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Drag Queens Increase Security in Wake of Club Q Attack

Jinkx Monsoon and Alaska Thunderfuck
Jinkx Monsoon (L) and Alaska Thunderfuck

"We're trying to smile and make people happy for the holidays, and in the back of our heads we're thinking, I hope I don't get shot," Jinkx Monsoon said recently.

Some of the world's most famous drag queens, including RuPaul's Drag Race alums, have increased their security in the wake of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.

"We're trying to smile and make people happy for the holidays, and in the back of our heads we're thinking, I hope I don't get shot," Jinkx Monsoon told NBC News.

Monsoon, who won Drag Race season 5 and Drag Race All Stars season 7, had already been taking precautions given that drag performances have been attacked by right-wing groups. But after the November 19 shooting, in which five people were killed and more than 20 injured, she hired armed guards. Monsoon is preparing for her Broadway debut in the musical Chicago.

Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, winner of Drag Race All Stars season 2, told NBC that since Club Q, she and her team have planned escape routes from her tour venues. "It's mortifying that we even have to think about these things for something as joyous and celebratory as a drag show," she said. "Why do we have to be worried about where the exits are and where a safe route to get to safety is? It's terrifying, but that's the reality of it."

Attacks on drag performances have been driven partly by the accusation that when children are in the audience, as at drag queen story hours, the events are somehow sexualizing children and grooming them for abuse. "Because they can't call us 'faggots,' because we have enough support behind us, they call us 'groomers' and 'pedophiles' instead," Monsoon told NBC.

A recent GLAAD report found that 124 drag events in 47 states have been the target of protests and threats this year. "The analysis shows increasingly violent rhetoric and incidents as the year progressed, including the firebombing of a Tulsa donut shop that had hosted a drag event in October," GLAAD notes.

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