RuPaul, Michelle Visage and fantastic Katie Hopkins

Michelle Visage and RuPaul think right wing bigot Katie Hopkins is the best thing since sliced bread. She thinks "migrants are like cockroaches". Nearly a thousand Africans - men, women and children - drowned in the Mediterranean last week trying to reach Europe. Why are our idols siding with the people who think they deserve all they get?

IN MY DAY job, which involves dealing with the great British public, I've been called a "fucking immigrant". And, of course, that's exactly what I am: three times over. I've been a "fucking immigrant" in Perth, in New York, and here in London.

I'm gay, too, but in a world where gay usually means white and native. White American gay. White British gay. White Australian gay. If you're born in the country you live in, you're always a rung up from the next guy. And if you're white, you're golden. If you're not white, but you're "born and bred here", you're still better off than the guy just off the boat.

I mention this because there's a disconnect between those who speak for us as LGBT people, and real life. The celebrity gay, the gay artist - regardless of their distant humble backgrounds - don't understand the struggles of ordinary civilians. Just look at Dolce & Gabbana. Italian politician Nichi Vendola said of the wealthy rag trade queens, "I think that from their lofty social rank they don’t really understand what it means to say to live in a country where homophobia kills and the deficit of rights weighs on a lot of lives." And straight ally Madonna has just feted infamous antigay bigot Margaret Thatcher. A well known playwright and director of my acquaintance thinks the solution to all our problems is to write a play about it. Who goes to see plays?

And then there's Michelle Visage, a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, who earlier this year entered the Celebrity Big Brother house to represent the LGBT community, despite being neither L, G or even B. And probably not T. In the house, she formed a mean girls gang with infamous rightwing loudmouth Katie Hopkins. Visage claimed that she was geared up to hate Hopkins before the show, but found she "liked" her once she got to know her. Presumably, she would have been best mates with Adolf Hitler - that great artist and dog lover - despite all the business with the Jews and the ovens. It's unclear if Visage challenged any of Hopkins' hateful bile, but what she did do (led by the nose by Hopkins) was bully the crazy gay guy (Perez Hilton). Nice.

I get why Visage would gravitate to Hopkins. Hopkins is, essentially, a drag queen, a grotesque who spews out vitriol, sort of like Bianca del Rio. And that's fun. I enjoyed hate-watching Hopkins on The Apprentice. But by the time of CBB, I knew what her game was. She had successfully positioned herself as a social commentator, with her appearances on This Morning, and her tabloid column in Rupert Murdoch's poisonous comic The Sun. By "liking" Hopkins, Visage is effectively lending credence to Hopkins opinions. Saying "I don't agree with her, but as a person, I like her" is allying herself to Hopkins. It's celebrity endorsement. Visage is in showbiz, she knows the score.

In this month's Attitude magazine, RuPaul Charles says Katie Hopkins is "fantastic". The "fantastic" Katie Hopkins has just wrote in The Sun, “These migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit ‘Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984’, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb,” and advocated using gunships on them. Just 48 hours later, some 900 hundred desperate migrants drowned in the Mediterranean. Babies, children, men and women, dead.

Both RuPaul and Michelle Visage should be ashamed of themselves. Having bent over backwards to praise Katie Hopkins, Visage - and RuPaul - should now denounce her. Unless they think it's okay to applaud desperate African migrants drowning at sea. 


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