Jinkx Monsoon, BenDeLaCreme, Yvie Oddly and Alaska are among the Drag Race alumni increasing security after the mass shooting in Colorado Springs.

The horrific incident, which took place at Club Q’s ‘Drag Divas’ night on 19 November, left five people dead and 17 others injured.

It sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ+ community, which has been facing increasing amounts of discriminatory rhetoric in the US this year.

Drag events in the country have been subjected to at least 124 incidents of anti-LGBTQ+ protests and threats in 2022 so far, according to a new report from GLAAD.

Now, in the wake of the recent shooting, some of the world’s top drag performers are beefing up security in order to stay safe.

“We’re trying to smile and make people happy for the holidays, and in the back of our heads we’re thinking, ‘I hope I don’t get shot,’” said Jinkx Monsoon, the two-time Drag Race winner who is currently touring their annual Holiday Show with BenDeLaCreme, in a statement to NBC News.

“Young people, people starting out, need to know that they are a proud part of tradition and lineage that is about visibility and aggressively being oneself despite all odds and despite what you’re being told,” DeLa added. “Don’t let any of this push you back into a closet or keep you from being fully who you are.”

In the immediate aftermath of what happened in Colorado, All Stars 2 victor Alaska sat down with staff to ensure that there were escape routes mapped out for each venue on her nationwide tour.

“It’s mortifying that we even have to think about these things for something as joyous and celebratory as a drag show,” she explained. “Why do we have to be worried about where the exits are and where a safe route to get to safety is? It’s terrifying, but that’s the reality of it.”

Yvie also shared that she had discussed security with her management, who had informed her and other drag performers they work with that extra security has been requested for their shows – including extra checks for guns.

“People need to look at us like they look at any other profession or art forms,” the Drag Race winner stated. “There are some things that are not going to be made for the youth, but that does not mean that all of us are out here, like people seem to think we are, trying to ‘convert’ or ‘groom’ or whatever.”

The Department of Homeland Security recently expressed concerns over the potential threats to the safety of LGBTQ+, Jewish and migrant communities in the US.

In a terrorism advisory bulletin, it explained that some extremists have been inspired by recent attacks, such as that of Colorado.