Q: What is it like being at NYC DragCon?
A: It is surreal. This place is very special and this city is very special. And I think it is a different vibe than the LA one that I went to. It’s interesting and unique and the first one here so it’s just going to get bigger.
Q: How is this different than the one in LA?
A: I think LA people are a bit more relaxed in general. Even with the space and getting here, it’s a bit more relaxed. Like the first day was crazy. It was a madhouse.
Q: Well LA people are more relaxed because all they deal with is sunshine and don’t have to deal with actual winter.
A: Yeah, there’s lots of factors that play into that but I think here it is just really intense and everyone is super passionate and you can really tell.
Q: How are you balancing DragCon with New York Fashion Week?
A: I think that was probably why things have been so hectic. I had to walk a show yesterday in the middle of DragCon so I had to leave and then come back. It was a madhouse getting in and out.
Q: And I heard you’re starting your own fashion line?
A: Yeah, there’s going to be a collaboration with a clothing company that I am excited about. I can’t spill a lot.
Q: Can you talk about the inspirations?
A: Yes! I had a huge hand in the design process and a lot of the inspiration comes from a famous French fetish photographer, Pierre Molinier. I reference him for a lot of my work and he I would like to think of him as the 50’s and 60’s version of me. He takes very risqué nudes and very chic, surrealist photography so it is really cool.
Q: And you are that drag queen that loves to push the envelope with your looks and you’re also someone who is very outspoken about a lot of things like politics…
A: I wouldn’t say I’m very political. I think if something pisses me off then I have to tweet about it.
Q: Like that whole Vogue thing?
A: Yeah, that whole Vogue thing. It’s like, do you get upset or are you happy that they are trying to be inclusive or are you upset that they are using it wrong and they missed the mark? It’s complicated and they definitely missed the mark. But I am thinking they realized that by now. I know so many amazing people who are genderfluid and are genderqueer and who are trans and they deserve that spotlight because they have that struggle and the community would really benefit from that representation. They had a really good opportunity to do something good for a lot of people and they missed it. It makes me sad but at the same time I am a little bit happy that they attempted it. I don’t know. I wish they would be ballsy. Good journalism is about taking risk. And Vogue has been a joke for a long time. It is still a very wildly respected magazine and publication, but it is really just a sack of advertisement now. It’s all a hierarchy and there’s all these politics and it is all this stuff and I get it and it is an industry but you can still have good journalism.
Q: And Peppermint on Season 9 talked about being a drag queen and a trans woman and how she didn’t feel at place within the community. How was it like being on the show when the norm is being a cis man drag queen?
A: It’s complicated. I actually tried talking about it in the show but it was actually edited out. The first episode I go flat chested on the runway and I got criticized for it and they were critiquing my body and they were talking about how it wasn’t feminine enough and I wasn’t presenting myself in the right way or whatever. And so I talked about body positivity—or I tried to, they just edited my whole speech. I tried to explain why I was so upset with the critiques and why I felt it was wrong but I think they didn’t want any politically correct drama happening. Because I was really fired up, I remember.
Q: What would it be like for you to see bio queens and androgynous queens and more trans queens come on the show?
A: I want to see everything but the fact of the matter is that Viacom and VH1 run the show and it’s not like you think it is. It’s cute to think it’s like a real competition and that everything is fair and that it’s all perfect and everything is exactly how it looks, but it’s a TV show, it’s a business. It’s blatant.
Q: And a lot of Drag Race fans don’t get that and then come for queens like how so many people came for Nina after Valentina got eliminated.
A: It’s a game. And that is very apparent. And it is also a TV show and that is very apparent. I think people forget that.