On Being a Drag Queen: HBO's Shangela, Bob And Eureka Tell-All
DATE: JUNE 19, 2020
PROGRAM: ALWAYS EVOLVING
GUEST: BOB THE DRAG QUEEN, SHANGELA LAQUIFA WADLEY, EUREKA O’HARA
HOST: MIKE BAYER
COACH MIKE BAYER: Welcome back to “Always Evolving'' with Coach Mike Bayer, in celebration of Pride Month, we’re having a Pride Week here on the podcast. We’re honored to welcome the cast of “HBO’s: We’re Here”. This show is off the charts, it’s an unscripted series starring renowned Drag Queens: Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, and Shangela Laquifa Wadley, to travel to small towns across America and encourage residents to participate in a one night only Drag Show. It’s not about gay or straight, or anything in between. It’s about self-acceptance and love. It’s heartwarming and hilarious. Welcome Queens.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN: At first, I thought you said your name was Mike Bear. I was like, work. Like a, like, like a, bear.
MIKE: Yeah, a lot of people get that confused ‘cause I’m 6’5, 280. I’m definitely not smooth uh, so it could be kind of fitting.
BOB: You’re like our own private little Eureka O’Hara, we have a 6’4 lovely queen in our team that we’re proud to parade around.
MIKE: So I wanna ask you guys and I’m gonna kind of ask you each, you know part of it is, this is Pride Week, Pride Month, and I see you guys as more than Drag Queens. I see you as entertainers overall, like bigger picture. The amount of things that you guys do to make people laugh, make people feel, have emotion, have a better day. What I wanna know from each of you is how did you find that strength inside of you to actually do what you do? So Shangela, why don’t you kick it off?
SHANGELA LAQUIFA WADLEY: Well honestly as entertainers and really as Drag Entertainers, you learn that you quickly, that you live outside the lines of the constructs that society always tries to fit us into. You know, men wear this, women wear this, you behave in this way, this is considered masculine, this is not and as a Drag Entertainer, you have to kind of shrug all of that off. Because you’re creating a character and a lot of times you create ,many different characters and you just get to live outside of those lines. I think that what helps to develop the type of confidence, ‘cause you’re not out there trying to win over anyone with your experience and you’re being. You have to build up this love for yourself because you walk into a room knowing that you’re gonna turn heads, that you may walk into a space where everyone is not going to agree with you and that you stand out. So when you learn to start filling your own gas tank up, with you know that love gasolina. Then you don’t really live wanting that love or desiring it, needing it to lift you to a place of acceptance. You accept yourself.
MIKE: What, what was that moment though, I have to imagine you had like—should I be doing this or was this something where you were like, I was born to do this? Like were you having doubt early in your career?
SHANGELA: Well for me specifically, I started as a baby. Well we all started as a baby, but I—my baby ah, years were really lived out on television. Ah I went to the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in the second season after doing drag for only five months. That was only ten times really because I was doing a show once every two weeks. So I’ve only done drag ten times, I really wasn’t doing even my own make up, so a lot of times I felt like I was playing catch up. A lot of times, but I always wanted to be an entertainer. I got my passion ah, lived out my best life on stage and when you got that kind of positive reinforcement from being on stage and you go, wow this is something I love to do and people are open to it but also I love it. That helped me I think that was the big moment for me that started really building up my own self confidence.
MIKE: How about you Eureka? Tell me how the heck you ended up making a decision to do what you do I mean, this is not—that you guys didn’t just make a decision to go do theater. You made a decision to do something where you knew you would have people discriminating, doubting, second-guessing, you like—
SHANGELA: But Mike, Mike, I hate to interrupt you but as a Drag—not just as a Drag Entertainer but as a gay person. You start—you live a life of knowing that a lot of times you’re gonna walk into spaces where you’re always accepted. So choosing to do a passion where you’re also in the space where you’re not always accepted but it does have a celebratory side to it. That to me wasn’t a huge leap, being an out loud and proud gay person, that was the experience that really solidified, okay, I’m on this journey, I’m gonna love me and I’m gonna keep it pushing no matter what. That’s where you get the original confidence.
MIKE: I got you now.
EUREKA O’HARA: Yeah I mean I agree, I think I started doing drag just because it was like, something fierce and fabulous and I was raised with um, I was the only um, cis male in a household of females. My mom was a single mom with two sisters and I remember growing up like always wanting to do the girl stuff and like play dolls and this and that and uh, dress up in secret you know? So whenever I found drag, I was like, oh this is something I really wanna try because it was like a way for me to express that femininity. That I was told like most of my life to push to the side or to hold back and you know, you need to be playing with monster trucks, not barbies. Uh and I, you know, I wanna dress up barbies. Go and make clothes for barbies so I was able to do that for myself, so that’s kind of how I started to get into it really.
MIKE: Did you have any doubt at first, like?
EUREKA: I was young and silly and excited. I didn’t really have doubt. I just wanted to to like show out, you know what I’m sayin’? I just wanted to like, get wild and get crunk and feel the earth, you know?
MIKE: Wow, how about for you Bob?
BOB: Well I guess I’ll try to answer all—now we’re in like seven questions now. I’ll go back to the beginning, I guess? Um, I ended up falling into drag, you know I wasn’t thinking to myself like I’m choosing a career that I know I’ll be marginalized. I just remember seeing drag and thinking to myself, I—that looks like fun and I really wanna do that. Um, and you know down the road when I first started in Drag, my career goals were really based on like, the local Drag scene. there weren’t a whole lot of international Drag Queens back when I started drag. There were the girls in “Drag Race” season one, and then there was “RuPaul” and then like a couple of other names like Barry Humphries who does “Dame Edna” and like I remember when Tyler Perry was doing “Madea” but it seem like something different than—it was Drag, but it was like not Drag Queen. I don’t know if Tyler Perry would call himself a Drag Queen. So my aspirations were kind of like, when I first started just—I wanted to work at some bars while I was you know, trying to be actor.
MIKE: I mean you guys have built a huge career where you’re on a huge show on “HBO” and essentially you guys are going into towns, where they maybe not the most accepting and uh, embracing of, you know, Drag and people being a lot different.
BOB: Well I think that’s a common misconception when it comes to these towns and I’m really proud of “We’re Here” because “We’re Here” does not paint these towns as like, look at these bumpkins who don’t know nothing about culture that has not, ’cause that’s not honesty, the overwhelming response when we get—there are some people there who don’t like what we’re doing, but baby I live in New York City. There are folks in this city who are not attempting and are appreciative of what it is that I do. We go into these towns; I was really overwhelmed and happy to see the positive turnout that we got to each and everyone of our shows. I’m telling you out of five shows we did they were all lines wrapped around the block. People coming in from neighboring towns coming to support the show and the community.
MIKE: Did that surprise you or did you feel like that is how it’s going to be?
BOB: I wasn’t surprise. Shangela?
SHANGELA: Both Bob and Eureka both know that I was surprised. Here’s the thing, though, like we all grew up in small towns. We all have that small town experience in our upbringings’. So we kind of understand that what it’s like to be in a space where there aren’t a lot of people that necessarily visibly support you, to live in a space where you see confederate flags flying around and know the differences in and the divides in racial groups and not having a lot of visible out loud and proud people. So taking that into these towns, these small conservative towns that we went to. I was thinking, okay, get ready ‘cause I remember we was setting up for a show one day and Bob said, okay make sure you leave space for them to come up and cheer up and uh, and standing room. And I was like, girl this is Gettysburg. There’s not about to be a standing room people like glamouring up to get up here, let’s hope we fill these chairs, okay? An d honestly, I was so surprised and that’s what’s unique about “We’re Here”. I think we unearth these different pockets of support in the most unlikely places and Gettysburg, Bob’s right. The line was wrapped around the building twice.
BOB: And shout out to everyone out there that’s doing these Drag Shows in these towns. This is what you need to remember if you’re not performing outside or on stage. Take this advice from Shangela, Eureka, and Bob the Drag Queen. Perform in a room with air conditioning. Yeah, Drag has a very short shelf life.
MIKE: I noticed watching the episodes as a life coach, I was like, all three of you are like coaches on the show. What surprised you about maybe a new ability that you had in really helping make these people feel better in their skin or be able to perform, were there any surprises?
BOB: I mean I can go real quick, I felt like a student, not a coach. I felt like I was receiving stuff. I mean, we, we’re not life coaches, we’re not therapists, we are just having human experience with other humans simultaneously. So what they’re giving us, we’re just receiving it from them and vice versa, it’s symbiotic.
SHANGELA: Right, it’s like you have friends. I’m sure you do too Mike, that you can call up and no, none of them are licensed therapists. None of them have huge amounts of work experience as a therapist but they can talk you through some stuff. We go in these towns and we’re able to connect with these people on a real level because we come in as open, honest, individuals that are just sharing what we learned from our personal experiences and conversations that we’ve had in the past and maybe how to bridge some uh, places where they feel they weren’t able to reach. And that’s what we do, we connect with them and then we also help them to produce a one night only Drag Show and we bring them on as our Drag Daughters, because we feel more like parents, sisters, brothers, friends. Not necessarily coaches and professional people.
EUREKA: Yeah and I think it’s actually just kind of fun because we’re really just giving advice on personal experiences of finding confidence and self-love. Honestly, most of the time like, Drag is just really based around finding a confidence in yourself that you get and either um, see there or just hasn’t come out in a while, but it’s in there in all of us, right? And that’s kind the power of Drag, as it like it gives you a chance to just feel fierce and like own the moment and so a lot of our coaching I guess or like our advice stems around like giving advice on how to be that confident person and just like, be nicer to yourself, you know? And like really own the moment and that’s what Drag does, it makes you feel fierce and confident.
MIKE: Yeah and you guys certainly do that, can—I probably should of asked you at the beginning can each of you. You know, I’ll start with you Shangela, describe your Drag Queen performer Shangela. How would you describe her when somebody sees her entertain?
SHANGELA: Well I might not describe too well ‘cause she may be running from some warrants, so let’s just see here, I’m kidding. I’m totally kidding, um in most states. No seriously, uh how would I describe Shangela? I would say, Shangela is a heightened sense of who I am as D.J. Honestly, um, I don’t change my voice in any way, there’s a lot more wake and make-up and glitter added. Uh, but honestly, I like to be on stage, someone who is fierce, who is fun, who is high energy, but those are the same attributes that I think you will find from me out of Drag, just in Drag, I’m a heightened sense of myself with the extra wigs and clothes and hair and the glamour of it.
MIKE: How about you Eureka?
EUREKA: Um, yeah, I mean Eureka is like, honestly, Eureka is where I found um, a way to feel sexy and love my body. I guess and love who I am just like an individual. Even outside of Drag and to me Eureka to is like a—it was a way for me to channel my extravert personality and be celebrated for being like animated and loud and over the top and also celebrate my extreme femininity. You know that’s why I do like high glam Drag and the most with costuming and stuff is like, I love being that kind of push the element of creativity, right? And it just, it makes me feel glamorous and expensive and I was raised where I didn’t really have a lot, you know what I’m saying? So like, Drag is my way of like, getting to be the fantasy, getting to live that like, rich high life that I always dreamed of, you know what I mean of being like the queens that I saw and loved, you know?
MIKE: How about you Bob the Drag Queen?
BOB: You know I don’t personally identify with the idea of like Bob the Drag Queen and called well being different entities, that never really sat well—like I don’t have a Drag character. Um, I don’t really do things different in Drag at all. I don’t have a different voice, I don’t have a different—I look at Bob the Drag Queen as one of my nicknames and my outfits are my uniform, my work clothes. Those are my work clothes. I go out there and do my thing and then I’m like, oh I put on my work clothes, let’s go, you know, turn a little circle here and there or tell my jokes here and there. Um, which is why my pronouns are he, she, him, hers. In and out of Drag, people in Drag call me he and it doesn’t really offend me, people out of Drag call me she and also it doesn’t offend me either because I really, I really don’t have a separation between like, Bob that lives over there and Caldwell lives over here, we all live in this apartment. I mean my Drag uniforms are all locked in one area because they tend to overrun the whole place, but yeah I don’t have a separate character.
MIKE: I think that too that’s what makes the art so beautiful is everyone can authentically express themselves in a way that makes most sense for themselves. Like sometimes it’s the same and some people it becomes a character, and for some people, they may change their voice and for some people it may not change their voice but you brought up, and I think there’s a lot of confusion at least in mainstream culture around him, her, they—can you guys educate? Shangela, do you kick this off? Or Bob do you wanna jump in?
BOB: I was happy too. If you go to—I don’t know if Shangela has it but I know Eureka and I have it, you can go to my “Twitter” or my “Instagram'' my pronouns are right there in the bio, it makes it so easy and the reason why I put my pronouns in the bio or in the signature of my email, is so it’s a way of, it’s like seeing a rainbow sticker in the outside of a door. You see a rainbow sticker on the outside of a door and you know for a fact, that in this space queer people are safe. And when you see someone who puts their pronouns in their emails, or in their bio then you know that this person understands gender identity on a level that’s not just binary.
MIKE: And, and so can you explain a little bit about gender identity? You know a lot of our listeners don’t know a lot about it.
BOB: Well a lot of people have a hard time separating gender identity, gender expression, sexual identity, so for example, you can be a cis gender male and then you, also your pronouns can be whatever they are so you can be, you can have a gender expression for example, ah, um, a great example is someone who um—there is a famous hair dresser who had a show on “BET” who’s name I cannot remember right now, but his gender expression is very female but he’s like, I’m a, I’m a man. I am a man, I just—my gender expression on the outside is just very feminine and that’s just how I am. It’s not me saying I’m a woman, and his pronouns are he. Um, and that’s a little bit of a difference between gender identity, gender expression, and pronouns.
MIKE: Eureka you wanna talk a little bit about gender pronouns and just give us—the reason I’m saying this is I’m thinking you’re in the LGBT culture it becomes very obvious, right? Like in everyone, it’s a part of the conversation where as in other cultures or at least that I speak to, they don’t understand and they’re like, why are they needing this and why is that happening and so I would love to give them an opportunity to learn why.
EUREKA: Yeah, I love that, I mean I, I consider myself gender nonconforming or neutral. I go by they and them pronouns ideally um, I—when I’m in Drag, I, I accept she pronouns, just ‘cause I like I am kind of portraying this female character um, but for me, it’s just gender has become like um, a much larger spectrum that I ever dreamed it to be, but I, I think what Bob was saying too and that I can piggyback on is that the gender expression is somedays I wear a hat backwards with a t-shirt and then other days I have like on a “Friends” shirt, way too much jewelry, like six earrings, seventeen necklaces, and like you know, eyeliner on, you know, or a full mug, honestly. And um, expression is different from your pronouns and how you identify and for me it was just it’s been quite a journey, honestly to figure out gender and I think it’s just when people ask me about gender I just try to um, remind them that again, it’s just about allowing people to live and express themselves how they want to, right? And I think that there’s just a lot of argumentation and confusion when really people could just have respect for how people try to identify, right? And it’s just as easily as simply asking, if you don’t know, the best question is how do you identify? Or what pronouns do you use? Just ask someone. You know, most of the time, no one is going to be offended by that and if they are, maybe it’s a heavier conversation you can ask like why are you offended by it? You know, don’t be afraid to ask questions is what I think is what I try to like tell people.
BOB: Also bear the idea that gender is a construct is not far fetch, I’m gonna break it down to something really, really simple, Statue of Liberty. Just Statue of Liberty, everyone goes, she is Lady Liberty. It is not a lady, it is not a woman, it is a big chunk of copper, it’s pronouns are she, somehow we have given this big chunk of copper the pronouns she and everyone just agrees. She’s lady Liberty, she’s the Statue of Liberty, but we all know that she’s not a woman, she’s just metal from the earth. So that—it’s also really strange that people have a hard time identifying with people calling them the name they wanna be called but it’s only when it’s around gender because it seems like an attack on their own gender. I find it interesting that some people don’t wanna call Kaitlyn Jenner, Kaitlyn Jenner, but then would call uh, Dr. Dre a doctor. We all know Dr. Dre is not a doctor, everyone knows Dr. Dre has not gotten a, ah you know maybe he has an honorary PhD at this point, but we all know Dr. Dre is not a doctor, but the social construct is, we’re all gonna call you Dr. Dre, we, we—you all, you won’t call Kaitlyn Jenner, Kaitlyn Jenner, but you will call Waka Flocka Flame, Waka Flocka Flame.
MIKE: Waka Flocka Flame.
BOB: He’s a rapper based out of Clayton County, my hometown.
MIKE: Shangela how about you, you ah, kind of the feelings or impressions around gender identity, labeling?
SHANGELA: Well I’ll say, I think my friends here have really summed it up really well in giving people a lot to think about. Me, personally, I feel the most important thing is being interested in treating people in a humane way where we respect them, and it’s respect the way they wish to be identified. You know as—the interesting piece of it is everyone is gonna mess it up at some point, okay? We’re all not perfect but the interest in wanting to get it right because we respect each other as a human race and that we don’t want to consistently be divided and finding ways to divide us when so many outside forces are already trying to divide us as a, as a community. The most interesting thing and I think the most important is that we’re all interested in making sure that people feel heard, that they feel visible, valid, and respected and that’s why I think it’s important like Eureka said, to ask people, hey how do these girls want to be identified? As you’ll see I call these girls, girls, guys, and ya’ll, but if it—I don’t ever want to be offensive to anyone. And in our show, “We’re Here” in Farmington, I remember I worked with Nicole who was a very out loud and proud lesbian uh, female. However she was misgendered a lot because she was male presenting, you know, she liked to wear men’s clothes. She was an attorney, she would go to court in a suit and she would tell me how it made her feel when the judge would say you know, sir your next. But she didn’t always get as upset as someone would misgendered her on accident in the drive thru, oops I’m so sorry or even in a grocery store looking at her ID. It was more that people were apologetic or you just knew that they didn’t do it intentionally. I think the intentional misgendering, the intentional discrimination against people who want to be identified as something outside of what the social gender construct is, there in lies the problem. So we really just have to be interested in treating people equally, fairly, and respectfully.
MIKE: Thank you all for answering that. That—I mean it’s so helpful for me too.
BOB: With that in mind, Mike what are your pronouns Coach Mike Bayer?
BOB: There it is, there it is. I was just talking to Angelica Ross and she—her pronouns are Ms. Ross, she goes, I’ll take she and her, but my pronouns are Ms. Ross. That’s when I said, all right Ms. Ross.
BOB: Thank you so much.
MIKE: I’ve been to uh, well three marches now protest of “Black Lives Matter” um, also have next week Trevon Martin’s mom uh, on the podcast. I’ve had Bernard Kinsey who, who him after the L.A. Riots, donated money, like I’m trying to do anything I can as a white man and, and to me it’s just overall like trying to raise awareness to things and I went to a march on West Hollywood uh, yesterday. I think you were there too Eureka, it wasn’t a “Black Lives”—well it was a “Black Lives Matter” but it was “All Black Lives Matter” and being that both you Bob and Shangela are black, does that mean anything more or less, I’ll start off with you Bob.
BOB: So you’re asking, the question, does it—mean, what does it mean to have “All Black Lives Matter”?
MIKE: It’s more just trying to get your thoughts on, is that an important message that also should be?
BOB: Well you don’t have to go any further. Yes, yes it is very important. Black lives can’t matter until all black lives matter. So if you don’t include black trans lives, black queer lives, black nonbinary lives, it’s called “Black Lives Matter” not some black lives matter. All members of the black community, our lives all matter.
MIKE: What I’m saying is it became “All Black Lives Matter” it’s almost like a separate group.
BOB: I mean all black lives matter is probably people who are insinuating and trying to make sure everyone know that there are queer people, trans people, in the black community, so it’s probably a big part of what is going on in there as an inclusive way of saying, “Black Lives Matter”, because there are sometimes where in the “Black Lives Matter” community um, queer people get left on the way side, especially our trans family.
MIKE: You know what’s interesting too is I’ve never been to a march or protest, ever. Like I’m like a hermit, I’m very hard to even follow people. I’ve marched to my own beat, but since what’s gone on, like that was the first time I’ve gone on a march for three miles. I was like, I need to show up for other people. I need to be present and it’s, it’s a beautiful thing and, and it’s just so important right now. Uh, I’m a change questions over to you Shangela, what do you think needs to happen so that this becomes more embedded in culture?
SHANGELA: Yes, well I’ll tell you this, I’m right now, I’m quarantining at my grandmother’s house in Paris, Texas. I live in Los Angeles. So it’s been kind of bittersweet for me because I also want to be physically out there with my brothers and sisters safely ah, protesting and being part of the activism. We’re in a very pivitol time, I think right now in our society, you know with the murder of George Floyd, so many—the world was outraged, right? And you see that with different marches and it started us to have these important conversations around the facts of injustice and oppression and systematic racism against black people and black communities in America, okay? So we all started marching and protesting, and then I think specifically the conversation started coming up about the inclusivity in our black communities and we understand that in every community but specifically in the black community, as well, there is this divide uh, you know sometimes it’s based on religion, sometimes it’s based on a lot of different reasons. But where—
MIKE: Yeah, to, to that point when you talk about the divide and you say in this community there is a divide where do you see that divide typically happening in, in black communities?
SHANGELA: Well listen, I’m not the most forefront person to speak on behalf of all black communities but I can tell you from my personal experience and this is not just specific to the black community, okay? Also in the queer community, we have different racial divides, we have divides between with the segments of LGBTQ, sometimes there is a line between all of those. The B’s party over here, the L’s party over here, the G’s and T’s you know and which the point of pride I think is definitely that we all need to be united as one community because when the world discriminates, when the country, when law makers discriminate against the LGBTQ community, that’s a whole. So there’s no point for us to divide each other up so back to what I was saying within regards to the black community, we all were standing up for “Black Lives Matter” which I’m still, I, I think Bob and I, and also Eureka have all stood up for “Black Lives Matter” very vocally and visibly. Uh, but also when “All Black Lives Matter '' comes into effect because we recognize that sometimes in the black community we go, “All Black Lives Matter”, but not for everyone and specifically we notice that with black Trans. Last night there was a video that was circling around “Instagram '', Bob you probably know the name, I don’t wanna mess it up.
BOB: Iyanna Dior.
SHANGELA: A young Trans lady named Iyanna Dior who was attacked in a convenient store and literally there were all these people around uh, mostly—
SHANGELA: Black people that let her get beat and attacked in this space and that’s when you started seeing more people say, hold up, ‘cause this is during the time we’re saying “Black Lives Matter”, but these are also the people that would support “Black Lives Matter”, but wouldn’t support black Trans lives. We can’t have that. That’s why you see the huge march saying “All Black Lives Matter”. It’s inclusive, it’s an inclusive message, yes, “Black Lives Matter” and we don’t want to distract from that in any way, but let’s make sure that we’re all including each other because here’s—I’ll wrap it up with this. I was watching today in “Instagram” video, in Chicago, they had a Drag March and a lot of people came out for “All Black Lives Matter” and they were having a number of Drag Queens speak on stage, at the end. And uh, the Vixen, who’s known from our show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” uh, was there speaking and she said, ‘the thing about it is, when I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, being black and being gay was very difficult for me. So I could not wait until me and my friends to go to the North Side of Chicago where Boystown was, which is the gay area in Chicago, and we were going to be accepted there. And I remember going there and standing inside—out in line, outside a club and being looked over all of us, because we looked different and we didn’t look like all the other white people in Boystown. We were black and we were all still gay, but yet they were letting the white people in and weren’t giving us the same respect, and acceptance. And then I realized, wow there’s divisiveness all over the place.’ That’s what we’re out here marching for, that’s what we’re speaking up for when we say “All Black Lives Matter”, is so that no specific group who all—we all live with that same discrimination. We all drive in fear of getting pulled over and we’re all taught to, you know, to understand what the different oppressive nature of police and police brutality are in the black community. So when we, and then you layer on top of that the fact that we’re gay, now we’re dealing with even more and then you talk about the trans community which was one of the most vulnerable communities in the black community. We have to protect them too. That’s why it’s important for all of us. Just like what you did, you showed up, that’s step one, step two we’re having these conversations where people are getting educated and more aware about the disparities of all the different communities and number three, we gotta find ways to support those to get out there and vote to make sure we elect people that when we have a supreme court case, when we have a president that’s rolling back you know, things that have been achieved and progress that we made. That we have a separate law system that we voted for, you know we don’t vote for supreme court, we vote for the president that chooses a supreme court, our voices can be heard. That’s what we can do.
BOB: And I’m gonna add a step forward, step forward is continuing the message in your day-to-day life, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that’s any, and this is for anyone, but this is specifically for black men who are straight and cis gendered. Do you hear that? Black men who are straight and cis gendered, if you don’t know what cis gendered mean, it means you identified with the uh, gender you were assigned at birth, so you were born a male and you call yourself a man. You need to stand up and say, “black trans lives matter.” If you see your friends making transphobic jokes, transphobic remarks, being nasty to trans people, as soon as you see it, as soon as you see it. You need to step in and say, “hey that’s not cool, you can’t do that in front of me. Do that around your homophobic friends who think is funny or your transphobic friends who think it’s funny, but you can’t do it around me. I’m a let you know right now, that’s not cool where I’m at.”
MIKE: And Eureka I, I noticed you’re posting a lot about and I’ve seen you out. We both ran into each other, why is this so important to you?
EUREKA: I mean honestly, my life has, has definitely benefited from black lives period, you know? So for me to not to stand up as like a privilege white person and someone who was born into privilege, would be honestly, redundant to what I try to represent as a person, as a Drag Queen and the acceptance and the quality that I preach and the self-love, um, it’s just something that I have to represent, you know what I’m saying? There’s not an option. You know, there’s only one side right in this fight and that “All Black Lives Matter” period.
MIKE: Yeah you know, I had someone—I had posted being at the, the march yesterday about uh, and I was posting statistics too. Like statistics of how long somebody is in jail, statistics of income, statistics just of drug charges and how much longer someone stays in prison who’s black compared to someone who’s white and someone put a comment on mine and said, unfollow and I was just like, bye. You don’t wanna look at the facts, but I feel like there’s an overall bigger energy of people I know it’s surrounded me, I know it’s surrounded a lot of my friends, where it’s about doing the right thing and you know I—Bob, you have something to say?
BOB: No, I’m just stretching, but I always have something to say—let me tell you know, I always have something to say. So if you call on me, I’m a start talking. It’s important, it’s important to point out I do like when they say racism affects all—racism affects all Americans. Racism affects every asset of America, every single person in America. There was just a research done that had been posted like the Economic Journal that showed racism has directly affected engineering and ingenuity within the United States of America. There was a research that showed that we had missed out on probably over 20 to 40,000 different inventions because when racism affects black communities and black people start producing less and less, and less. Even though black people are producing um, like innovations at the same rate as our white counterparts. When racism, when lynching’s go up, innovations in the black community goes down. When crime goes up, what were—when crimes against black people goes up, then innovation and progress in the black community goes down, which directly affects the rest of everyone else in America.
MIKE: Final question for the three of you, uh I want you know—because part I’m really excited for our audience to watch “We’re Here” and I know it got picked up for a second season, which by the way—
BOB: We got a second season? We got a—no one told me!
MIKE: To get picked up for a second season is a huge deal. I mean, I don’t know what the odds are, but the fact that what you guys have done has become so popular that you have a second season is just awesome, like it really is, because that is a rare thing, so for everyone listening uh, and I want you all each to say, for someone who tunes in to watch, “We’re Here”, what can they expect to experience? And Eureka, I’ll have you kick it off, and Shangela I’ll have you ended and Bob I’ll have you sandwiched in between the two of them.
EUREKA: Um, I will just say, you know the thing is, is like we already have a lot of heart and a lot of love in this show and our goal for the next season is just to add more glamour, more love, more power and strength to people who need it and hopefully give voices to those who also need it, you know?
BOB: What I love about “We’re Here” is like a lot of people see a reflection of themselves, our cast is so diverse. So diverse that when you see this show, there’s a, a pretty good chance you are going to see a reflection of yourself. This is why they say representation matters. Representation, when you see a reflection of yourself on TV, in books, in film, in radio, in podcasting and media, in any way. You get to see yourself succeed. I see black people succeeding, i see myself succeeding. When I see queer people succeeding, I see myself suceeding. I’m happy when good things happen for Eureka and Shangela, but that means good things are happening for me too.
SHANGELA: Well I think in the second season, you know what they say, the second time around is gonna be bigger, badder, and a lot more glitter. Halleloo! So we’re gonna push through and continue carrying on the vision of what the creators Johnnie Ingram and Steve Warren came to us originally with and continuing that amazing vision that we’ve been supported by “HBO”, we like the execs like Casey Bloys and Nina Rosenstien and then continuing that vision that audiences have really fallen in love with, that’s who we really owe the second season to. All the people who watch the show who were impacted about it, who felt driven to come to “Twitter” or “Instagram” to tell us how this show is really touching their lives and those people just like Bob said, the inclusivity of this show, we only got to share like 15 stories, really. This first season, there are millions out there that deserve to be told and highlighted, a vast of unique queer experiences in small towns so i know that all three of us are really about being part of that, and honey, get ready, tune in, it’s coming.
MIKE: Thank you queens, Eureka, Shangela, and Bob the Drag Queen for coming on “Always Evolving”, I hope everyone tunes in to “We’re Here”. Season one is available to stream on “HBO GO”, “HBO NOW”, and on “HBO via HBO MAX”, another partner’s platform. If you like today’s show please subscribe and download today, thanks and until next time.