Monthly Archives: September 2021


For Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Canada’s Drag Race (CDR) should have been a dream come true. He was raised in a tiny town in Alberta and had no previous major television credits to his name. The 36-year-old actor and model — whose biggest credit was playing a manipulative reality TV producer on Lifetime’s UnREAL — was chosen to sit among its panel of judges. The openly gay and biracial Bowyer-Chapman already was familiar to CDR fans the world over having appeared a handful of times as a guest judge on VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. “There’s something about drag that I’ve always been so enamored by,” he said. “Drag is magic.”

But the dream quickly turned into a glittery nightmare. In a recent interview, Bowyer-Chapman discussed his exit from the program where he alleged racism from the CDR producers, as well as a toxic fanbase that prompted his abrupt exit from the program. Bowyer-Chapman had served as one of the permanent judges in the first season of the series, a spin-off of the popular American show, RPDR. He exited the job prior to Season 2 following a campaign of online blowback for his comments as a judge although he cited “scheduling conflicts” as the official reason for his departure. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bowyer-Chapman explained that American producers convinced him to accept the job as a judge on the Canadian show, but that the toxic work environment drove him to leave.

Upon arriving on the Canadian set, Bowyer-Chapman encountered a new group of local producers, and very different attitudes about his involvement. “I came into CDR with a false sense of security because I had built trust with the producers of the American show,” he said. “But this was a different set of producers. And I think they were trying to create something impactful and prove themselves along the way. There were many instances where I should have paid attention to my intuition and spoken up. And I didn’t.”

The problems began almost immediately when a “white, gay, male showrunner” pulled Bowyer-Chapman aside and told him just before he was to meet the queens for the first time that he was the “man-candy for the queens to drool over.” Apparently, all the judges had signed very ironclad contracts stating they would not fraternize with any of the contestants or the crew off-set. They were to have no personal relationships, dialogue, or contact with the queens whatsoever other than when they were filming. Bowyer-Chapman said in his introduction to the drag contestants, “the queens were flirting with me and being suggestive in some ways. My walls went up immediately. I realized there were different expectations being put on me that were not being placed on the rest of the cast, and nobody was going to protect me.”

The harassment from the showrunner continued, as Bowyer-Chapman’s boss explained he needed to play the role of the “sassy” judge on the panel. Bowyer-Chapman said, “Being told that from a white person, ever, as a Black person, it’s like a dog whistle. It’s like what is said of Black women and of Black queer men meaning you’re the hot-headed, opinionated one who’s going to tell it like it is and not give a shit about what anybody has to say. And that’s not who I am.” He also attributes that environment, at least in part, to a lack of Black talent behind the camera. “There really was no Black talent,” he said. “We’re walking onto a set of CDR day one, and the showrunner is telling me how diverse the crew was as he’s giving me a tour. And I didn’t see one Black person.”

In a departure from the US version of the show, the Canadian version outfitted judges with earpieces to get suggested snarky comments from producers. Judges also got a list of suggested negative criticisms from producers ahead of time, and were required to record them so editors could drop them into a show at will. The policy made Bowyer-Chapman uncomfortable as it forced both him and the other judges to constantly deliver negative criticism. “Even if we didn’t have anything negative to say, you had to come up with something negative.”  He said he realized the producers were portraying him as aggressively negative after the first episode. Tensions hit a new level several episodes into the season when Bowyer-Chapman had a terse exchange with the contestant, Jimbo. The moment, in which Bowyer-Chapman told Jimbo to “use time better, maybe,” became an instant meme, and prompted fans to create a petition to have Bowyer-Chapman fired from the show. The petition didn’t garner anywhere near its signature goal, but the moment started a campaign of online bullying that would follow Bowyer-Chapman the rest of the season. 

“My inbox was flooded with people telling me I was too mean. I didn’t know what I was talking about. Just a lot of blatant racism. Their public profiles read ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but their DMs were all about how my Black life didn’t matter. All of us were locked in our homes, riddled with anxiety … and then to be experiencing this hate and verbal violence and emotional assaults, this just blatant racism at the same time from my own community? It was really hard.” Bowyer-Chapman’s co-judges felt some of the backlash, too — but whereas judge, Brooke Lynn Hytes (who said of one contestant’s piñata-like outfit, “I should … beat you with a stick”) already had competed in a season of RPDR, and earned the right to critique, Bowyer-Chapman was viewed as an interloper with no expertise in the field. There also was the matter of race. “There was a lot I experienced that Brooke Lynn just couldn’t have, because Brooke Lynn is a white man.”  

Amid the harassment, RuPaul himself reached out to comfort Bowyer-Chapman. He also advised the then-judge to leave Twitter over the ongoing harassment. “We had conversations about his experience in this world and this industry as a Black, queer man. As a drag queen,” Bowyer-Chapman recalled. “All the hate and trolling and vitriol he’s experienced his entire life. And it’s really heartbreaking, but he’s experienced it for so many years and he’s so clear-headed about it. He has learned to not take it personally.” Still, when Season 2 of CDR rolled around, Bowyer-Chapman opted to leave to accept a role on another series though not before he “called a lot of attention to the bullshit that occurred behind the scenes and the stuff that happened online and their inaction.”

Crave, the network that airs CDR, released a statement regarding Bowyer-Chapman’s departure and the campaign of online bullying. “In light of the social media attacks and bullying that Jeffrey experienced during season one, we put measures in place to mitigate this for future seasons. This includes a dedicated social media consultant to work with Crave to continue monitoring conversations in real-time.” RuPaul declined to comment, but his relationship with Bowyer-Chapman remains good, and he already has taped an appearance on an upcoming season of RPDR. For Bowyer-Chapman, though, the lesson is clear: “That’s what happens when it’s only white, cisgender people behind the scenes making the decisions. That’s what happens.”

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What Is Faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

—Hebrews 11:1

The expression “just have faith, it will work out” is used by people to encourage and comfort someone facing serious problems or stressful situations. But just what is faith as described in the Bible, and does it really work? Elizabeth Gilbert, an American journalist and author best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, described faith as “Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.” 

Faith is the substance or assurance of things we hope for but have not yet received. Faith (confidence, belief, trust) is also our evidence of that which is not seen. Faith comes before a prayer is answered or before an individual has received what he or she has requested from God. If we have received what we asked for, then faith is not needed. An example of this definition is found in Matthew 9:27-30 where two blind men came to Jesus and asked Him to heal them. Jesus first asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” and their reply was, “Yes, Lord.” “Then He touched their eyes saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ And their eyes were opened.” Their faith and assurance that Jesus could give them sight was the substance or reality they hoped for. It also gave them the evidence or trust that they would receive what they asked for. They believed; that is, they had faith in advance that it would be done.

Another example from the Old Testament is that of Daniel’s three friends who refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold. Those who refused to bow to the image were threatened with being thrown into a fiery pit alive. In Daniel 3:17-18, the three young Jewish men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, told King Nebuchadnezzar: “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver usfrom your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” They did not know in advance how God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, whether at that time by saving their physical lives or later in the resurrection. Their faith or trust was the substance of what they hoped for, and it was the evidence of that which was not yet seen or received.

The apostle James, the half-brother of Jesus Christ, uses the example of Abraham, who had both faith and works because he believed God and he obeyed what God commanded him to do. In James 2:18-18, James said, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James gave an example of this in verses 21-22 saying, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” Real faith is more than just believing in God alone. It includes acting on that faith in one’s life by serving God and obeying His commandments. We cannot have faith if we don’t show our faith through our works and how we live. Living faith is accompanied by service and obedience to God and His laws. 

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Would this be a Jack and Cock instead of a Jack and Coke? 😂

Moment of Zen: Hot Shower

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The Waves

Yesterday, I replied to a comment by uvdp about my headaches in which I said, “I have moments when I only have a little pain, uvdp. Other times, it can be quite intense. Basically, the intensity come in waves, and on occasion, like when I woke up this morning, the wave is a tidal wave, other times it’s more like a tidal pool.” By the time I was able to write this post, my headache wasn’t a tidal wave, but the size of the wave would have made any surfer happy. Needless to say, I was not feeling very well as I wrote this. I went to bed shortly afterwards in hopes that I could fall asleep before it could get any worse.

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Homophobic “Trekkies” and Wilson Cruz

Wilson Cruz, who plays the gay doctor Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery and is openly gay himself, took to Twitter to bring attention to an incident that occurred during his appearance for Star Trek Day on September 8. Cruz voiced his frustration with a homophobic Star Trek fan that harassed him during a recent appearance.

In the tweet, Cruz wrote, “I wonder if this was the moment on stage when I heard a ‘fan’ on Star Trek Day refer to me with a homophobic slur,” Cruz wrote, captioning an image of himself smiling on stage. “Still smiling, though. You’ll never kill my joy.”

There are more Trekkies who are homophobic than you would think would be the case. They were outraged when on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine there was a kiss between two women (which was not a gay kiss—it’s complicated), and they have voiced their disdain over the LGBTQ+ characters on Star Trek: Discovery and the possibility of LGBTQ+ characters on Star Trek: Picard. During the early years of Enterprise there were constant rumors that one of the characters would come out as gay, but with the backlash from this homophobic group of fans, it never materialized. Only recently has the Star Trek universe begun to embrace LGBTQ+ characters, and it’s about time. 

The majority of fans are not homophobic, but the ones who are seem to be quite vocal. Cruz’s tweet sent Trek fans rushing to defend Cruz and slam event organizers for not doing more to curb the hate. Cruz then returned to Twitter to defend the event and calm his fans.

“Listen, y’all… I really don’t blame the event. I only heard it,” Cruz wrote.” Couldn’t point them out, so chose to ignore it. I DON’T blame the EVENT at all! That day wasn’t about them and it wasn’t about me. It was about Star Trek, it’s legacy, it’s ideals, it’s visionary creator…”

“I REALLY didn’t mean for this to blow up,” he continued. “It just means we have work to do. Let’s do it and move beyond this trivial moment. They’ve received enough attention, as it is. I’m grateful for ALL of your care. I forget sometimes how much this fandom can go to bat when it wants!”

Star Trek: Discovery has won wide praise for including the first explicit LGBTQ+ characters in the history of the long-running franchise. Alongside Cruz, actor Anthony Rapp plays Hugh Culber’s husband Paul Stamets, while actor Blu Del Barrio portrays the couple’s adoptive trans/nonbinary teen, Adria. Trans actor Ian Alexander also has a recurring role as Adria’s former love, Gray Tal. Also, openly gay comedian Tig Notaro plays Engineer Denise “Jett” Reno who in an early episode discussed the death of her wife.These homophobic Trekkies don’t understand the basic philosophy of Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, built Star Trek around the idea of differences and coming together despite them. When you compare the diversity of Star Trek: Discovery to Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek has come a long way, and I believe Roddenberry would be happy with the diversity presented in the franchise. On the bridge of the original USS Enterprise, there was a black woman, an Asian man, and a Russian during the height of the Cold War. Star Trek has come so far, yet there is still much work to be done. Progress has and is being made. No matter what century the show takes place in, we are seeing a true normalization of diversity.

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