How De'Bronski's Powerful Performance Made 'We're Here' History

"He really blew the roof off the building," says Bob the Drag Queen.

Minor spoilers ahead for We're Here Season 3 Episodes 1 & 2.

When We're Here first premiered back in 2020, and the queens would sashay down Main Street of whatever Small Town, U.S.A. they happened to be in for that episode, the locals might recognize Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela, and Eureka from their time on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Now three seasons later We're Here is an Emmy-winning phenomenon in its own right, and when people see the drag trio stomping down their town streets they know their town is about to get "We're Hered."

But with drag lovers also come protestors, which seem to be more prevalent in the new season, which premiered Nov. 25 on HBO. In the first two episodes that have aired, Bob confronts protestors, and Shangela experiences first-hand how drag queen story hours have become political firestorms. And that's not even bringing up the queens' time in St. George, Utah, which made headlines past this summer, and viewers will witness in an upcoming episode.

The queens recently spoke with Logo about all things We're Here, including what has changed since that first day of filming in Gettysburg, all the way back in Season 1, if they feel like there are more protestors this time around, and how De'Bronski's powerful Dreamgirls performance in the "Jackson, Mississippi" episode made We're Here herstory.

Do you remember what it was like sashaying into Gettysburg all dragged up on that first day of filming back in Season 1? And how has that changed now, in Season 3? Do more people recognize you? Are you more confident? 

Bob: If you want to hear the technical aspects, back in Gettysburg, it was July.

Eureka: It was hot.

Bob: It was 1,000 degrees. We did it for two or three days. Us walking down... It was over two or three days, actually.

Eureka: We did the same, several days in a row, having to get repainted, remember?

Bob: Yes. We had a much smaller team back then.

Eureka: Much smaller team.

Bob: There was a lot going on.

Eureka: People kept bringing me ladders.

Bob: From a technical aspect, we've learned a lot. We are in our bag now, bitch. We have it down to a science. We know how to support each other. We have a really supportive team. And people used to be like, "Oh," because in Gettysburg, they had never even heard of We're Here. We hadn't even heard of We're Here! They're like, "Oh, Bob the Drag Queen from Drag Race." And now they're like, "We're Here's in town! It's We're Here! They're going to We're Here our town. They're going to We're Here us. We're going to get We're Hered."

In these first couple of episodes, it seems like there are more protestors than in previous seasons. Is that how you felt during filming?

Shangela: What you see in our show, because it is a real-life docuseries, is a reflection of what's happening in our country right now. And a lot of people, more so I think than ever, are feeling empowered to go out there with these negative views, and to protest or spew hate in a lot of these small, conservative communities. They just feel like they have the numbers, and they have the backing from what a lot of people in this country think right now, based on how they're voting or what's happened politically. So people are just out there, and these negative voices are very loud. But I think that is the motivating thing for us, more so now than ever, with this third season, to also be out there, and to also be loud, and to also help to amplify the voices and the experiences of our children in these towns.

Shangela, in the 'Granbury, Texas' episode, you're supposed to do the Drag Queen Story Hour, and you ended up having to move locations. When you were getting in the car afterward, it looked like it had affected you. What was happening in that moment?

Shangela: Well, at first I was shocked, because it was the Drag Queen Story Hour, and it was something that was innocent. And I'm an uncle outside of drag. I have three beautiful nieces and a nephew that I spend a lot of time with. And of course, they know about my drag. They've watched my videos on YouTube. They went to events with me. I love kids. So being able to have a story hour as Shangela, I thought, would be really cool.

And I remember arriving and they had shut it down. I think I was definitely shocked, and then I was disappointed. I was disappointed not only for the kids, that they were excited about something they weren't going to get to experience, but also I was disappointed in that town. I was disappointed in Texas. I was disappointed in the people that called in and said they were going to cause trouble at a children's story hour, that they would show up and make a scene and fight in front of children, because they didn't even know me, but hated what I represented so much.

And luckily, there was a lady in the town who also had a business that said, "No, I want my kids to experience this, and I'm going to open my space for you to do it." We were able to rise out of that. But it was very unsettling in that moment. And look, I'm Shangela. I don't show up to hurt nobody. I came in to read about a bat. And people who didn't know me at all, or probably don't know any drag queen at all, didn't want us to do that.

Bob, in the "Jackson, Mississippi" episode, you confronted those protestors. What was that like?

Bob: I'm a very combative, confrontational kind of person. I never shy away from confrontation. And I saw these guys, and I love a good debate, so I said, "I could probably convince them that they're being messy." And I walked over to talk, and as soon as I started engaging with them, I realized they were not actually interested in hearing anything. They just wanted to be heard, they just wanted to shout, and they wanted to hurt someone's feelings. And I was like, "Why am I going to give them the time of day?" Even if I had on 10 watches, I was not going to give them the time of day.

One of the protestors had a sign that read "Free Drag Queen Repellent Spray."

Shangela: Oh, that was a lady in Granbury, Texas. She was holding a sign and I kept asking her about it, and she goes, "It was a joke." I said, "Well, you know I'm a queen, right?" Because first, I'm like, "Hello, how you doing?" She's like, "Hi, how are you?" I said, "Oh, so you're the drag queen repellent?" She said, "Yes, I'm drag repellent." I said, "Well, you know I'm a drag queen?" People can be so against something until they meet a touchpoint of that particular community or someone that they know that is a part of that community or what they represent. It was interesting because she literally was like, "Well, I have a coworker who's gay." I said, "Well, what would your coworker feel about you being out here?" She was like, "I think he'd be supportive." I was like, "You might want to go ask him, baby."

Bob: Yeah, go ask Greg in accounting.

Greg Endries/HBO

And Bob, De'Bronski — your drag child in Jackson — his performance gave me chills...

Bob: It was really amazing. De'Bronski is the first drag kid in the history of our show to perform alone, which I was very, very proud of. I remember, they kept thinking of how it would fit into the number. I was like, "Maybe you won't need me." And then when I saw the rehearsal, I said, "Baby, you don't need nothing."

Shangela: Nothing!

Bob: "You don't need nothing, honey." And De'Bronski brought the house down. That was probably the loudest training week ever. It was insane.

Eureka: It was gorgeous to watch.

Bob: He really blew the roof off the building.

New episodes of We're Here air Fridays on HBO and are also available to stream on HBO Max.