Drag queen celebs weigh in on Harry Styles ‘Vogue’ dress backlash: ‘Men should be allowed to be feminine’

Jacquie Cosgrove
·2 min read

Harry Styles made history this week as the first ever male to grace the cover of Vogue’s December issue — and he did so in a periwinkle floor-length gown.

While many celebrated the cover as a joyful expression of male femininity, outspoken conservatives such as Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro tweeted their contempt for the magazine’s cover choice, with Owens pleading, “Bring back manly men.”

But speaking on her virtual Yahoo series The X Change Rate this week, host and aqua-haired drag queen personality Monét X Change objected to such shade.

“I just don’t understand why they immediately jump to the feminization of men being a negative thing,” she said during one segment of the episode. “Men being feminine is not the problem, men should be allowed to be feminine.”

Her guests, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon, also weighed in on the backlash. “If you were well-versed in the world of fashion, then you would know that it used to be masculine to dress in forms that we would now refer to as feminine,” said Monsoon. “[Conservative straight people] don’t have any concept of how gender expression has evolved throughout the generations… to be where we are now, where men are confined to suits.”

BenDeLaCreme added, “The flip side of making the kind of progress that we’re making is that we have to listen to these idiots comment on it,” noting that displays like the December Vogue cover are, “ultimately, what’s going to get us towards where we need to go.”

Monsoon referenced an Instagram post from activist and author, Alok Menon, who pointed out the differences between how Styles was generally received and how trans women of color are treated in the world: “Am I happy to see Harry be celebrated for openly flouting gendered fashion norms? Yes. Do trans femmes of color receive praise for doing the same thing every day? No.”

“We as the queer community, are allowed to feel both ways about it,” says Monsoon. “We’re allowed to be happy that this is happening and that someone of such prominence is breaking down gender boundaries and binaries in such a big way, and we’re also allowed to feel disappointed that it’s not a trans femme queer person of color on the cover of Vogue, because [they] have been breaking down these boundaries and binaries for a lot longer than Harry Styles has.”

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