Pride month looks a little different in 2020. Although the delightfully over-the-top, rainbow-filled parades and block parties have to wait until next year, the celebrations, the love, and the activism continue in their own ways — and so does the ~glam~. For Elite Daily, the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 5 revealed their virtual Pride outfits and spoke to the importance of Pride, especially in 2020. Not only is the cast pulling out every stop with their colorful, extra 'fits, but they're continuing to use their platforms to showcase the rich, powerful history of drag and activism within the LGBTQ+ community.
From full neon ensembles to rainbow-ruffled capes, each queen's Pride 2020 outfit carries with it a special meaning. Shea Couleé, who first appeared on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9, tells me her Pride-at-home outfit is symbolic of what she thinks the world needs most right now. "What I decided to do was to dissect the rainbow and to represent a color that I felt was really important for what was going on in the world," she says. "So I picked the color orange, and I did a head-to-toe, monochromatic look in orange, because orange represents healing. I think now, more than ever, as a community — just as people, as humans — we really need to focus on healing."
For Miz Cracker, who originally appeared on Season 10, her bright pink leather jacket is a tribute to those who've supported her through her most difficult times. "As a queer person, my entire life, whether it was finding friends as a closeted queer kid or having people to come out to, it was women who were there for me," she says. "And it was women, like Marsha P. Johnson, who made Pride possible. I just wanted to wear an outfit that's celebrated [women as a part of Pride]."
Couleé, too, is using this Pride to remember the women who've gotten her to where she is today — both Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman and drag queen at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ liberation movement who called for an end to police brutality, and her own mother, "an amazing, amazing black woman." "My mom is somebody who really champions being a good person and putting good out into the world. She is one of those people who is constantly telling me I need to listen — that's really important — but I also need to use my platform to speak out," she says. "I [speak out] for my mom ... I do it for all the other black women out in the world. I do it for all the queer femmes out there in the world."
Though many know Pride season for rainbow paraphernalia at every turn and an excuse to party, the entire Drag Race cast makes it clear that Pride every year, but especially in 2020, is a vital reminder to support our most in-need communities — which includes the supporting the Black community, especially the Black trans community. "Fundamentally, [the LGBTQ+ community's] rights have been built on the backs of trans women of color, and we need to acknowledge that. We need to understand that we, as a community, are only as great as our most vulnerable members," says Couleé. "And we know who those are — those are trans women of color. They are being discriminated against and killed at an alarming rate in comparison to other people in the LGBTQ+ community."
It's everyone's responsibility — not just that of the LGBTQ+ community — to speak up on behalf of Black people, trans people, and Black trans people. And despite the humor, glamor, and occasional drama that comes along with Drag Race, that responsibility is certainly not lost on this season's cast. "Drag is activism. And as [fans watch] All Stars 5, it's not escapism. It's not just a frivolous laugh," says Miz Cracker. "The girls on this cast are going to talk about issues that are important right now. They're going to directly address it. So, it's important to watch, listen, and amplify the Black voices on this show, in this cast, and think of it as something integral to protest, not a distraction."
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 5 is airing now on Fridays on VH1. To see how the entire cast is celebrating Pride this year, watch the video above.
This article was originally published on