Let’s Talk About Discrimination, Stupid People, And Your Right To Express Yourself

Carnival cruises is using discrimination against drag queens on the drag race cruise

Yeah . . . discrimination blows. | Source: Shutterstock

Some people think about discrimination as simply not allowing certain groups to have the same access to things or rights as another group–like, if someone said that people with red hair couldn’t ever have ice cream, I wouldn’t ever be allowed to have ice cream (sad panda!). But discrimination is really more than just that–because discriminating against a certain group is sending a message to them and to the world that those people aren’t as good or as worthy as other people. Discrimination makes people feel crappy about themselves, keeps people from reaching or sometimes even trying to reach their dreams, and can even lead people hurting themselves.

Simply put: Discrimination is not okay.

You’d think that people might understand that by now, but the news (and sadly, our day to day experiences) prove otherwise. I read a real doozy this morning on one of my favorite blogs. Apparently Carnival Cruise is hosting a Drag Race themed cruise, complete with performances from some of the top Drag Queens from the LOGO TV show. Sounds all kinds of awesome to me, and it also makes me think that Carnival is a modern company that supports everyone’s right to express themselves. Except that they aren’t and they don’t.

Here’s where it all gets so super weird it breaks my brain–Carnival did plan this drag-themed cruise, and sold tickets to drag-enthusiasts, but then sent a discriminatory email to people attending the cruise saying:

“Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason; we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere. It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise. Although we realize this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognize that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas.

Arrangements have been made for drag performances in the main theater featuring stars from LOGO TV. These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theater. Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.

We’re sorry to say that any guest who violates our policies and/or whose behavior affects the comfort and enjoyment of other guests, will be disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.”

What the what?! Carnival is a private company, and it’s their right to host or not host whatever events they want–but why would they even bother to host this drag event if they think dressing in drag is basically “inappropriate conduct” and that seeing a man dressing as a woman (or vice versa, maybe?) would affect the “comfort and enjoyment” of anyone?! Sure, some ultra conservative people might complain, but their ignorance and closed-mindedness is their problem. And honestly? If a little kid ran into someone as freaking gorgeous as Milan or any of the other fierce queens that might be on that boat, they’d probably think they were in the presence of intergalactic princesses–not freaks who should be discriminated against!

rupaul's show, Drag Race, helps fight stereotypes

Fans of Rupaul’s Drag Race are pissed about this! | APA/WENN.com

Now Carnival is back-tracking, saying this is absolutely not discrimination of the LGBT community, but that it’s because of 9/11 and terrorists. That’s why nobody is allowed to dress in costume on their ships! Because of terrorists, not discrimination! Again, I (and a lot of other people) call BS. First off, as far as any reports I’ve read, none of the 9/11 attackers were “in costume.” Secondly, what exactly constitutes a “costume”–is anything you’re not comfortable with me wearing suddenly deemed a “costume,” even if I’d wear it every day if given the chance? Who’s to say who can wear what and when? Finally, there are plenty of web pics and videos of vacationers all up in their Halloween costumes on Carnival Cruises. Their excuse is hollow, and just proves that there is no excuse for discrimination.

Saying that certain behavior (like dressing in drag, loving someone of your same gender, or expressing your individuality) is okay, but only behind closed doors, isn’t support–it’s suppression. Even though not everybody dresses in drag, it’s a major part of some people’s lives. Carnival has their panties in a knot over nothing, and they need to get over it quick before they lose a ton of business and respect. I know that the LGBT community is already standing strong against Carnival and the crazy discrimination that’s happening on what was supposed to be a wonderful cruise, but I hope that the rest of us will stand strong with them. Because discrimination toward anyone hurts us all and makes our world a way less fun place to live in.

What do you think about the way Carnival Cruises is acting? Do you think it would be any big deal to have people in drag on the boat? Have you ever faced discrimination? Tell me about it in the comments!

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  • Breezy

    I agree with Carnival. If my entire family went, I wouldn’t want my 7 year old bro to see that and think its ok. Its not ok for a 7 year old. If he wants to do that when hes legal then so be it. But hes a child and believe it or not, he needs to be sheltered from some things.
    But if that were the case,why we’d bring kids there just to complain about inappropriate behavior I don’t know. Leave the kids home if you dont want them to be exposed to that stuff, duh.