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Violet Chachki's life in travel: ‘I was the first Ru girl in India and Beirut'

EXCLUSIVE: Star on visiting homophobic countries, touring with Shangela and Kennedy and who should win All Stars

Violet Chachki's life in travel: ‘I was the first Ru girl in India and Beirut'
Violet Chachki | Photos: Voss events

‘We actually had a viewing party [of All Stars] last night in Peppermint’s room…’

She might be in the middle of the grueling, 63-date tour. But that doesn’t mean Violet Chachki, and her fellow RPDR alumni, don’t make time to catch up with the latest from the land of Ru.

‘I’m actually on tour with Shangela and Kennedy,’ adds the 25-year-old from her hotel room in Rio de Janeiro, where she performed a show last night. ‘I want it to be Shangela’s Drag Race. I love watching her, she’s such good TV. She’s really smart, and she realizes how TV works. She knows what she’s doing: good soundbites, good drama.

‘It’s entertaining to watch simply because she did start off so busted and so crunchy… It’s been great to watch her transform into an All Star. She’s a great entertainer on and off stage.’

‘Kennedy and Shangela will be like “Oh bitch, let me tell you what really happened”‘

But what’s it like watching someone watch themselves on TV?

‘Oh, it’s great,’ adds the gender fluid RPDR Season 7 champ. ‘You get all the gossip and the tea. We’ll pause the episode and Kennedy and Shangela will be like “Oh bitch, let me tell you what really happened!” They did [give away spoilers] last night, but we kind of know. Everyone talks. We know the gist of everything is. And we’ve all done it, so it’s fun to be on the inside.’

Here, Violet talks RPDR Season 10, the world’s hottest men and bringing boys into the Werq the World Tour bus (returning to Europe in May)…

So Violet, where’s next?

Sao Paulo, and then back to the States for a bit.

Have you met any hot Brazilian men?

There were a couple last night at the meet and greet. A lot of the girls have had boys over. One of the girls actually brought a boy onto the bus…

Which one?!

I can’t tell you that.

Is that allowed? Is it girls-only on the bus?

[Jokingly] It’s unprofessional, I feel. Don’t you? If you pride yourself on being professional…

Well, the professional thing would be to have a boy on every stop, not take the same one with you…

Right. That’s if you’re really working. But yeah, there have been cute guys. We’re in and out so quick that you don’t get to make the most meaningful connections! But we’ve got some time in Sao Paulo, and there are lots of very attractive people there!

‘In the states everyone knows a Ru girl at this point’

How many guys in how many cities do you have?

It changes.

Well, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of offers next time you come to London…

I’ve got someone in London, I think.

I bet I know him!

I hope not!

Which country has the hottest guys?

I think Spain. Or Mexico. But there are a couple of cute guys in the UK.

How many times have you been to the UK?

I’ve lost count. I’ve been to Liverpool, Manchester, all over. It’s a bigger [RPDR] fanbase than America. The UK and Australia are bigger fanbases than the states. I guess in the states everyone knows a Ru girl at this point. Every city has a Ru girl. A friend of a friend of a friend. So it’s lost its lustre a little bit.

Well it’s definitely huge here in the UK. It’s been the only subject of conversation in the office today…

With the Season 10 girls coming out?

Yeah, absolutely. Have you had a look at them?

I have. I saw the promo.

‘I’ve got a lot of mutual friends with Aquaria’

Anyone catch you eye?

Well I’ve got a lot of mutual friends with Aquaria. We’re not super close or anything, but I’ve met her a bunch of times, we’ve hung out before. We were hanging out at Art Basel [in Miami] last. I’ve met Mayhem before, she’s really sweet. She’s friends with one of my really good friends in LA. I only know those two personally.

What would your advice be to them?

Buckle in tight. And just try to enjoy it. I know everyone says that, but really, really try. It’s hard to, because you’re so stressed out, and there’s so much pressure. People are telling you what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, what you are and what you aren’t. Everyone’s got an opinion. It’s hard to enjoy your success.

When you’re going from destination to destination, I imagine you on a big Priscilla-style bus…

There are buses involved. It has that feel sometimes, definitely. It’s very Lady Gaga: ‘No sleep, bus, plane, another club, bus, plane, no sleep.’

Who’s your go-to travel companion on the tour? And who drives you crazy?!

Both are probably Valentina! I think we all get grumpy. We all have moments of snapping at each other, especially in the morning. But we’re grumpy together, at the same stuff. We have certain standards.

‘I’ve been on every continent besides Antartica’

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

Business class.

Do you get to fly business when you’re on tour?

Not all the time. It depends what airline and where we’re going.

Do you fly in drag?

Never. I have a couple rules and that’s one of them!

How many countries have you been to?

In total!? Like forever?! I haven’t counted. I know I’ve been on every continent besides Antartica…

How many states?

I think I’ve been to every state, I want to say. OK, not Alaska. I think Alaska’s been to Alaska…

‘It’s more impactful to go to places that are anti-LGBT’

What’s been your favorite destination so far?

My most fun trip ever was to India. New Delhi. I think it was just so cultural and beautiful. We had this amazing host and had a whole week to explore the city. But I always love going to Paris, of course. Spain’s amazing as well. I haven’t been to Asia much – I’d like to explore it more.

Were you in India working? When you to countries such as India, which are less LGBTI-friendly, are you confident going out in drag and stuff?

Yes, I was in India working. I’ve also been to Beirut [the capital of Lebanon, where same-sex sex is illegal] which I really enjoyed. When you go to places like that, you want to think that it’s really different, but it’s really not. I think it’s just smaller. And of course I’ve had really amazing hosts take care of me, explaining to me what’s normal and what’s not.

I think it’s almost more impactful to go to places like that because there are certain laws that are anti-LGBT and it’s more taboo. You’re kind of making history. In India and Beirut I may have been the first… I know I was the first Ru girl. I don’t know how many drag shows they’ve had. But it was definitely a historical moment for the drag community in the country, me being there. And that’s really cool to be a part of.

So you’ve seen with your eyes: there’s a huge RPDR fanbase in such countries?

Yeah, there really is. Both of those shows were, like, crazy. Amazing. That does have to do with the fact there are a lot of drag shows going on, and it is kind of hush-hush. I think they were excited and intrigued, wanted to know more. Even if they don’t watch the show, they wanted to come and see what it’s about.

‘I’ve certainly experienced more homophobia in America that any other country’

I interviewed Michelle Visage for this slot last year, and she’s witnessed worse homophobia in America than any other country…

Yeah. There’s homophobia everywhere, for sure. I’m in America way more than any other country. In the 25 years I’ve been alive I’ve certainly experienced more homophobia in America. But also in Australia before.

What happened?

In Australia, there were some Aboriginals in a McDonald’s – some locals that were just… I was in drag and they were not… We nearly got into a fight. We almost did, but luckily my assistant dragged me out. It was really intense. It’s frustrating when you experience it anywhere.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?


Finally, where would you like to get married and go on your honeymoon?

Married?! Oh god! I don’t think I’m gonna get married. I don’t know. I’m 25 now and I don’t see it in the near future or the distant future… Maybe Bali?!

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