'Here to free Palestine': Arab drag queen Halal Bae to appear on Canada's Drag Race season 3
A contestant of Egyptian and Palestinian origin set to take part in the newest season of Canada's Drag Race has said she hopes her appearance will prove that Muslims have a space in the drag community.
The lineup for the third season of Canada's Drag Race - a spin-off of the wildly successful RuPaul's Drag Race - was announced Wednesday, and features Halal Bae, who has made her politics known from the jump.
"I didn't come to slay, I came to free Palestine. That's right, your locally famous drag queen is on Canada's Drag Race season 3!", she tweeted in her announcement.
In the show, whose third season will hit screens on 14 July, drag queens must show their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to win a $100,000 grand prize.
Halal Bae currently has over 9,400 followers on Instagram, where she shares vivid looks that feature her signature moustache.
In her appearance on the show's cast introduction video, she said her name was inspired by her upbringing in a Muslim household where being queer and doing drag were considered haram - the Arabic word for forbidden.
She said she uses the word 'halal' in her drag name, which defines an acceptable action in Arabic, to combat the cultural stigmas of her LGBTQ+ identity.
"Halal is a way for me to reclaim my identity and make it something for me to be proud of", she said, urging that she's "here to break down barriers of gender, religion and culture and show that drag is for everyone."
Halal Bae said her wearing of a moustache while in drag creates a space to redefine socially agreed norms on the concept of femininity.
"Having a moustache just flips the script on how a woman should look, how they should behave and what it means to be a woman," she explained.
"My drag is very political, bringing up issues that matter to us a community, to show queer Muslims that there is a space for us here," she added.
Halal Bae is a known advocate for social issues, avidly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and consistently speaking out for Palestinian liberation.
"I'm bringing a couple of firsts on [Canada's] drag race: I'm the first moustache queen, I'm the first Muslim queen, I'm the first North African queen, Middle Eastern girl - so you got a lot", she giggled.
Halal Bae's pronouns are she/they.