This past weekend saw the fourth iteration of RuPaul’s DragCon L.A. take over Downtown Los Angeles with a full weekend of programming. More than 50,000 people passed through the L.A. Convention Center to take part in the panels, meet-and-greets, autograph signings and many vendors (and queens) selling their wares on the convention floor. The largest ever gathering of the world’s top drag queens went off without a hitch, despite the Tyra Sanchez DragCon threats which the Los Angeles Police Department was forced to respond to.
No one was injured at DragCon despite not one but two ominous threats issued by Tyra Sanchez, the Season 2 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But a recently leaked email exchange shows that the Los Angeles Police Department caught wind of the Tyra Sanchez DragCon threats and reached out to him about them. Sanchez (real name James Ross IV) denied his posts were threats and has called the whole thing “art.”
You may recall that Sanchez was initially banned from the convention in early April 2018 for threatening violence against fellow Drag Race alums Phi Phi O’Hara and Tatianna. About two weeks later, Sanchez issued an ominous warning specifically telling people not to attend DragCon on May 12, adding, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” and later issued a similar warning, stating, “I’d hate to say I told you so.”
After issuing the Tyra Sanchez DragCon threats, she then put a countdown timer on her website reading “B.O.O.M.” When it reached zero this past Saturday, Sanchez simply posted a meme proclaiming “Deez nuts Ha got em!”
At the time of publication, Sanchez has 88 Twitter followers. She has since put both her Twitter and Instagram accounts on private.
In the leaked email exchange between Sanchez and Theodore Carreras from the LAPD’s Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, Carreras asked Sanchez to call him regarding the warnings. In response, Sanchez told Carreras that he would file a lawsuit for harassment against Carreras and the LAPD if he continued to contact him regarding the posts.
Carreras then wrote, “Until I interview you telephonically, through email or in person, this case will remain open and you may be brought up on a criminal threat charge.”
Sanchez responds, “Sir, I have not threatened anyone. Do what you must.”
When Carreras said the posts looked like threats and had been interpreted as such by many people, Sanchez replied, “It’s art. It’s meant to be left up to the interpretation of the viewer. It’s not my fault how you or anyone else interprets my work. If you or other people don’t like my work, you guys don’t have to follow or engage with it. It’s that simple.”
Here are the leaked emails concerning the Tyra Sanchez DragCon threats:
Sanchez says in the emails the only reason people interpreted the posts as a threat is because “they’ve bullied me for 10 years straight and now they’re worried I’m going to seek revenge,” adding, “Understandably so. But again I didn’t threaten anyone.”
Sanchez continues, “I could’ve been warning them about the weather. Heard it’s supposed to rain that day. I could’ve been warning them about the racism involved with that event. From experience, I know how they treat people of color.”
Carreras thanked Sanchez for his response yet said he still wanted to know what exactly he was warning people about. Their e-mail exchange continued, but the successive e-mails haven’t been published.
In the week leading up to DragCon L.A., the LAPD revealed Sanchez wasn’t the subject of an investigation, but that the department would be beefing up DragCon’s security all the same.
Many DragCon L.A. attendees revealed that Sanchez’s threats became a joke during the weekend event.
alaska at the panel was like “every moment that we haven’t been blown up by tyra sanchez is a blessing”
— maddy (@mattelsdelrio) May 13, 2018
About to meet @VanessaVanjie and something fell in a nearby booth making a popping sounds and she yells "Tyra Sanchez!!" I'm fucking dead.
— Leanne✌ ?#teamkameron #teamcracker (@forjustminutes) May 12, 2018
Sanchez has since reset her website’s countdown timer to coincide with the occurrence of DragCon NYC.
tyra sanchez is now planning something for dragcon nyc apparently? pic.twitter.com/okZxwvmoB5
— millie|gcses (@milliepoole01) May 13, 2018
Over 350 exhibitors had booths at DragCon L.A. this year, and as a special addition to the convention floor, the actual “Werkroom” from RuPaul’s Drag Race — complete with the two-way mirrors where the queens put on their makeup — was setup and attendees were able to fully explore it.
“In this time of chaos and lies, for three days tens of thousands of big-hearted, super-creative and sensitive souls peacefully gathered to celebrate their truth at RuPaul’s DragCon,” says RuPaul. “Seeing all the young people and families and queens has filled my heart with gratitude and hope. The future is going to be fierce.”
What do you think of the Tyra Sanchez DragCon threats? Sound off in the comments.
Featured image by Movi Inc for World of Wonder