IDAHO — Hell hath no fury like a drag queen scorned. This was indeed the case at the local gay bar, Rainbow’s End, as drag performer Bridget Spinner halted her wig-snatching lip sync of “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” Friday night to draw attention to the inaccessible stage.
“Everyone knows I use a wheelchair to get around, in and out of drag. I’m able to get into the bar just fine, but I can’t walk the runway if there’s no ramp. I made the owners aware of this as soon as I started, and yet the problem remains,” said Spinner.
Bar owner Chad Woolsey was taken aback by requests for a ramp. “I thought the wheelchair was part of the act. There’s no way someone with disabilities can do all that stuff in drag. Besides, the phrase is ‘sissy that walk’ and not ‘sissy that chair.’ Next thing you’ll be telling me is that those who are wheelchair-bound can be gay too.”
Disabled drag queens do exist. Ginny Lemon, Willow Pill and Yvie Oddly, all of them disabled, were contestants on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and there are others that don’t have the chance to be on television’s main drag show but have their own followings in smaller cities. Famed troupe Drag Syndrome made headlines in 2019 when one venue owner canceled the group’s appearance out of concern that the performers were being “exploited” for having Down syndrome.
Drag mother and mentor Kimmy Stimmy isn’t happy with the Rainbow’s End owner’s negligence. “Drag can be performed by anyone, regardless of gender or ability. It’s all about pushing boundaries, and the drag community as a whole still needs to work on including others in that.”
Spinner is optimistic despite this particular establishment’s backwards stance. “I’ve been asked to show up at some brunches. I’ve already asked if their locations are wheelchair accessible, and a friend confirmed that they aren’t. So I’ll just do live streams until they get their act together. After all, the show must go on.”
One patron who was at the performance where Spinner halted her show had this to say: “Do you know how I can get her number?”