Atlanta stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Tamisha Iman and LaLa Ri tell Georgia voters what’s at stake in the runoff election for U.S. Senate

January 4, 2021

With Georgia's Senate runoff election ending tomorrow, GLAAD recently spoke with Tamisha Iman and LaLa Ri, two contestants on the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race who are from Atlanta, Georgia. Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s Head of Talent, interviewed new cast members from the 13th season of the Emmy and GLAAD Media Award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race and asked Tamisha and LaLa why it is so important for LGBTQ people and allies in Georgia to vote in the runoff election for U.S. Senate tomorrow.

Polling places across Georgia are open tomorrow, January 5, from 7am to 7pm. If you are in line by 7pm, you are allowed to vote. Early voting in Georgia has ended, with media reporting that more than 3 million people cast early votes.

LaLa Ri:

“Our lives depend on it. Point blank. I made sure that I early voted and I recommend that everyone early vote if you can. There are plenty of facilities around the Georgia area for you to early vote right now. Our lives literally depend on it so go out and vote, honey. Vote if you can! Vote for your lives!”

Tamisha Iman:

“Just going through the last four years and seeing that everything...we always stand on other shoulders, where people have fought to actually obtain for us to be who we are today being stripped piece by piece, brick by brick.”

“It is important that everybody get out and vote to continue the fight for the LGBTQ community. And, not just that, I’m a Black person. As a Black drag queen, it is very important that our voices be heard as well. The thing that I love about Atlanta and the world - after George Floyd’s death we saw the unity that we knew that was always there but it formed right in front of our eyes so therefore it showed us that we are much more as one than we are as individuals. So to get the rights and to get back on the right path to making this country acceptable for all of us, we have to vote. Our voice is our vote. We have to get out there and continue to fight so everybody will experience equality. I’m an advocate in my city, I’m one of the pillars of the community and I’m always fighting for fairness and everybody’s rights. So it is very important. If you don’t vote, you don’t count.”

Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered January 1 and airs every Friday at 8pm ET/PT on VH1.

Last week, GLAAD and Georgia Equality also sent pre-recorded phone calls from queer actor Tommy Dorfman and LGBTQ ally and actress Kat Graham to LGBTQ voters and allies in Georgia. The messages reminded Georgia voters about the runoff election for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, January 5, as well as issues at stake for LGBTQ people. Actor and LGBTQ activist Tommy Dorfman is a native of Atlanta. Dorfman starred in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Freeform’s Love in the Time of Corona and also appeared in Hulu’s Love, Victor. Previously, they received GLAAD’s Rising Star Award at the GLAAD Gala Atlanta in 2017. Kat Graham, a resident of Georgia, is a longtime LGBTQ ally who stars in the current Netflix holiday film Operation Christmas Drop and films including Cut Throat City and Emperor. Graham has volunteered with GLAAD in Georgia and hosted several GLAAD events in the state.

In the message, Dorfman and Graham say:

“I’m working with GLAAD and Georgia Equality to make sure LGBTQ and ally voters make their voices heard in the runoff for the U.S. Senate. If you haven’t yet voted you can still do so Tuesday, January 5. Polls are open 7AM to 7PM. And if you’re in line by 7PM, you will be allowed to cast your vote. Just go to You can find your polling place and make a plan to vote. Equality is on the ballot. Don’t sit this one out.”

The calls direct voters to for ways to vote and to spread the word about what is at stake for LGBTQ people during this run-off election.

“According to exit polls, LGBTQ voters made up 7% of Georgia’s electorate in the general election,” said Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham. “Making sure these voters, along with our allies, vote in this runoff will send a strong message that pro-equality voters are a crucial voting bloc that can no longer be ignored.”

“Georgia’s LGBTQ community can make a real difference if they turn out for the Georgia senate runoff election, which will help determine many issues critical to the LGBTQ community including the Equality Act, as well as COVID-19 relief and healthcare in Georgia and around the country,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “It’s thanks to LGBTQ voters, our allies, and other diverse voters that a pro-equality candidate won the White House and will put an end to the Trump Administration’s persistent attacks on LGBTQ Americans and other marginalized communities. Now, Georgia voters are poised to determine control of the U.S. Senate.”

Earlier this month, GLAAD and Georgia Equality published the anti-LGBTQ records of Sens. Loeffler and Perdue to GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project, which documents anti-LGBTQ histories and actions from the Trump Administration and other public officials. Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossof have both voiced support for the Equality Act. Neither Loeffler nor Perdue has addressed the Equality Act. Loeffler, however, supports “religious liberty" legislation that allows private organizations the right to deny services to LGBTQ people.

Loeffler introduced a bill in her months in the Senate targeting transgender athletes to prevent them from competing consistent with their gender identity, which could force transgender students to undergo invasive screenings of their genitals. Her bill was supported by anti-LGBTQ groups such as American Principles Project, which created anti-trans and inaccurate election ads that were removed by Facebook in Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Virginia-based APP is quoted in Sen. Loeffler’s release announcing the bill. The anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council says Loeffler “deserves a medal” for her transphobic bill. Loeffler has close ties to the anti-LGBTQ organization Family Research Council and hired a FRC executive as her Deputy Chief of Staff. More information can be found here.

Sen. Perdue’s votes have earned him a 100% rating by anti-LGBTQ groups Family Research Council Action and Family Policy Alliance. Perdue also voted to confirm Judge Andrew Brasher to the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta, despite Brasher’s view that same-sex marriage is “harmful to children.” He currently has a 100% rating with both Family Research Council Action and Family Policy Alliance.

GLAAD’s post-election poll found 93% of LGBTQ respondents voted in the 2020 national election, with 25% of those voting for the first time. The top issues for LGBTQ voters who participated in the poll were: the COVID-19 response, healthcare, racial justice and LGBTQ equality.