Rep. Jill Tokuda hails Native Hawaiian drag queen’s ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ win: ‘It gives us hope’

Rep. Jill Tokuda hails Native Hawaiian drag queen’s ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ win: ‘It gives us hope’Rep. Jill Tokuda hails Native Hawaiian drag queen’s ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ win: ‘It gives us hope’
@RepJillTokuda, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
Iris Jung
May 1, 2023
Hawaii Representative Jill Tokuda (D, HI-2) used her time on the House floor to congratulate drag queen Sasha Colby, the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 15, on Wednesday.
Noting Colby’s role in authentically representing the Hawaiian and LGBTQ+ community as a trans woman and the first Native Hawaiian queen to compete on the hit reality competition show, Tokuda declared that her first-place finish “gives us all hope” and was “well-deserved.”

I rise today to congratulate Hawai’i-born Sasha Kekauoha, more famously known as Sasha Colby, on being crowned the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 15. I am so proud that a fellow windward girl, hailing from the homesteads of Waimānalo, has earned the title of America’s next drag star. 

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Tokuda also noted Colby’s dedication to “[drawing] upon her ethnic heritage and childhood trauma as sources of inspiration” since the beginning of her presence on the show. 
“Throughout ‘Drag Race,’ she authentically represented her Hawaiian culture, talking about the legacy she is building for our home state and about being Māhū,” said Tokuda.
Māhū, which translates to “in the middle,” represents individuals of a third gender who take on spiritual and social roles in Native Hawaiian culture. 
Historically, Māhū were considered “extraordinary individuals of male and female spirit who brought their healing powers to O’ahu from Tahiti,” Tokuda shared. 

Amidst ongoing attacks on our LGBTQ+ rights that particularly target trans people and drag queens, her win is not only well-deserved, it gives us all hope. Congratulations to Sasha Colby. You are a leader, you are a proud Māhū, and every drag queen’s favorite drag queen. 

Tokuda’s congratulatory message took place nearly two weeks after Colby’s win on April 14. 
Colby, who currently lives in Los Angeles, was born in Waimānalo as the youngest of seven children and was raised as a conservative Jehovah’s Witness before coming out as a trans woman.
Colby, who won the prestigious annual drag queen pageant Miss Continental in 2012, told Hawaii News Now during the second week of filming for “Drag Race” that she was excited to “represent all the things I love about Hawaii.”
“I love taking that on and representing all the Hawaii queens I grew up loving and admiring. So I’m just so happy to be the one that gets to at least push the conversation further in trans rights, equal level playing field for everyone,” she said.
Representative Tokuda’s powerful message on the House floor regarding LGBTQ+ attacks also comes as Republican lawmakers — specifically in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia — are actively pursuing anti-drag bills.

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