Queens from across the international franchises of RuPaul’s Drag Race are spouting off after an Italian queen came for a fan favorite.
The drama began when Farida Kant, a runner-up on Season 1 of Drag Race Italia, posted a statement to her Instagram Story criticizing Lady Camden, the runner-up of Season 14 of the American Drag Race.
“This is Lady Camden, a drag queen famous on an international level with average dancing skills, background dancers, and a costume made by someone else,” Kant wrote above a video of Camden performing on Voss Events’ Werq the World tour. Her post was in Italian, but this English translation by X user @dragherjade has gone viral.
A new TikTok filter lets users do a blind ranking of contestants from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’. Naturally, the queens got in on the action.
It just feels like the last few iterations of the iconic challenge haven’t felt quite right.
“She’s traveling the world … earning millions,” Kant continued. “Us Italian queens get excluded from all of this even though our level is the same or even better. When you are born in the wrong place but you’re trying to change it. Maybe one day I will but I think I’ll have to start enjoying long rimming sessions.” (@dragherjade noted that idiomatically, those “long rimming sessions” would be the equivalent of “licking someone’s boots” in English.)
Under the unnecessary vitriol, Kant did have a point. The international versions of Drag Race don’t receive nearly the same attention as the American version despite the quality of drag on display being equal, if not even better. But as fans and fellow Drag Race queens quickly pointed out, coming for Camden in the process wasn’t a good look.
Camden’s Season 14 sisters including DeJa Skye, Jasmine Kennedie, and Kornbread Jeté didn’t hesitate to come for Kant. “You can say you’re not booked without tearing another girl down,” Kennedie wrote.
Meanwhile, Season 12 and All Stars 8 contestant Heidi N Closet offered some genuine advice Kant could take to heart: “If you want more opportunities reach out to promoters, be visible in your community, or just create your own opportunities,” she wrote. “Easier said then done but still possible.”
Across the board, though, queens recognized Kant’s frustrations. Other international queens, including Ivory Glaze and Pomara Fifth of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, were especially sympathetic to the difficulties of doing drag outside America.
“Honestly, the markets and opportunities aren’t just as ‘there’ as it is within the U.S. and U.K. (from what I’ve heard) so I can understand her frustrations,” Glaze shared.
Canada’s Drag Race host Brooke Lynn Hytes said there’s nothing wrong with being an average dancer — even though both she and Camden are professionally trained ballerinas.
Season 15’s Mistress Isabelle Brooks was excited to learn that Camden is apparently making “millions” on her tour.
And Kennedie saw the situation as the perfect chance to whip out her Camden merch.
Kant did take to X to respond to the controversy she’d stirred up, writing in English, “I’m sorry if I have offended anyone. I know I have misspoken and in the heat of the moment I went off the wrong way. I really didn’t mean to single out or throw shade at anyone.”
“It’s just that sometimes no matter how hard you try or the effort you put in and the connections you try to make, it feels like some opportunities are out of our reach regardless,” Kant continued. “Again, no shade to any queen, just my thoughts on this issue.”
Kant can say “no shade” all she likes, but shade was most definitely thrown. As Season 14’s Daya Betty put it, there’s only one way to settle this: a lip sync for their lives. We need Kant and Camden on an international all-stars season, stat!
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