Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8, Bob the Drag Queen, will be taking the place of regular host and fellow Drag Race alumni Katya for the second half of the current season.
The Trixie and Katya Show airs on Viceland, with Bob the Drag Queen filling in from 28 Feb. The replacement stint follows Katya’s recent announcement of a hiatus from drag after revealing her struggles with mental health.
In a statement, fellow host Trixie declared: “For the second half of the season, we decided to get someone to make me look even more beautiful” with Bob adding: “I am so excited to be guesting on The Trixie & Katya Show. I’m neither Trixie or Katya, but it is Black History Month so.”
Katya, real-name Brian Joseph McCook, explained her decision for a break in a recent Instagram livestream, highlighting a need to focus on her mental health and “the need to take vacations, like a normal person.”
‘The Trixie and Katya Show’ recently switched from its YouTube series beginnings as UNHhhh to a Viceland original series with both hosts retaining their roles. Bob the Drag Queen will commence her temporary co-host duties for the remainder of the current season.
Revisit our rundown of the Ten Most Revolutionary Moments of UNHhh right here.
THE TRIXIE & KATYA SHOW - Introducing Bob - YouTube
With Valentine’s Day planning out of the way, the February cold will have us all snapping back to a reality of little to no glam. If you know you’re going to be dreading counting down the days to spring, 100 WARDOUR ST has got you covered, with its very own drag brunch experience. We’re promised fizz, wigs, eggs and legs at this new Sunday Soho favourite that will certainly add some glitter to your calendar. The upcoming edition brings together Coco Vadose, Marsha Mallow, Mercedez Bends and the inimitable Bunny Galore as your hosts in an afternoon of more crazy drag queen antics than you can shake your wig at. We’re hearing drag bingo, live DJs and more surprises to be unveiled on the day.
The menu announces a 3-course brunch with dishes like hasbrowns with nduja, eggs benedict, brioche French toast and more – all to be washed down with 2-hours of free flowing fizz, of course! Fabulous Brunch, Darling! is set on becoming the best drag brunch in London – and it’s up to you to assess that. Join the madness and party drag brunch style all the way til 5pm.
For more information and table reservations, go here.
Imagine the subtle genius of Irving Penn’s photographs, the simplicity behind his captures of character. Now project it into the aesthetic appetite of 2018 and you’ve got DRAGS, Gregory’s Kramer latest project. Channeling the timeless essence of Penn’s portraiture and giving it the drag queen treatment, Gregory Kramer embarks on a photographic interrogation of New York City’s drag scene. Through his black & white, studio-length prints he aims to immortalise the essence of each and every drag king and queen to grace his studio with an elegant precision that aligns his photo series to an aesthetic worthy of Classic Hollywood portraits, emblematic for future generations. Kramer’s vision, honed by a successful career in advertising photography, creates a portal into the spirit of each performer through his careful direction of pose, expression and gesture – to be paralleled with the absolute individuality generated by each drag artist authoring their own look.
To further puncture the project, Kramer gathered stories from five fixtures on the New York drag scene, allowing them to express what slipping into the skin of their alter-ego entails. You’ve got Linda Simpson rejoicing in the ever-expanding boundaries of gender expression in a meditation on the progression of drag and you’ve got Goldie Peacock calling for drag kings’ moment in the spotlight. You’ve got Charles Busch describing the fluidity of slipping in and out of drag and you’ve even got Sasha Velour’s musings on the magical qualities of drag as a space of reinvention and revolution. It is a classy, intimate project, that amplifies the voice of a community and celebrates it alike those stars, those models that contributed to fashioning it.
The scariest thing to do this Halloween would be missing these events… Sink the Pink: Nightmare Before Halloween
Where gender is no agenda and Halloween is Christmas, Sink the Pink are bending and blending their colourful, carnivalesque looks together at the London O2. Transgressing all aesthetics of given-identity, Sink the Pink have a simple formula of cabaret-meets-DIY-club night. So expect a night of 7-inch heels on brooms with the jock strap to match.
Sink the Pink: Nightmare Before Halloween will take flight at London O2 on October 21st. Tickets can be booked here.
MADbrunch: Mad as a Hatter & Twice as Twisted
‘Tis the Halloween season if you’ve been drinking since 12pm. The first in their series of MADbrunches, the Madison Hotel will be decked out into the playground of the deranged. Twisted contortionists and magicians will be hitting the floor as DJs Maya Jama and Richie Tune hit the decks. I mean, no boozy brunch package is complete without pumpkin risotto served in a witches’ hat.
MADbrunch: Mad as a Hatter & Twice as Twisted will be popping bottles from the rooftop of Madison Hotel on October 28th. Tickets can be booked here.
Phobophobia: Night Terrors
If you’re in the mood to voluntarily plunge yourself into the horrors of confined spaces, blood-drenched walls, and a weaving labyrinth, then Phobophobia: Night Terrors is for you. A maze of visual references to death, injury, and bodily torture, the screamfest is based in London Tombs; a place historically infamous for where hundreds of bodies were uncovered from the plague. Pomerade in your PJs and you get a not-so-scary £5 off.
PHOBOPHOBIA: Night Terrors runs from 21st-31st October, 6pm-10pm. Tickets can be booked here.
100 Wardour St presents…Burlesque with The Girly Show
What do Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, and Rita Ora all have in common? Sans from all being 43% of the gay male population’s phone wallpapers, they’re also the stars to have had The Girly Show feature in their glossy videos and sequinned tours. Lifting burlesque into powdered ebullience, it’s a good way to balance out the ghouls in the run-up to Halloween.
100 Wardour St presents…Burlesque with The Girly Show will be glowing up on October 24th. Tickets can be booked here.
Newburgh Quarter of Curiosity
The Newburgh Quarter of Curiosity is a sangam of spooky shindigs. Helping to hold your nerves steady after a makeup and prosthetics masterclass with the London College of Fashion is the potion cocktails session. Tapping into your inner (or well known during Friday night pres) mixologist, you can afterwards kit your home for the ghoulish days ahead with a pumpkin planters workshop. Don’t forget to swing by their Halloween Fright Night! on October 26th for live tarot readings and a monster-mash DJ.
Newburgh Quarter of Curiosity will be running October 17th-31st. You can enter the ballot for tickets here.
Drag Queen Halloween
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? If your answer to this are the drag queens Tiffaney Wells and Adora Dix, then make sure to score tickets to ultimate drag queen dining experience at the Ivy Soho Brasserie. All Hallows’ Eve has never been this glam.
Drag Queen Halloween will be setting the tables October 31st. Tickets can be booked here.
Head on down to the Hackney Showrooms, and you’ll discover something truly remarkable.
Passing through a black curtain to enter the performance space for their current production, Frau Welt, a sense of drama hangs in the air. An impressively imposing stage, adorned with dozens of bulbs – a slick design by Joanna Scotcher – adds to this effect and transports the audience to some bygone era, all before the action has even begun. This is no mean feat, what with the busy streets of Hackney bustling away just outside.
And then we meet the highly anticipated Frau herself. A siren of the Berlin stage who is blinded by the bright lights of Broadway and by her own cutthroat ambition, Frau Welt is a domineering and demonic Grand Dame of the theatre. And played by the Peter Clements, she is also a fierce drag superstar – though this is often forgotten, as we become swept away by her story.
It would actually be a disservice say that Frau Welt is played by Clements. Clearly a true master of his craft, he simply is Frau Welt. He inhabits her, and she consumes him. Clements gives a performance of such precision and finesse that every flick of the finger, every twitch of the jaw, every look and every word is executed perfectly. It is a great responsibility to carry a whole show on one’s shoulders, but with Clements we are in safe hands.
In fact, the same can be said of the entire production. Oliver Dawe’s direction is refined and nuanced, and strikes a highly effective balance between absurdist cabaret and truthful theatre. This would have been all but lost if it weren’t for the simply breathtaking use of sound and lighting. Owen Crouch’s soundscape flows flawlessly, while Joshua Pharo’s lighting design is honestly among the best I’ve seen in a production of this scale. The combination of the two, notably in the dramatic act one finale, proved extremely powerful.
Frau Welt is no walk in the park. Entertaining throughout, unsettling at times and the even downright gruesome at one point. Being a full-length two act play, a certain stamina is required of the audience (which is of course nothing compared to the incredible show of stamina displayed by Clements), and at times I found myself questioning the narrative journey. Indeed, at the interval I wasn’t entirely certain where we were going. I suspect however that this was the desired effect, because by the time we reached the harrowing and wholly satisfying conclusion, any concerns were well and truly put to rest.
I recommend you make every effort to go see Frau Welt. Not to would be an opportunity truly missed. And whether it’s thanks to the skill of the performance, the genius of the script or the warm welcome at the wonderful Hackney Showrooms, we guarantee you’re in for a fantastic night.
Frau Welt plays at the Hackney Showroom until 21 October, details here.
Earlier this June, The Glory had it’s first taste of Sodom & Begorrah, a night of unbridled Queer Irish revelry. HISKIND recently had the pleasure of speaking to Peter Fingleton (a.k.a Annie Pics) and XNTHONY, the wild party-planning duo behind the smash hit night about the night, their inspiration, and what partygoers can expect when Sodom & Begorrah returns this October.
Sodom and Begorrah | by Dan Govan (2017)
What was the drive behind starting Sodom and Begorrah?
Peter: We both just really like attention! Also we’d had a great experience last St. Patrick’s day when I had been doing drag at the Glory and XNTHONY had been doing his cabaret in the basement and the night was just an outrageous, messy blur culminating in a group crowd-surf to Sinead O’Connor ending up lipsyncing to Boyzone on the bar.. so we thought “Let’s do this again!”
Xnthony: I concur, and in many ways we could sense an opening where people were feeling out for something different, and escape from the Brexit Gloom and who better to provide some wild escapism but the bloody Irish!
Annie Pics | by Kate Bones (2017)
How did you choose the name?
We needed something that was equal parts queer and Irish. Begosh and begorrah is an old phrase that’s sort of an Irish cliche like ‘top o the mornin to ya’, and sodomy is one of our favourite things.
You host the night as your drag persona, Annie Pics, can you tell us a bit about her?
Peter: Annie’s been enjoying going back to her Irish roots of late, she’s always been a bit of messy party animal but she’s taking her new role as “the Voice of Ireland” on the East London drag scene very seriously so you’re now more like to find her immaculately coiffed in a towering red wig delivering a perfect Corrs lipsync than writhing on the floor in a jockstrap (sorry boys!)
Xnthony serenading the cabaret crowd
Xnthony: I’m also embracing my Irishness. My work has always been international in its focus but always referenced Ireland. In the next year I’m making a new show which merges Irish rural life with the queer dance floor so moments that happen in Sodom & Begorrah give me life and inspiration! Happily for me, while Annie Pics exists in a towering red wig with those over sized hands, you’ll probably find me in the corner wrestling with a helium canister and giving someone a rim job.
Annie Pics and a reveler | by Kate Bones (2017)
Queer culture and a traditional Irish upbringing don’t seem like the most natural matches, how does S&B combine and celebrate them both?
Peter: Whilst of course the night is about Irish culture and traditions in a broader sense it’s about embracing all peoples’ differences. At a time when immigrants are being vilified we’re proudly celebrating our immigrant status here and inviting people from all walks of life to do the same.
André | by Kate Bones (2017)
Xnthony: Agreed. We really wanted to open the doors to all backgrounds. We are attempting to use the frame of Irishness as a gateway to a wider community. We’ll even let protestants in!
What can attendees expect from ‘London’s first queer Irish party’ that they wouldn’t get anywhere else?
Peter: Sure there’s nothing like an Irish get together, whether it’s a wedding or a wake we always have the best craic! I think there’s also a really strong Irish community in London which turned out in force for our first night. There’s a particular kind of wild abandon that happens when you get a bunch of Irish together away from the home country, they know their mammies won’t find out what they get up to!!!
Annie Pics performing at Sodom & Begorrah
Who are your favourite queer Irish icons/inspirations
Peter: EH Panti Bliss obviously, Senator David Norris, Twink and Bosco.
Xnthony: Yes, Panti has always been a huge inspiration to me, to both of us. You may not believe this, but Annie Pics was also once a little girl. And she and I both grew up in very rural parts of Ireland. Panti had a similar upbringing, and I think that’s inspired us greatly.
Luke Neocamp| by Dan Govan (2017)
What’s the wildest/your favourite thing that happened at the first Sodom & Begorrah?
Peter: The incomparable Luke Neocamp’s popped over from New York to do some bananas Irish yodelling! He was a hit! That and learning how to do ceilidh dancing with a live trad band under the tutelage of the legendary Hugh Cooney.
Xnthony: I have to say crowd surfing during a disco version of Linda Martin rendition of ‘Why Me’. Don’t know the song? Look it up!
Luke Neocamp Performing at Sodom & Begorrah
Any tricks up your sleeves for the next one?
Up my sleeve, under my wig, you name it! We’ve got an array of fabulous performers for XNTHONY’s cabaret, Samhain/Halloween traditions, live music from Dublin’s own Rudi Douglas, sexy dancing leprechauns, an ever growing band of ginger drag vixens to entice and entertain you… Sure where would ya get it??
Xnthony: we’re always pushing the boat out and seeing who we can get on board and how we can push entertainment value. You’ll just have to get a ticket to guarantee a riotous night of fun and frolicking!
XNTHONY | by Kate Bones (2017)
When’s the next Sodom and Begorrah?
‘Sodom & Begorrah: Samhain’ is on Friday October 20th. There will be plenty of tickets on the door but we release a small amount in advance for cheaper available on Outsavvy.
You can purchase your tickets to ‘Sodom & Begorrah: Samhain’ here. Follow their Facebook page for updates and more information.
After making waves two years ago at Central Saint Martins, where she arranged a presentation for the students who weren’t selected for the official press show, LVMH Semi Finalist Dilara Findikoglu has never shied away from making statements. Whether on social media or with her designs, the young Turkish designer has become known for her fearlessness. Thankfully SS18 is no exception.
For this year’s LFW show, Findikoglu has decided to take us to church – quite literally. With Victorian Goth looks combined with satanic imagery and bright, shiny fabrics, her latest collection transports us to a dystopian universe where humanity is lost. Our more cynical readers may think we’re already at that point, but behind the vibrant colours and ghoulish make-up lies a clear political message. At it’s most basic level, it encourages us to disregard conventions and care less about other people’s opinions.
The designs mark a significant change from her showcase six months ago, but these are clearly concepts that Findikoglu has been pondering for a while. She told Vogue that she became fascinated with cults and “magic stuff” – which clearly shows in this collection.
Just when you think this show couldn’t get any more fabulous, drag superstar Violet Chachki strutted down the runway in a maleficent-inspired design with dramatic horns. With a sound-track of eighties music, it’s easy to see why Rihanna and FKA Twiggs are such fans of Findikoglu’s fearless work and artistic vision.
Take a peek at more looks from the hell-raising show below.
Introducing Evah Destruction, the Atlanta based drag performer making waves across an International fanbase. Widely dubbed as “non-Rupaul’s Drag Race fav”, Evah shot to internet stardom with her rendition of The Laughing Track (don’t worry, we’ve put in a link below so you don’t miss a second of this queen’s talent) and is a queen of not only femininity, but complete drag, clown gender fuckery. Chances are, if you’re British like us, you’re probably jealous you can’t pop on down to a club she’s at. We expect huge things from Miss Destruction over the coming years and had to sit down to get to know the queen some more. From being trapped on a dessert island with Trixie Mattel to her drag pet peeves, ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Evah Destruction.
So tell us a bit about who Evah Destruction is?
Evah is an insane multi faceted actress, she loves the drama, and the comedic elements that come with drag. She’s like that one chick who goes to audition for a musical and even showed up in the character’s costume because she wants that part so bad it hurts!
In the wonderful city of Atlanta, GA here in the USA or even online! I made sure to claim my Username on all social media platforms before I had to become EvahDestruction1237352 somewhere haha
And the name came from?
A friend of mine named me, it was a pretty quick process really. I was getting ready for my first performance, and she had thrown the name Eva Destruction at me. It stood out and I loved it! HOWEVER just to spice things up I decided to go against the grain and added that H at the end. I’m the Evah (pronounced Eee-vah) with an h
Your drag knows no boundaries. The term “clown queen” has been thrown around when it comes down to Rupaul alumni Bianca del Rio and Thorgy Thor, but you completely redefine that. Tell us a bit about your style of drag: what inspires your looks, performances and general aesthetic?
You know, it’s 2000-whatever now right? So drag has evolved so much. I had to step back and look at my surroundings to decide where I wanted to take my drag. Growing up in the drag scene in Atlanta you’re surrounded by glamour, and top 40 hits, and expectations. I think the first thing I wanted to do was break free from that perpetuation, not that it’s a bad thing, just wasn’t my thing.
“As far as the clown bit is concerned: it was the butterfly out of the cocoon moment for me. It taught me to do drag for myself and no one else.”
So I went from that point forward to not put myself into just one specific themed box. Plus with all the stuff that I do it always come with a new character to play. It literally takes me forever to decide what music I’m going to perform before every show, because that’s the process of thinking: well what is this person going to wear, what’s she going to do at this part of the song, or will the audience respond to that? It’s such a wild ride, but I do it because I love drag, and I love to entertain. This is was drag is for me.
I saw my first drag show when I turned 18, it was like a light switch went off in my head. I thought to myself, this is like theater, you could do this! So I went to more shows and it wasn’t until a year later January 24th 2011 that Evah was born. I went out and did a number for this talent contest going on at a local bar. From that point forward I was hooked.
You’ve got quite the international fanbase and widely regarded as the “non-Rupaul girl favourite”, what do you think it is about your drag that has people gagging?
You know, I’m not entirely quite sure. I put myself on the internet with my persona not expecting any of the response I’ve gotten! The laughing track performance definitely helped me out getting my name out there I think, but I didn’t wanna just rely on that alone. This business is so fast paced, and so is the audience’s interest, so you gotta keep up! I don’t enjoy talking about myself because I don’t see myself as that “GRAND” kind of person, but I just perform how I’ve always wanted to and I see if it works or not. You don’t get laughs on one number, well you just put it to the side for later see if you can fix it and try it again another day. When they live, and they want more then by gum I give them more!
I’ve watched a few of your performances online and I’m so impressed. Everything from your mix creation, characterisation and connection with the audience no doubt cements you as one of Atlanta’s best.
How sweet of you to say that thank you!
Evah Destruction - "That Laughing Track" - Starlight Cabaret Drag Queen Show - Atlanta Pride 2014 - YouTube
What are your drag pet peeves?
Lazy half assed drag queens who expect reward for putting in the littlest amount of effort in their performance or even their look. Oh and queens who don’t know their words to the song they’re performing.
What are your makeup must haves?
NYX cosmetic’s Big Fat Marker eyeliner pen. It’s the best eyeliner. It looks like your using a literal sharpie marker on you eye, and I love the way it goes on (and comes off afterwards). Also Jeffree Star’s velour liquid lipsticks. So good for a quick gorgeous lip to throw on, and they dry so quick so you don’t have to worry about getting lipstick in your shaggy hair like I used to HAH.
What’s been the highlight of your drag career so far?
Going to Dragcon!! Oh goodness, how crazy that was. Seeing all the people you usually see behind a TV or computer screen right in front of you! Also getting to meet a handful of my supporters and getting to hang out with all of them. It was a blast, not to mention a great marketing opportunity *wink*
Plucked from the thriving first floor of Birmingham’s biggest and best gay nightclub, The Nightingale, we find ourselves in the club’s green room amongst go-go boys and drag queens alike to interview Season 7 favourite of Rupaul’s Drag Race; Katya Zamolodchikova.
The Boston heralding bisexual Russian hooker is everything you’d expect: dressed glamorously, with a face beat from the heavens and a cigarette seductively burning in front of me, just to add to the aesthetic of it all. The beloved drag queen made tidal waves for her wit, injurious hilarity and warming character on 2015’s edition of Rupaul’s Drag Race, scooping up Miss Congeniality and since becoming a YouTube personality and fan favourite. Stopping off in Birmingham (UK), I have ten minutes with Katya. This is probably the shortest and most professional hookup she’s ever had. “Wanna go in the shower?”, it’s clear that this is certainly going to be quite the interview…
So what’ve you been up to recently?
Just gigging it. I filmed a new YouTuber series thats about to come out. That’s my favourite thing to do. If I could I would live in a tree and make videos. Seriously.
And you’ve just been to Aspen Gay Ski Week?
Aspen was beautiful. What i found was that Winter drag was the ticket, well for me anyway. Russian hooker aesthetically but also body temperature wise, I was cool, calm and collected the whole time. I didn’t sweat at all. In fact, I was a little too warm. It was so up high and the sun was so bright.
So the Season 8 queens queens have just been announced. Who are you favourites?
I cannot wait to watch this season. I know some of them from before, so just judging from Meet the Queens; Bob. I mean he was the only funny one. I love Kim but I know Kim, not very well, but I know her because she’s Trixie’s best friend. My friend Laila is on so I’m excited for her.
Another Boston queen!
Yeah, she’s from Gloucester which is like a trashy fishing village with a huge heroin problem. I’m interested in Thorgy Thor, I don’t know anything about her. I guess because her name is Thor and she has a great look. And then there’s Derrick Barry. Derrick is funny. She’s ditsy but not a bimbo. She knows what she’s doing. And Kim! She can turn out. She is so creative. You could give her a jar of pickles and a playboy magazine and she’ll give you a runway look. Looks wise, Naomi Smalls.
I fancy Naomi so much out of drag.
Yeah, super cute! Legs for days. He’s the mayor of legs for days. https://www.instagram.com/p/BBeoYReo81j/?taken-by=katya_zamo
What kind of things do you want to see more of this season?
I want to see better challenges. I want to see the runway have consequences but the thing is with that is you go into the show broke. It’s the life of a working artist, you don’t have the recourses to come up with show-stopping looks. I didn’t for sure. I want to see them create their own content. I don’t want to see anymore shitty acting scripts. I want to see them really be themselves and show their cards. And I wanna see all their assholes.
Every single one?
Yeah. Wide open. Pulled like, with a specula. More gynaecology and proctology.
It was decided a couple of weeks ago that poppers are to be banned in the UK as of April.
You’re kidding! I don’t know where you can ever get them in the US. I’m sober so I cant really do them because it’s under the umbrella of Amyl Nitrates but that makes me sad because I think in general we should be moving towards decriminalisation of substances.
Do you think the ban could be discriminative?
Homophobic? Yeah! Because people don’t like gay sex and straight people are like “you’re having too much fun”. You sniff this thing and your asshole widens and the heavens open and send down angels. Also, we’ve got to work on getting abortion legal in Ireland for fuck sake!
I know I still can’t believe that!
I mean it was illegal to be gay until 1993 and same-sex marriage was only introduced last year. Fuck! That is fucked.
How do Irish crowds take you?
They’re just lovely. Everywhere in the UK and Ireland are just amazing. In Glasgow I had to tell them to shut the fuck up because they were screaming so loud. It was hurting my ear holes. It hurt, I was so overwhelmed. It was amazing.
Have you ever slept with an Irish man?
Yes, I have. Well, with a Northern Irish man. I met him at the Kremlin which is a Russian themed gay bar in Belfast and I got really really drunk and wouldn’t take my hiking boots off and I couldn’t get an erection it was terrible. He kept asking me “what’s your kink, what’s your kink” and I was like I gotta go home.
What is your kink?
Ermmm. I don’t really know if I have one. I don’t like props, I just like naked bodies. I would say taboo role-play but I’m not going to say anymore than that. The problem with that is actually acting it out. People just laugh and don’t stay in character.
Reddit users are completely mad for you!
Are they still? I stopped paying attention a little while ago, like halfway through my season because it’s not a good place for us to go.
How do you feel about it being used as a platform to discuss you all?
Oh, it’s great. But the thing is, a lot of the girls, including myself, would go and look on there because we wanted to know what people were saying about us. But we shouldn’t be on there. We don’t belong there. Jennifer Anniston doesn’t read TV guide or People magazine. I think it’s psychologically damaging for us but it’s very very very tempting! We’re more likely to go and find bad stuff, which is very damaging. I was very fortunate and had so many nice things said about me but then your brain gets used to it and you’re just like woah. I love Twitter and there is such dark shit on there. The most vitriolic, hateful speech gets twitted for us.. I’m on there for comedy and follow other comedians and drag queens and I tweet stupid shit and tell people where I’m going to be and I’ll get a little rabbit hole of “oh fuck wow people are really mad and ignorant” and that’s scary.
And you’ve previously been very open about alcohol and drug abuse, what advice would you give other gay people and drag queens going through something similar?
I think it’s good to know that there’s a network and a community. People say ‘gay community’ but I don’t really think there is one. But there’s a large global community of people whose only purpose is to get you sober. Just knowing that that’s there helps people. I didn’t know about that. I never heard of that stuff but as soon as I heard about it I was like “cool ok” so yeah! But I’d say in the meantime, do as many poppers as you can. You should be on mushrooms and have shit all over your face!
The last queen I interviewed was Ginger Minj in the bed of her hotel room.
She keeps her room so dark and cold. It’s scary. It’s like a meat freezer on a hook.
YASSSSSSS. *multiple clicks*
And following in the footsteps on the Meet the Queens interviews, what would be your personalised hashtag and emoji?
Hashtag 100% human woman and then my emoji would probably be like the balloon because I imagine it’s going to pop and it’ll be filled with blood.
You’ve been working quite closely with Trixie recently both in shows and on YouTube, what’ve been your most memorable moments with her?
Australia! The second time, because the first time we got detained for having the wrong visa. I didn’t try and bring loads of cocaine unfortunately but the reality was just as terrifying. We flew 24 fucking hours and flew back the next day. It was brutal but the second time was fun. We work really well together and I really admire her. She has a really good balance of being passionate about drag and being a drag queen.
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Winning Rupaul’s Drag Race was just the beginning for this queen. From touring the world to making her own movie, Bianca del Rio is formidable. Now, our favourite queen sits with us in a swanky Soho hotel to talk all things HIV, Kim Davis, and why we shouldn’t give a fuck about Miley Cyrus
You’ve been crazy busy recording Hurricane Bianca, how has that gone?
It’s great, we filmed it in July over 18 days and we were able to accomplish it all in a short period of time, it was a pretty intense schedule. I was in drag for many hours a day but the outcome is so going to be worth it.
What was your highlight of it?
I loved the idea that my friend wrote this movie six or seven years ago and we’ve finally got to make it – that was the best highlight you know? That you can actually make something happen. It’s like the power of television and everyone is interested in what you’re doing and what you’re about so it’s magical to make a film.
You mentioned you’ve got West End Bares this weekend. The night is obviously raising money for the Make a Difference Trust – what interested you in being involved in them?
I did the Broadway Bares in the United States that does a lot for AIDS and AIDS research which was amazing!
Do you think there is still a stigma attached to HIV?
I think so. I’m forty, so I come from a time where when I was a younger, people would have died from it. We’ve come so far from it in terms of medication and awareness. I also think there is a small group of younger people who aren’t aware of what could happen. It’s still about prevention and taking care of everything – there is no magic pill that cures everything but we’ve definitely made strides in it by all means.
I think that it’s just being aware that anything can happen. Through the years I’ve seen a huge progression in advancing medication and I know people who have lived with HIV for quite some time who are living a clean, happy life and doing the proper things, I also know people who think that if they take a pill they are set for life. But that doesn’t always show to be true.
We live in a world where it’s so accessible to get to research but I don’t think people use it to their advantage. You can google anything, google history, figure things out and work out what’s best for yourself. Self-awareness is the best thing.
One of the things we were really surprised at was the sexual health clinic across the road (56 Dean Street). A journalist tweeted that it was an AIDs clinic and that’s awful.
Correct, but I also think that there was a stigma before with HIV that once you get it you’re going to die. And I’ve known people who were literally HIV positive for so long without knowing, by the time they found out it didn’t last long and it went strictly to full blown AIDs and they didn’t have the medication. So once again I think it’s just about awareness of it – not being ignorant about it, there is so much more involved.
You have to take care of yourselves and take the right precautions. I don’t think people think – everything is so instant. People think “Oh I can take this pill and I’ll be fine” it’s more than that.
Do you think the problems the LGBT community face could be resolved by drag?
Well the fact that drag is mainstream is a great thing. The fact that drag is in people’s living rooms and 14-year-old boys can watch a show called ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ with their family. I think that’s amazing.
We should celebrate that instead of other shit that’s insignificant. Who cares about Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus and their feud at the VMAS? Please. I mean just because they look like drag queens doesn’t mean they are part of our community. Quit bitching about “Oh Beyonce is better than Rihanna!” Who gives a shit? They’re not worrying about us, they are all counting their money. Worry about shit that matters.
Who cares? Who really gives a shit? They are both really over rated.
One of the things that we did take seriously was Kim Davis.
Well first of all, I don’t think much about her – who she lies with, what she’s wearing and what her hair looks like.
In America there are lots of pockets like that where people are socially ignorant. Do I care what her religious beliefs are? No, you’re entitled to it. But in the end, she’s an official that is supposed to be doing her job.
I don’t care if she’s all about Jesus and what she thinks it is. That’s her job. That’s what she’s supposed to do. So it’s interesting to see what’s happened. Of course she was jailed and people were excited about it and then she was released, people are pissed off about it. I think it was Whoopi Goldberg who said it but if God is your boss then you can’t work for the government. Because that’s not who is paying you.
What’s fascinating about Kim Davis is that she’s the most religious person there is yet she’s been married four times and had kids out of wed-lock. The fact she’s denying gay people rights is foolish and it’s got nothing to do with her personal beliefs. How does gay marriage affect her? She’s still sleeping with her cousins and having kids out of wed-lock? Isn’t that her job? Go worry about it, go fix your trailer quit bothering us.
You’ve said before that you get frustrated when people only get information about drag through RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Drag Race has opened the doors for people to know about drag but I think a lot of the younger generation think that that’s all it is. So if you wear too much make up – ‘oh you’re looking like Trixie’ or ‘Oh you’re wearing something Halloweenie, you look like Sharon.’ There are people who have done all of this way before any of us did and I think that’s the magic of it – do your research, it’s all from something else.
It’s like the Lady Gaga/Madonna syndrome. Oh she’s copying Madonna, well Madonna copied this look from someone else too – it’s all been done before so it’s not the pinnacle of all of it. I think it’s great that we’re discussing it but as I’ve said before google it. Do some research. Find out who other brilliant drag performers are. Find out who Charles Pierce is. Find out who Vio J Rumors is. Find out who Coco Peru is. Find out who Jackie Beat is – all of these people have done amazing work before any of us came along so none of it is new.
These queens who start with ‘oh she stole my look’ or ‘she’s doing that’ like girl shut up, just go and do your research. We can all do it and everything comes back again. Doesn’t mean that it’s brand new by any means.
It’s not just about lip syncing, it’s not just about doing a death drop and a split.
Where should we be looking then?
Anywhere, everywhere. Any of those names I’ve just given you. Go and look online, do research, we have YouTube now there’s tonnes of things and existing footage you can find out about. A lot of them are still working – go and see them. It’s not about every drag queen that is on Drag Race, there are other people that are out there entertaining and travelling the world that are brilliant that you want to see. Find out who Lady Bunny is, she did more than Drag U with RuPaul. There are tonnes of people that have been around and done some amazing work.
And obviously season six is about to air on TruTv.
Yes on TruTV Monday nights starting on the 30th November.
What do you think is the importance of it coming to the UK?
I think it’s great. It’s amazing that its finally going to be aired on television here. I know there’s a large interest here. It was fascinating because I’ve travelled here a few times to do my show and I was unaware that many people knew me as at the time, many people were downloading the show illegally, which is genius.
Because as Americans we are lazy – the only thing we download is porn and half way through we’re done. It’s fascinating that this many people are interested in the show, I think its great that there is a channel that is willing to show it on TV.
What’s next for you?
Right now I’m here tackling and then I’m back in London doing my solo show Rolodex of Hate, I’ll be back soon to do that. As I said we are trying to get the film finished and released for next year and then by Spring I’ll be starting my new stand up show that I’ll be travelling with as well. But there’s always something on the horizon if you keep working.