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You Better Vote: Drag Performers and Voter Mobilization in the 2020 Election

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2022

Edward F. Kammerer Jr.
Affiliation:
Idaho State University, USA
Melissa R. Michelson
Affiliation:
Menlo College, USA

Abstract

Drag has long been part of the LGBTQ rights movement. Drag performers play an important role as community leaders and political activists. Today, drag performers are also popular celebrities in the rest of society. This article explores the role of drag performers as community leaders and celebrities in the context of the 2020 presidential election. To understand this, we interviewed drag performers about their experiences using drag to mobilize voters. Research shows that Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts are more successful if they are led by volunteers and include trusted messengers while still being unexpected in some way. Drag performers are community leaders and volunteers and, when speaking about politics, deliver unexpected—and thus memorable—messages. The drag performers that we interviewed demonstrate the potential for drag artists to be effective GOTV messengers, in both the LGBTQ community and society more broadly.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association

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