Battling Racism in Drag

I’ve written here before about the racism in the gay community and this is one of the most egregious examples.  Shirley Q Liquor is one of the drag personas of Chuck Knipp, a white guy who performs in blackface.   The centerpiece of his act seems to be trading on the crassest stereotypes of black women.

The following is an excerpt from the Shirley Q. Liquor MySpace page, describing the character:

“How you derrin’! I’m Shirley Q. Liquor. I is from Texarkana and is mother of 19 chillrens. I love some brown bakeded beans, sermons on ignunce, K-Mark, and Shlitz malt liquor. I enjoys goin’ to get my nails did. I think I’m gonna get my nails painted blue with a lil’ gold jessie picture on my littlest nail. I also enjoys hangin’ out with my girl Watusi. Good lawd, she got’s some crazy ass drivin’s. Oh, and she so ugly. She 7″1′ and no amount of make up gonna help her. Oh lawd, she look AWFUL. Well honey, that’s it for now. Tell yo momma I axed her how she durrin’. Bye suga.”

In Shirley Q. Liquor’s repertoire are numbers with titles such as as “Church Slave,” “Who is My Baby Daddy?” and “Jailed.” Although Knipp defends his act as a parody of Tyler Perry’s Madea character, just saying that you’re mimicking black-created foolishness isn’t enough to absolve Knipp of the overtly racist content of his Shirley Q. character.  And, just because white, predominantly gay audiences pay for this crap is no excuse either (boys of Queer Eye – I’m *so* disappointed in you for getting your pic snapped with Shirley Q!).

If you object to Knipp’s Shirley Q. Liquor drag character, take a second and sign this online petition.