From Alaska with Love

Written by | Books, The Lens

Violence simmers in fear.

When we hear a strange noise in the shadows, we grab the nearest blunt object to protect ourselves. When we feel threatened, our muscles tense for a fight-or-flight confrontation. And when we just don’t understand something, we guard our brains against the offending stimuli with a hearty sheen of hate.

But familiarity breeds understanding. Take it from Alaska… take it hard!

In her new memoir, My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? the comedy kween gets serious. She reflects upon a gay bashing incident that left one of her friends incapacitated.

“I wish that I could time travel and go back and say, ‘Why don’t we go over and have a beer with these guys and show them who we are, up-close?’”

Snatching perspective from the clutches of hindsight, Alaska mines a silver lining from the storm cloud of bigotry.

“That’s why things like RuPaul’s Drag Race are so major and so important, because they calmly show you what this world of drag is, what the LGBTQ+ community is in an inviting way, and it educates people and lets them know what we’re about and that like you shouldn’t be scared or mortified, and that you shouldn’t call us names on the street.”

The gospel according to Alaska depicts prejudice as an embarrassing stain on society; it’s equal parts gauche and misguided.

“If you think about gender, it’s absurd,” she tells NBC News. “It’s ridiculous that we’re designated to wear certain types of cloth and fabric on our bodies, and if we wear the wrong ones, then we’re like ostracized or looked at funny or beat up or killed or put in jail depending on where you are and when you’re doing it.”

The writer/dancer/singer/provocateur has traversed a globe of opportunities, mapping a unique landscape of fame and misfortune.

And all roads lead to Alaska.

When asked about her stint on the most gag-worthy reality show on TV, Ms. Thunderf*** remains defiantly demure. “It’s better to not win… There was a huge amount of pressure externally and also on myself, and that made me kind of freak out, which then happened on TV. But I won — I won a shiny hat.”

Our caps are off to you, Alaska. Congrats and a half on the new book, and kudos galore on the new attitude!


Last modified: November 13, 2021