‘We’re Here’ Queens Aren’t Backing Down in Season 3: “It’s Important That We Don’t Hide”

‘We’re Here’ Queens Aren’t Backing Down in Season 3: “It’s Important That We Don’t Hide”

We’re Right here is essentially the most related actuality present on tv. Really — it’s exhausting to think about one other actuality present or docuseries that has risen to fulfill such unimaginable odds each single season. What began out as a touring makeover/drag present — which all the time had a wholesome dose of interior transformation and inspiration constructed into the premise, together with with intentions of giving small city queer communities the arrogance to say “we’re right here” — has survived a presidential election and a pandemic. And thru all of these trials, the present’s grown stronger and stronger — probably packing in seasons’ price of evolution in simply two comparatively transient bursts of episodes. The present’s costuming and make-up groups have gained Emmys for his or her heightened eleganza, and the tales the present chooses to inform by every metropolis’s drag children and queer neighborhood have grow to be extra deliberate, more and more impactful, and finally celebratory. And now we’ve got Season 3, a season filmed underneath essentially the most outwardly hostile circumstances but.

Premiering on Friday, November 25, We’re Right here Season 3 arrives at a harmful time for the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Filmed within the spring and summer season of 2022, the sequence discovered itself on the middle of just about each drag and/or LGBTQ+ controversy that you simply bear in mind rolling your eyes at. The zealots, protestors, Fb bullies, and all of the Karens are out in full pressure in Season 3, which makes We’re Right here Season 3 really feel like each a drag docu-series and a form of historic doc preserving the depth of 2022’s summer season of hate. However by all of it, drag prevails; Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela, and Eureka prevail; the drag children prevail — as a result of they need to. There isn’t a different choice. We’re Right here is finally a present about pleasure, not hate.

Forward of Season 3’s premiere on HBO, we obtained the chance to speak at size with the sequence’ lead trio in entrance of the digital camera — and government producers behind the digital camera — Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka, and Shangela. When you’ve got misplaced any religion, learn what these drag performers are preaching.

Decider: We’re Right here Season 3 — did you be taught one thing from Seasons 1 and a couple of that you simply introduced into this expertise?

Bob the Drag Queen: Nothing. [Everyone laughs] As a result of every season was so totally different — I do know it’s three years again to again, however annually was pre-presidential election, throughout a presidential election, publish presidential election; pre-pandemic, in the course of the pandemic, as we reemerged [from the pandemic]. Annually has been so totally different and, for me personally, nothing may put together me for [Season 3] though I’ve achieved it two occasions already.

Shangela: I feel that Bob’s proper, that our world has utterly modified all through filming the present. It’s a real-life docuseries, so our present displays what’s occurring in our nation, in plenty of totally different locations. One factor that helped to make the present higher and smoother and extra impactful was how we proceed to evolve as drag entertainers, as producers on the present behind the scenes, and the extra that we had been capable of join with individuals, so this third season goes to be greater, higher, and much more necessary than it ever has been earlier than.

Greg Endries/HBO

Manufacturing on Season 3 started in spring of this yr, which is when conservative lawmakers started to essentially come after drag queens. Figuring out that you simply’d be filming in doubtlessly hostile locations amidst this heightened pressure, did that change the way you ready for the season?

Bob the Drag Queen: We’ve all been in drag for a minute and we’ve seen the political local weather round drag shift so many occasions. I’ve by no means been scared to do drag. I’ve all the time felt liberated doing drag, if something, and I really feel liberated when I’m seen. I understand how it feels to see somebody who seems such as you or who represents one thing that you simply really feel is deep within you and like, “Oh my god, that’s me. I see a bit bit myself in that.”

Eureka: I’ve in all probability been extra afraid exterior of drag in my life greater than I’ve ever been afraid in drag. There’s something about drag that all the time gave me a sure form of confidence. But additionally, once I’m in drag I encompass myself with individuals which are coexisting and like-minded, so I even have a assist system once I’m in drag. I’ve by no means put myself in a scenario in drag the place I’ve felt in peril, however it’s once I’m not in drag, once I’m making an attempt to be my genuine self and looking for an identification exterior of [drag] that I obtained nervous every now and then. There have been moments [in Season 3] that had been actually nerve-racking for me, however I had the assist of my sisters, which was actually cool. That’s the factor: whether or not you’re in drag or not, when you’ve individuals there that assist you, that will get up for you no matter what’s going to occur, then you’ve a security internet. And I feel that’s what We’re Right here tries to create once we go into these cities. We’re making an attempt to attach some individuals collectively, some like-minded individuals, and create a protected house.

Greg Endries/HBO

The manufacturing met with protestors and a city council in Utah tried to close down the efficiency completely. While you encounter that opposition, particularly protestors, how do you inform the distinction between an individual you may have interaction in dialog with and an individual you must simply stroll previous?

Bob the Drag Queen: I really feel like I had essentially the most interplay with protesters for some purpose. I appeal to this power, and one of many occasions we’d really stopped filming and I used to be like, “I’m gonna go get some ice cream.” And I began strolling and these individuals began shouting me down. They had been calling me, like, “You’re an abomination” — which I’ve heard. I’ve heard that speaking level and it’s not unique. So I mentioned, “Oh, I’m gonna go discuss to them.” Once I obtained to them, the rhetoric they had been spewing was so vile, and I mentioned, “Oh these individuals don’t need to discuss. They don’t need to really hear something. They only need to be heard.” That’s once I say, “It’s not going to work.”

Season 3 additionally addresses the drag queen story hour controversy. How did it really feel being on the middle of these occasions, Shangela? 

Shangela: I’m an uncle. I’ve three stunning nieces and a nephew that I like a lot. I’m an out loud and proud uncle, and I’ve additionally been in drag in entrance of my little ones. I’ve taken them to New York to attend an occasion and crimson carpet they usually’re with Shangela. It’s necessary that we don’t cover, or really feel that we have to cover elements of ourselves from kids so long as you’re capable of have a dialog with them. And that drag queen story hour [controversy] actually did get blown out of proportion. It’s part of some drag entertainers’ world, however it’s not part of each drag entertainer’s world. And drag queen story hour just isn’t the most important factor that is part of the drag neighborhood. However conservatives like to put worry into individuals by making an attempt to say that individuals that they oppose, particularly drag queens on this occasion, are out for youngsters — as a result of everybody needs to guard the youngsters, proper? So in the event you say the drag queens out for the youngsters, which means you’re going to impress individuals in opposition to drag queens. And loads of occasions, this isn’t the bulk’s mind-set, however it’s undoubtedly the louder individuals’s mind-set, and typically whenever you simply hear these loud voices, you don’t know that another opinion exists. It’s necessary to see that not everybody in these small, conservative locations feels only one approach, particularly in opposition to our neighborhood. And that’s what our present actually is about: we go and assist to unearth a neighborhood of assist in among the impossible locations.

Greg Endries/HBO

You all kind particular bonds along with your drag children — and Eureka, this season you get to be there for some actually massive steps that your children take. Whether or not the second is an affirmation of their gender identification for the primary time or popping out, how do you obtain moments like that which are so intimate? 

Eureka: Each time individuals share one thing so susceptible with me, or gender expertise or sexuality expertise, it’s an honor to me as a result of I understand how exhausting it was for me to share these experiences with individuals. So at any time when I get that chance for somebody to share that with me, I take it very significantly and I hearken to them. I give them a channel to speak to me and I attempt to relate in a roundabout way. And as an alternative of making an attempt to present recommendation, I simply need to hear and allow them to know, “You’re not alone. I’ve been by it too, bitch! That’s what massive mama’s right here for.”

I may hold speaking concerning the horrible political local weather we’re in proper now, however I like that We’re Right here additionally highlights hope, these pockets of assist locally. What moments of hope did you see in Season 3?

Shangela: Oh, there are such a lot of. We do spotlight this seriousness of what’s occurring in our nation, particularly to the LGBTQ neighborhood, but in addition this present is inspirational. You get to see triumphs of individuals. I take into consideration considered one of my drag children, particularly in Florida; he’s a Pulse survivor and he was experiencing loads of PTSD and trauma about feeling protected in homosexual areas ever once more and being out in public. And with this expertise, in these 10 days that we had been there, you see this transformation of an individual. That’s stunning to expertise. You get to go on this journey with individuals, and other people watching the present additionally get to go on the identical journey.

Bob the Drag Queen: I used to be a theater child rising up and whenever you’re a theater child and also you need to do a present and this present is your solely solace on the planet, and then you definately get that pulled away they usually say you may’t carry out, you may’t do the present you’ve been making ready for. These children put all the pieces into it, and these children got here to hitch our present — they usually obtained advised once more, “We’re going to close this down. This isn’t going to occur.” Think about that occurred to you twice. You get like, “Wow, our personal city, these individuals hate us.” That’s what you begin to really feel in your coronary heart. However I’m fortunate that we had a terrific breakthrough, a terrific triumph for that second as effectively.

Shangela: In the event you cry, they are going to be tears of pleasure.

Eureka: I get hope in seeing the exhausting work that the those that we’re working with put in. Not simply our groups, however particularly the drag children. Each single drag child has taken the present significantly and what they’re doing significantly differently this season, to characterize one thing or somebody for the next function, which is de facto cool. I’m excited to see like how that interprets on TV and the way that spurs conversations for individuals.

Greg Endries/HBO

Viewers may also see earlier drag children within the audiences of among the Season 3 exhibits, kinda like We’re Right here Easter eggs. Is there a We’re Right here household and are these new children now inducted into that household?

Bob the Drag Queen: Sure. Among the children discuss on a regular basis.

Shangela: They work together with one another with out us, and it’s stunning to see that they’ve constructed this neighborhood of assist throughout the household of We’re Right here.

Eureka: I really was simply with Bruno, considered one of Shangela’s kids from the previous season, and we had been speaking a few group message that they hold occurring social media the place all the youngsters have a possibility to be there for one another, to assist one another, to present sources to one another, have questions concerning the expertise. And it’s actually cool to know that they’re all staying related in a roundabout way. It’s a little household unit, to be one of many few who’ve have had this expertise.

What do you all hope that viewers take away from We’re Right here this season? Are there any classes that they will carry with them of their every single day lives that will make this world a greater place? This query is a bit massive.

Bob the Drag Queen: I don’t have one reply, that everybody wants to remove that you would be able to be fabulous; everybody’s gonna take away that you would be able to be assured; everybody’s going to remove that try to be your self. Everybody’s going to get one thing totally different out of the present as a result of everybody’s watching it from a unique perspective. Even when it’s the same perspective, it’s a barely totally different perspective. There are some allies watching the present. There are maybe some haters watching this present. There’s a closeted trans woman someplace watching this present and I feel everybody’s gonna actually get one thing totally different. I do know it’s a pageant reply, however I feel everybody will get what they want.

Greg Endries/HBO

Eureka:  Understanding, for me, is like — whether or not it’s one thing you want personally, to even be understanding to those that have totally different experiences than you do, understanding is a broader time period to make use of. Whether or not you don’t perceive the homosexual neighborhood and you must be taught one thing, or whether or not you’re a part of the homosexual neighborhood and also you don’t perceive what another person’s model of popping out or their expertise was versus yours so that you need to attempt to police how they need to be experiencing it. Not everybody experiences it the identical approach, not everybody processes the identical approach.

Shangela: One factor I hope they want is the reminder that it’s so necessary to — in the event you can, in the event you really feel protected — to be seen. In loads of these areas, they don’t have a watering gap place to return collectively. Then they do begin to really feel remoted and alone and like, “My city hates me, nobody is right here who will assist me.” However when there’s a drag present, when there’s a We’re Right here expertise the place everybody can come collectively, we hear this a lot: “I didn’t know all these individuals would come out and see this and assist this.” “I knew her however I didn’t know you’d assist me.” I really feel like Coco, the film Coco: “Bear in mind me…”

We’re Right here Season 3 premieres on HBO on Friday, November 25 at 10 p.m. ET

About Muji Sakawari

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