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Monsoon Season – An Interview with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 Contestant Jinkx Monsoon

(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 »

Logan Lynn: Willam Belli, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Rule Breaker – The Day After

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 3/21/2012)

Like many of you, I was shocked Monday night when, on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ru announced that one of the contestants, Willam Belli, had broken the rules and was being disqualified from the competition. (That’s right. I love TV. Deal with it.)

Oddly enough, I had scheduled an interview with Willam last week, before the bomb dropped, for a second installment of my HuffPost blog “Queer Celebrities Need Love, Too,” but after watching the show I decided to throw out all those questions.

My chat with Willam from yesterday (the day after all the drama) is below.

Hey, Willam. Tough night, huh? What happened, girl?

Well, I checked the Internet to find out why I was disqualified, and this is what my NancyDruPaul skills could come up with:

  1. I was on heroin, and that’s how I was able to be so calm when Phi Phi yelled at me.
  2. I went out drinking the night before, and that’s why I vomited onstage.
  3. My favorite reason: I was on hormones to become a woman, and they found out during the lie-detector test — ’cause you can obviously see how delicate I’ve become, with all my soft features and this friggin’ man jaw.
  4. I apparently slept with Pit Crew Jason, because he’s in my new “Chow Down (at Chick-fil-A)” video.
  5. I enjoyed the Internet, or went shopping, or had sex with cast or crew.

The Internet thinks you’ve been really busy! Good times. You didn’t look very surprised when the announcement that you were being asked to leave the show was made. Had you been told in advance of the taping, or did you find out onstage?

Well, I was the one who admitted to the producers without prodding that I broke rules — multiple times, in fact. I wasn’t caught doing anything. One of the days just happened to be on a duet challenge, so I knew that it would be a going-down-in-a-blaze-of-glory moment should they choose to act on it (and they did). I’m glad they let me sing, though, because Latrice and I were the best, and her being partnerless in a duets challenge would’ve been weird. Read the rest of this entry »

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