This ‘Sh*n Y*n’ Parody Drag Queen Show Made Shen Yun Wig Out
An online drag show this weekend by the Asian-Pacific Islander drag troupe the Rice Rockettes was all set to close out the historic and first-ever Queer and Transgender Asian and Pacific Islander Week with a spectacular Star Wars-themed Asian drag show called ‘Sh*n Y*n Strikes Back!’ — A Digital Drag Show. But a cease-and-desist letter from Shen Yun themselves forced the show to change its name slightly.
“I got something from somebody who claims to be a lawyer representing Shen Yun,” says Rice Rockettes drag entertainer Estee Longah. “It was a very legal letter, and included was a copy of Shen Yun’s trademark. It looked legal enough, it looked legit enough, so I had to take it seriously. I don’t have the time, patience, or resources to go after that crazy cult money.”
The show is still on for 6:30 p.m. PT this Saturday, May 29, but Sh*n Y*n Strikes Back! — A Rice Rockettes Digital Drag Show had to put a few asterisks in the title.
“The funny thing is, this particular show really had nothing to do with Shen Yun,” Ms. Longah tells BrokeAssStuart.com. “None of us have been to Shen Yun. I certainly haven’t been to Shen Yun. Our only little knowledge of what it is was based on their heavy advertising. Most of the girls are doing Star Wars parodies.”
There will still be out-of-this-world entertainment Saturday night, courtesy the Rice Rockettes and a few special guests.
“The Rice Rockettes are one of the longest-running and probably the oldest all-Asian/Pacific Islander drag queen troupe and house in the city of San Francisco,” she tells us, noting they’ve been around more than 10 years. “When I started doing drag in way back in 2005, drag was still very hidden. There wasn’t RuPaul’s Drag Race yet, and on a community level there wasn’t that many Asian drag performers in the city. I could count them on one hand.
“Everything exploded after Drag Race. Now everyone’s a drag queen.”
Many of the Rice Rockettes will perform Saturday, along with visiting artists Hennessy Willians, Miss Shu Mai, and this Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month show will also highlight causes and organizations like Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) and the Stop Asian Hate charity stickers from KamanThings.
“With the rise of violent attacks on Asian people, it’s very hard as an Asian person to put words into that. There are people out there who don’t even believe there are racist attacks against Asian people, or that discrimination exists,” Longah says. “Being that this month is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I wanted to do something that spoke to that.”
“This sort of fit. It’s like ‘Sh*n Y*n Strikes Back.’ It’s like ‘Asians fighting back’ kind of a thing,” she says. “I wanted to see if we could use our platform to highlight certain causes or organizations that are serving the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.”