(Originally Published on QBlog and SMYRC on 12/5/2012)
The contestants for Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race have been announced and our very own Jinkx Monsoon is one of them! Jinkx’s drag roots started at SMYRC, one of Q Center‘s LGBTQ Youth & Young Adult programs and drop-in center, and I had the chance to chat with her this week about her experience as a former SMYRC youth-turned-TV-star! Find our interview just below the videos…
Watch Jinkx Monsoon’s “Meet The Queens” video for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 here:
Logan Lynn: Hey Jinkx! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today! First off, Condragulations on your casting for Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Was this the first time you had tried out for the show?
Jinkx Monsoon: This was the first time I tried out. I had been considering auditioning since season 2, but it just never felt right. When I watched Season 4 however, I became really inspired. Not only was I inspired by the intensely unique Sharon Needles, but also by Chad Michaels who competed the entire time with class and compassion. The season 4 cast contained so much variety and individuality, that I finally said to myself “why not go for it?” I woke up one morning and it just felt like it was what I had to do. From that moment on, I went full force with my audition material and I was determined to do my damnedest to get on that show.
LL: Ah, yes. Determination strikes again! In recent years you have made quite a name for yourself in the Seattle drag scene. Would you say that your drag career began at SMYRC’s drag night?
JM: My Drag career most definitely began at SMYRC. Ages ago, when I was a SMYRC youth, I liked to get involved with organizing some the community events. One year for our Queer Winter Formal, the theme was “Fairy Tale” or something of the like. I had put together a small drag show to happen in the middle of the dance and I decided that I would dress up as the Queen of Hearts (one of my first times in true drag) for the event. The response was quite positive and I felt empowered to see where this could go. I started doing drag more and more at SMYRC for open mic. nights and other events and soon I was a full fledged baby drag queen. I had to have a name, so I used my SMYRC nickname: Jinkx. And it just seemed to work. Soon I was performing at SMYRC, The Escape (The all ages gay night club) and at little events here and there. But SMYRC was my home. It gave me a place to experiment with drag in a loving, supportive, judgement free zone.
LL: That is such a special experience! What brought you to SMYRC initially?
JM: I came out at a very early age. I was about 14 in middle school when I came out and I had Read the rest of this entry »