AND GET WHIPPED. by her white counterparts. Shea also accused T Rex of blacklisting her and her “drag children”, fellow performers who perform under the Maison Couleé house.
**EDIT*** Shea wants the focus of the convo to not reflect the “slave” suggestion, we’ve changed the headline to reflect on her comments about racism and bigotry in the Chicago drag community and community overall.
“I”m just going to directly address you [T Rex,]” Coulée said, going on to explain that they both started out in Chicago drag around the same time, reports OUT. As a result, the two worked together a lot before Drag Race. “At times when you felt as if I was being too bold, you used that and weaponized against me.”
“I also want to speak to a very specific experience I had with you,” Coulée continued. “We had already worked a show and were backstage with the staff — this was at Scarlet. I was the only person of color back there, it was you and Bryce and somebody else and you had made a joke — because at that time we would do cast numbers at the top of the show — that for Black History Month, it would be funny, as a number, as a cast, if we performed to Britney Spears’ ‘Slave for You’ with me dressed as a slave while the rest of you whipped me.
“Do you remember that?” Coulée asked.
“I — I do,” T Rex answered.
The current star/frontrunner of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race: All Stars” also spoke out on other acts of racism including her being paid less, not receiving space in dressing rooms, and being sabotaged. Roscoe’s Tavern, a popular bar in Chicago, has severed its relationship with T Rex as well as the city’s Berlin Nightclub.
T Rex has also apologized.
“I was not previously using my shows to amplify others’ voices,” wrote the entertainer. “I was instead iviting people to share the stage talking over them. I will be meeting the demands of the black Chciago drag communtiy as well as changing how the show operates from the ground up.”
Shea’s comments were part of a larger conversation about black drag performers being discriminated against. Other Drag Queens who’ve been outspoken about drag discrimination inlcude The Vixen, star of Ru Paul’s Drag Race season 10, Dida Ritz of Drag Race season 4 and Lucy Stoole.
The Queens recently took part in the Chicago Drag March for Change protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and She delivered a passionate message about the nighlife scene needing to employ black managers and making space for black-owned businesses while not reducing a black life to just talent, reports Pink News.
“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,” said Shea according to Pink News.
“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 need to make space. If y’all want to see it for us, pull up and open your purse.”
She ended with her signature “my name is” line;
“My name is Shea Coulée and I didn’t come to play; I came to dismantle white supremacy.”