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Jinkx Monsoon on Snatch Game and abusive RPDR fans: ‘They’re outliers’

Jinkx Monsoon on Snatch Game and abusive RPDR fans: ‘They’re outliers’

Jinkx in a promotional still for her web show Cool Mom | Photo: Drag World UK

Hi Jinkx – how would you describe Drag Race UK to someone who’s never been?

A celebration of drag, the art form and the people who create it. There’s a lot of different representations of drag from all over the world – not just Drag Race queens. It’s UK queens and people who make a big splash in the community.

Do you encounter fans who dress as you?

That’s something I’ve seen more of in recent years. I have this one fan, Ashley – she doesn’t just find the dresses I’ve worn before, but the jewellery, the shoes… She puts a full head-to-toe effort into it. I find it so flattering.

How much work goes into creating merch – is it stressful?

It’s not so much stressful. It’s just that I don’t come up with merch ideas as well as some of the other girls. Alaska’s best-selling t-shirt of all time is the one that says ‘Your make up is terrible.’ I’ve tried to create my own version and haven’t quite hit the bullseye yet. Hopefully this year! I have a wonderful team of people who work with me on everything. It’s about delegation.

Has anyone famous ever waited in line to meet you?

Last year at Drag Con Marcia Gay Harden and her family stood in line to say hi, even though we’ve met a few times. She’s so sweet with wonderful kids. Her son [15-year-old Hudson Harden Scheel] is studying make up artistry and does a little drag himself. I love seeing drag queen children! That’s what the future generations need: parents embracing their kids’ quirkiness!

There’s a lot of talk lately about hate, racism and abuse within some of the extremes of the Drag Race fandom. Is that something that’s visible to you? How do you feel about it?

Yeah, absolutely – it’s difficult because, you know, we always hope our community’s leading by example, and being better than the communities that oppress us. That doesn’t mean there aren’t jerks and assholes within our ranks, you know?

It’s very upsetting to see people attack other people. Especially when it comes to things like race, body size, gender identity. But they’re the outliers. We are in an overwhelmingly supportive community: progressive and forward-thinking. You mostly see that venom and toxicity on social media. You have to accept at a certain point that it’s easy for people to criticise others’ lives when they’re dissatisfied with their own.

It is mostly online – have you ever encountered fans like that in real life?

You know, here and there. Mostly when alcohol’s involved. People get drunk and forget themselves and can be really disrespectful. I try to remind myself, for every jerk there’s 10 wonderful people who are actually there to support.

From a neutral point of view, the most obsessive Drag Race fans are on Reddit. Do you read that yourself?

No. I stay away from Reddit. Trixie Mattel said it best: Reddit is for the fans, not us. The only stuff I look at is the stuff people show me directly. I don’t go searching for things to get upset about. I’m the sort of person who would get upset if I found it. I’ve trained myself not to look.

Snatch Game screened recently – with hindsight, who was your top and bottom?

Top: Nina West. It was right up her alley. The one I had the highest hopes who wasn’t really able to pull through was Yvie Oddly. I’ve really enjoyed her on the show. But even the girls who fell short on that episode really redeemed themselves on the lip sync. There was no question in my mind that those girls deserved to stay. It was my favorite episode of the season.

Brooke Lynn and Vanjie have been in some sort of a relationship, but how that’s possible I don’t know, because as I understand it the queens are kept apart when they’re not filming. Can you shed any light on that? How much interaction is there off-camera?

You know, they keep us in separate hotel rooms and stuff. It makes perfect sense. They don’t want alliances forming when no one knows about it. You don’t want anyone tricking the system. But we also would have dinner together and have conversations about anything not about the show. It was important to have times when we sat around the dinner table and talked as people. Because even though we’re competing, we’re also going sharing an experience that only the 14 or 15 of us will ever know what it’s like. I was competing on my season, but also forming friendships that are important to me.

Also, I had a crush on Ivy Winters. so I don’t know if I’m one to talk about the logistics of trying to start a romance in the workroom! But you’re basically held in captivity for a month or longer. Certain hormones are bound to flare up!

Finally, what British celebrities would you like to see on Drag Race UK?

I’d like to see Noel Fielding as a guest judge. Laura Elizabeth Carmichael from Downton Abbey has become a friend of mine. She’s a huge fan of Drag Race. She always comes and supports all the shows. She’d be well-informed.

Jinkx will be at Drag World UK in London on 17-18 August.

See also

Jinkx Monsoon and more join Chechnya Crisis Appeal in new video

Jinkx Monsoon on comedy, dating and the very naughty thing she asked Rupert Grint