You've probably seen the joke before, about "men in heels, wigs, and tights", and the founding fathers, but now it has been repurposed for a campaign for RuPals drag race. Ahead of Independence Day, Uncommon London's campaign has taken over an iconic location in New York - Times Square.
The digital billboard reads: "The Declaration of Independence was written by men in wigs, heels & tights.
Drag is a first amendment right. This Independence Day, support your local LGBTQ+ charity."
The OOH activation is signed off by "Werq the World". The Werq the World tour is an ongoing tour featuring drag queens from RuPaul's Drag Race.
Currently, drag performers and the LGBTQ+ community are confronting various challenges throughout America. Several states in the US have already implemented or are considering implementing 'anti-drag bills' that prohibit drag performances in any public setting.
The idea here is obviously to juxtapose the founding fathers who declared independence and signed the constitution with "Freedom" in mind, with the bills that contradict this, basically clamping down on artistic and personal free expression protected by the First Amendment.
Recently the Tennessee bill. SB3, which restricted "adult cabaret performances" was deemed unconstitutional by federal judge Thomas Parker.
The law is both “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad” and encouraged “discriminatory enforcement,” judge Thomas Parker said.
As we all know, or at least I thought that everyone knew, high heels and wigs were not regarded as effeminate when they were the fashion for men, any more than togas were regarded as effeminate when Romans cribbed the style off the Etruscans. So men who were dressed as men - and not trying to impersonate women - signed the declaration of independence while wearing their fancy wigs, a very fashionable trend in colonial America in the 18th century.
Which is why, I suppose, I never thought this meme/joke was funny - but other people do - which is why it's been going around for years.
Happy Fourth 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/qBWmubXi1B
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) July 4, 2021
Drag Queen Story Hour at the Library will continue. If you have a problem with grown men putting on wigs, heels, makeup, and stockings, I have bad news for you about the founding fathers…
— Paul Deasy (@TheDeasyProject) July 14, 2021
I find it so amusing that the party that is so obsessed with the Founding Fathers, never took the time to learn that the men they worship wore wigs, makeup, nightgowns, tights and heels. Literally the OGs of drag. pic.twitter.com/1I8dbfwvER
— Irishrygirl (@irishrygirl) April 22, 2023
Aside from the joke being old, I'm wondering if anyone at Uncommon London ever heard of British judges and barristers? They don wigs, elaborate robes, silk stockings and buckled shoes.