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Michelle Visage's life in travel: 'I've witnessed homophobia in many countries but the worst's always been America'

The Drag Race star on why London's her second home and where she first met Ru

Michelle Visage's life in travel: 'I've witnessed homophobia in many countries but the worst's always been America'
Photo by Mathu Anderson
Michelle Visage

How many countries have you been to?

No clue, I’ve never counted!

What’s your favorite destination you’ve visited and why?

London. Always. I have a kinship with that city; actually all of the UK. I’m there more than I’m here in the States, which is why I have a flat there now full-time – I can come and go as I please! My goal is to become bi!

Where was your most romantic trip and why?

Lake Placid, New York. My hubby and I stayed at a gay-owned bed and breakfast with every detail taken care of.

Which country has the hottest people?

Sweden or the Netherlands. I haven’t been to Brazil or Cuba yet though.

Where did you typically go on holiday as a kid?

We didn’t have money, so every year we would drive down to Florida and stay with my grandma. It was free to stay there and she had a pool.

Have you ever experienced or witnessed homophobia or discrimination abroad?

I’ve witnessed it in many countries, but believe it or not, the worst has always been America.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

St. Lucia.

Where were you going the last time you stepped on a plane, apart from home?

Hawaii.

What is your top tip for making it through a long haul flight?

Business class seats so you can sleep the entire flight! If not, because that’s not realistic, get up and walk around once an hour and keep drinking water! Also, download stuff on Netflix.

Where in the world were you when you first met RuPaul?

It was in 1988 at the Copa in NYC. We were working a Susanne Bartsch party. We were in the same room as legends like Leigh Bowery, Lady Hennessey, etc. But no one lit up the room like RuPaul. You had to watch him. That smile and infectious laugh have always been undeniable…

Where is your hometown, and what is your favorite thing about it?

Can’t you tell?  I’m a Brooklyn girl. My favorite thing about Brooklyn is its attitude. Growing up, I had a tough Brooklyn mom calling out all of my bullshit. It made me a stronger woman for it and that is the same way I parent my own daughters. The lessons I learned from a having a tough mom changed the course of my life. People ask me why I am so hard on the queens: that’s why. I never want them to settle with what they have and always know to push themselves harder to get what they want out of life.

Where is next on your travel bucket list?

Home to my King. No, not my husband. My bed!

Which queen are you most looking forward to hitting the road with on the Werq the World tour, and why?

I can’t single one out. Truly, they are all so incredibly amazing and talented. It is so rewarding to me to see them all grow from their days on the show to where they are today. In my opinion, there are no ‘best’. I think every queen that gets up on that stage deserves accolades!

Is there a tour bus situation like Pricilla, Queen of the Desert? Is there a lot of partying on the road?

YES! Something fans might be surprised to learn about the queens on the Werq the World tour is that they all love each other and there is no fighting.  I guess fans are so used to seeing them in competition on TV, but on the road, it is supportive all the way. They stand and watch the other sisters perform, they get excited about some numbers, it’s truly beautiful.

Last week a story emerged of a teen saying a talk with you saved his life. How did that make you feel?

It was the sweetest story. I just try to give everyone the time they deserve when I meet them – I feel this state of ‘celebrity’ is taken for granted all too often and with me, nothing is taken for granted; I know who I am, I know what I represent and I know I can make a difference in some people’s lives. And I want to do good – I want my legacy to be about love and equality and educating people who don’t have enough information. This story was extra special to me because his dad got it. He saw his son. Finally. If i can keep opening parents eyes, then I’ll be the happiest girl in the world. I am so proud of you Brendan, but also mom and dad.

Finally, a random question – has your husband ever dragged up for fun?!

Never! And trust me, I’ve tried!

You can catch Michelle on the Werq the World tour this fall.


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