Ocasio-Cortez to Drag Race Critics: ‘Go Back to Party City’

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has some words for right-wingers who are criticizing her for appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race: “They can go back to Party City.”

The New York Democrat was making a reference to Phi Phi O’Hara’s disparagement of contestant Sharon Needles on season 4 of Drag Race, with O’Hara telling Needles, “Go back to Party City where you belong.” Needles went on to have the last laugh, as her edgy drag allowed her to earn the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar.

Conservatives weren’t amused by Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance in the trailer for Drag Race’s next season, on which she will be a guest judge. In the trailer, the congresswoman announced, “I pledge allegiance to the drag!” She is a die-hard Drag Race fan who has made headlines for attended drag shows and has even quoted contestants on social media regarding political issues.

Media Matters for America, a watchdog group monitoring right-wing media, gathered a selection of tweets from right-wingers putting AOC down. Charlie Kirk, executive director of Turning Point USA, a far-right nonprofit, tweeted, “I wonder why she never claims to be proud to pledge allegiance to the Flag.” Podcaster Stephen Miller (not the White House aide of the same name), said, “I’m starting to think she doesn’t want to actually legislate and is only using a congressional seat to boost a celebrity profile.” Conspiracy theorist Mark Dice called her a “Degenerate Communist.”

“Anti-LGBTQ figures in right-wing media have tried to drag drag queens before, in particular by fearmongering about Drag Queen Story Hour events across the country, where volunteers read books to kids,” notes a post on Media Matters’ website. “The national program aims to help children ‘develop empathy, learn about gender diversity and difference, and tap into their own creativity.’” But some right-wingers claim the events “sexualize” children and “destroy their innocence.”

“Right-wing trolls have been obsessed with drag queens for years (so have I but for better reasons),” Brendan Suen, LGBTQ program director at Media Matters, said in a press release. “Their pathetic attempts to read Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for her patriotism aside, these attacks on AOC and drag queens are part of a malicious narrative that drag queens are indoctrinating children into a ‘dangerous’ and over-sexualized lifestyle. I, along with the rest of the civilized world, was gagged to see that AOC would be judging this season and can’t wait for these pundits to sashay away.”