WATCH: Vice follows San Antonio Black drag queen during protests – mySA

The December 2022 drag show protest outside the Aztec Theatre was met with an even larger counter protest that made the rounds on local and national media outlets, including MySA. But a new video from Vice shows the counter protest from the perspective of a local Black drag queen, The Queen Fantasia. 

On December 13, 2022, Texas Freedom Force called on people to protest a Christmas-themed drag show, making false claims from far right, anti-LGBTQ+ groups of sexualizing and grooming children. The FBI has designated the Texas Freedom Force as an extremist group and they had armed, like-minded individuals protesting the drag show

Vice’s Dexter Thomas Jr. took a look into Fantasia’s life and their “drag room,” with a wall lined with wigs and showing off Fantasia’s outfits, including a Jupiter outfit from Sailor Moon. But Fantasia was also calling on others to join the counter protest, and Vice follows them as they navigate the tense situation that also had armed counter protesters. 

San Antonio’s LBGTQ community organized a counter protest to the group ‘This Is Texas Freedom Force’, that planned an armed, protest of “A Drag Queen Christmas,” at the Aztec Theater.
San Antonio’s LBGTQ community organized a counter protest to the group ‘This Is Texas Freedom Force’, that planned an armed, protest of “A Drag Queen Christmas,” at the Aztec Theater.Jess Phelps

“We have to know how to get the word out —how to continue the momentum, because they’re not going to stop,” Fantasia says. “But we’re not going to stop either.”

Fantasia, at one point, holds up pads that go under five layers of tights.

“Girl, I’m not naked,” Fantasia says. “We are much more covered than most people think that we are. We are not out here just going to schools and bringing a pole and dancing around in a two-piece.”

At the time of the protest, one venue, Starlighter, cancelled all future drag shows after a far right “independent journalist” named Tayler Hansen, who posted video on Twitter of a Christmas drag event for all ages that claimed a child was left unattended at the show. That wasn’t true and the child’s mother was at the event.

Fantasia’s perspective offers a Black, POC queer perspective of the ongoing hateful, and as seen with the Club Q shooting in Colorado, dangerous rhetoric from the far right. Fantasia also has an honest conversation with Thomas, who is also Black, on the politics behind drag and how people tend to back Black voices when only they’re victimized, but not when they fight back against oppression. 

“I want to believe we’ve progressed a little bit further than that — that we don’t have to rely on someone getting hurt or someone getting killed or someone threatening us for people to listen,” Fantasia says.

Watch the full segment from Vice below (video contains mature language).

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