Note: This story includes a trending hashtag that some may find offensive.
A week and change before Earth Day, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestants past and present have a message: Stop using so many damn plastic bottles.
Actually, their words are more direct: “F–k plastic bottles.”
Peppermint (season 9), Pearl (season 7) and Morgan McMichaels (season 2) are traveling around the city on Friday and Saturday to encourage New Yorkers to shout the environmentally minded mantra with them. Late Friday morning found the trio in Herald Square, trailed by two hot-pink mini-trucks stuffed with plastic bottles and emblazoned with sponsor Soda Stream.
“Drag queens are always the kind of spearhead of any movement, whether it’s for HIV rights, for cancer, women’s rights or trans rights. Drag queens are always at the forefront, asking people for help, making sure people know about the movements,” McMichaels said, leaning back in a chair to take a break from her black, thigh-high boots with 4-inch heels. Being on “Drag Race” has offered them an international platform to tell the world about issues, including the environment, she said.
McMichaels tests her microphone – “testing testing 1-2-3, testes testes, I have two” – before joining Pearl and Peppermint to mingle with the mix of tourists and workers that flood the area. Peppermint easily gets a “Drag Race” fan to shout the saucy, three-word directive into a camera.
“I just live for the ecosystem and the climate, so I was a shoo-in,” Pearl, who lives in Brooklyn, said before emitting her trademark, high-pitched staccato laugh. “We are here eliminating plastic bottle pollution.”
Catch the queens around the city through Saturday, following #fuckplasticbottles to help track them. On Friday, in addition to Herald Square, they also helped make Union Square and SoHo a bit more fierce.
Manhattan-based Peppermint, who has been performing for 20 years, is in the current “Drag Race” season, airing on VH1.