“Valentina, why do you think your fans came for the girls so strongly?”
The queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 9 recently met up for a reunion episode and it was as juicy and dramatic as fans have come to expect. Shade was thrown, reads were delivered, and RuPaul asked a few of the queens some necessary and must-know questions. One of those questions was directed at Valentina, who was asked to explain the strong reactions from some of her fans who sent some of the contestants death threats and angry messages after her elimination. Valentina, who won the fan-based votes for “Miss Congeniality,” gave Latinos the kind of representation on RuPaul’s Drag Race that hasn’t really been seen before. She owned her culture and showed it off from her first runway look, inspired by East L.A.’s Mariachi Plaza, to her velador de La Virgen de Guadalupe that she prayed to throughout the show.
“My following is very underrepresented in the media,” Valentina said at the reunion about the strong, and sometimes hateful reactions her fans showed to the other contestants on the show. “I represent something similar to what Selena represented in the 90’s: Chicano, Mexican, first-generation, talented. So, they’re overprotective of that and they’ll fight anybody. I don’t agree with that kind of behavior because it’s not the kind of person I am. I don’t approve that and I hope you guys know that.”
Aja’s face quickly became the reaction seen ’round the world.
CREDIT: RuPaul’s Drag Race / VH1 / TVMUSIC / YouTube
Alexis Michelle had something to add to Valentina’s response, saying, “But you never told [your fans to stop attacking us]. I called you. I Facetimed you, in tears, because of people telling me I should go kill myself because I’m so ugly and so fat and I should have volunteered to eliminate myself over your elimination.”
Peppermint also chimed in, saying she understands that Valentina does not condone nor partake in that behavior but has a responsibility as a role model to shut that kind of attitude down.
Aja’s face also became the reaction GIF to just about anything.
I need 5000 gifs of Aja reacting to whatever anyone says on my desk tomorrow morning 9AM thank you
— B (@femalebridge) June 19, 2017
People immediately reacted to her comment about representing what Selena represented.
— Bea (@beablack_94) June 17, 2017
To be fair, she did say that she represents something similar to what Selena represented. She didn’t say she was Selena.
Valentina didn’t say she was as famous Selena but that didn’t stop some fans from trying to drag her over the comment.
I was on Valentina's side until she compared herself to Selena. Girl… pic.twitter.com/G6FLZh8HFb
— Maddy Trumble (@madtrum) June 17, 2017
But, the reaction from Latinos on social media was very different and more understanding of the comment.
valentina is the first latina queen im able to identify with and i will never expect anyone who isnt latinx to understand her selena comment
— robin graves (@ROBINxGRAVES) June 18, 2017
Others tried to help set the record straight.
I love how most people who are offended/mad about Valentina's Selena comparison are neither of color or Chicano/Latino
— spooky chicken (@BitchassChicken) June 19, 2017
Because, tbh, Valentina was always unapologetically Latina while on the “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” It did give our community some higher visibility on the show. For the first time, Latinxs saw themselves represented in the drag world like never before. Valentina rocked her accent unapologetically and gave her Mexican fans life with her culturally relevant fashion.
But that didn’t stop people from letting the world know what they think about Valentina’s Selena comment.
I literally still can't believe Valentina compared herself to Selena. pic.twitter.com/F0TJ2GjO72
— bonito☽ (@_moonprince) June 18, 2017
It legit seems like people are really bothered by the comment.
Valentina: I'm like Selena from the 90s. #DragRace
— Gary ? (@mrgaryhuang) June 17, 2017
So, we want to ask you…
BONUS: Here’s a video of Valentina performing “Si Una Vez,” because: Selena.