Well, this is odd. Just a few days before the Drag Stars at Sea Cruise is destined to set sail for eight days of glamour, entertainment, and fabulous fun in the sun, Carnival Cruise Lines has issued an “URGENT NOTICE” telling people some important information. One might think this would be an inclement weather notice or info on where to go for the safety demonstration, but as it turns out, the only danger Carnival is concerned about is the danger that drag queens pose to children.
Pandora Boxx (of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame) posted the missive to Facebook earlier today, to many cries of shock and indignation:
“Inappropriate conduct”? “Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise”? It sounds to me like Carnival wants to take the drag cruise’s money without offending the delicate sensibilities of the bible-thumping Middle Americans who are also on the ship, to which I say: nice try. Plus, the timing is mega shady. If they’d seen this letter before booking the cruise, how many LGBT folk would have given their money to Carnival?
But wait, according to Carnival, it’s not about discrimination, it’s about keeping terrorists from attacking the boat (via Al and Chuck Travel):
Carnival’s “no costumes rule” is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. As a gay business, we would not have organized this cruise if they were prejudiced against gay people. This rule goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers that travel on all Carnival cruises. It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests – NOT to marginalize a few.
Additionally, we know that transgendered members of our community will be aboard with us during this event. Please do not worry, Carnivals rule is not meant towards you. Your right to live your identity is always supported.
How are crew members going to tell transgendered people from drag queens? Do they just have to dress really drab, or what? And what about the Halloween cruises they have where people are encouraged to dress in costume? This sounds like a lot of bullshit to me, especially considering the way they framed it in coded homophobic terms like “family friendly.”
For her part, Pandora Boxx is encouraging people to defy the ship’s orders:
I was so excited to be a part of the Drag Stars at Sea Cruise and to meet so many of you in person and enjoy our time at sea together. It is so disheartening to myself and I know you too, to receive an email from Carnival Cruise Lines only a few days before that is, well, you can read it and decide for yourself. I, personally say let your freak flag fly. We should never be told how to dress, how to act and certainly ever be told not to be ourselves. Just know that we will still enjoy ourselves and party, even if it’s like 1920.
Methinks we have a glittery mutiny on our hands. Either that, or a class action law suit.
Photo: Pandora Boxx