'Drag Race:' The Vixen Sends Her Haters a Message: 'You're Uncomfortable Because I Am Creating Change'
On Thursday night, RuPaul’s Drag Race paid homage to the Goddess of Pop herself — Cher! The queens slapped each other out of it in a hilarious mini challenge, and were then tasked to create Cher illusions for Cher: The Unauthorized Rusical, where they would have to look, act, and even sing like the iconic “Turn Back Time” singer.
For the first time this season, Kameron Michaels was able to make the judges “Believe” with her ‘60s Cher impersonation, earning the queen her first maxi-challenge win. But The Vixen and Asia O’Hara were told that their Cher impressions weren’t “Strong Enough,” landing both of them in the bottom two. Lip syncing to Deee-Lite’s funky dance-club hit “Groove Is In the Heart,” Asia O’Hara managed to pull out all of the stops, sending The Vixen home after her third week in the bottom.
The Vixen talked to Billboard the day after her elimination about dealing with racism and negativity from the fans, her on-screen feud with Eureka O’Hara, her drag show Black Girl Magic and more.
How do you feel looking back on the competition and your elimination?
I feel proud. I feel proud that 1) I did it, I made it on the show, and 2) I made waves. I feel very proud that I brought something very unique to the competition, and I was able to start some very unique conversations.
Since your arrival, fans have been polarized about you — either they love you or they really don't. What has that intense debate like for you to go through?
[Laughs] It's interesting, because ... every week, I know that in one way or another, I am going to end up being the topic of conversation. You know, it has been a lot for me. Me as a person, it depends on who you're around. If you're in a room and ... half the girls are a lot more quiet than you, then you're gonna stand out if you have something to say. So I think our season had a mix of big personalities, and more quiet souls. But you know, the cream rises to the top, I guess.
The hate is predictable. The problems I spoke about in the fandom are going strong. What is surprising to me is the support from fans who can relate to my experiences. I know that i am not alone and i appreciate the love. #WakandaForeverEver— The Vixen (@TheVixensworld) May 7, 2018
I saw you tweet something the other day about how you expected the hate, but you were surprised by the love and support some fans sent your way. What has been your reaction to that love?
It ... it's very validating. I knew that I had some important things to say on the show, I knew that I stuck to my guns and did what I believed in. But, I didn't know if anyone would relate to it, and just knowing that people saw me, they got it, they related to it, it makes me feel really good to know that I'm not the only person who thinks the way that I think. Yeah, it was just so comforting to see that.
So on the show, you and Eureka had a lot of beef. Where are you two at today with your relationship?
You know what, we keep it professional, which is all that you can hope for. For me, I think that Eureka is great in small doses. So now I just try to keep it short, keep it light, and keep it about business. I think that's the key to our successful relationship today.
You were one of the first queens on this show to directly address racism in the fan base, specifically in episode three of Untucked. Was that discussion something you were wanting to have going into the show?
I knew that I was the type of queen who was going to address real issues head on while I was on the show. But I didn't know how those conversations were going to come about. So seeing it in that moment, I think that I had an epiphany in the moment, where I was like, "Oh, oh it's go time. Ok, we're doing this now." So, I think in the middle of the argument with Aquaria, I kind of woke up and realized that it was an opportunity to address the real issue that was playing out on the show and online.
I was so glad to see you continue that discussion online, where you talked a lot about tone policing, or critiquing someone's attitude rather than their argument. How do you think fans used that policing when talking about you online?
Oh, it is the weapon of choice, I think, for the willfully ignorant fan base! [Laughs] If they can't attack your argument, then they're going to attack your delivery. If you're making a hundred percent valid points, then they're just going to say, "Well you're just so aggressive!" And it's like " ... I'm making you uncomfortable because I am creating change, and you will do anything to deflect from the point and the actual issues." And that's just what it is! It's funny, because even in addressing tone policing, you can be tone policed. They'll get out there like "Well here you go saying that again!" It's like, "Because it's happening again!" It's just a very weak move to pull with someone who is fully aware of the situation, you know?
"Due mostly to racism, The Vixen will probably never have the reputation of being an intellectual queen like Sasha Velour."— The Vixen (@TheVixensworld) May 4, 2018
Great article From @Into
On the weight of race realtions on season10!! https://t.co/1hgh31CSeO
I think you're right there. You quoted an article on Twitter saying that you would never be appreciated as an intellectual queen like Sasha Velour because of your race. Why did you want to share that?
Oh, I loved that quote because I think that it is very true and prevalent. It's absolutely no shade to Sasha, it is, again, a reaction of the fandom. You know, I ... I think that a lot of white contestants, they've gotten away with things that I didn't, you know? Like being a crafty queen, or being ... or you know, I think that if someone like Milk made a dress entirely out of hats, it would have been a lot better received, and there would be no question of the polish or the finish, it would just be seen as art. I don't think that black drag queens on this show get seen or recognized for their art as much as they should.
So I am originally from Chicago, and unfortunately I moved before I was able to see your show, Black Girl Magic. Why did you want to make that show, and is that something you intend to continue doing after this season has ended?
Yes, definitely! So Black Girl Magic started very organically, out of me and the other top black drag queens at the time being very intent on wanting to work together. There was a notion that you could only have one showstopper or heavy-hitter black queen on the lineup. And we, by happenstance, were in the same the room together once and went, "Oh my god, I don't think we've all ever been anywhere together!" So it came with the intention of showing that if you pack a show with talented black performers, it could still be the best show ever. And that's what it is, it's back-to-back, show-stopping, jaw-dropping performances. It's not a competition, it's a celebration, which is amazing and a great feeling to be in the audience and watch it play out.
The future of Black Girl Magic is so bright! We're doing another show in Chicago on June 25th with a lot of girls from the cast of season 10, Shea Couleé will be there, Dida Ritz and a lot of local queens from Chicago. So it's still going strong, and it's only getting bigger.
Is there anyone remaining on the show who you would say you're rooting for?
Oh man ... it's so tough. But you know what, I could not pick one. I couldn't pick one, but the best answer is I am rooting for everybody black.
We're asking all of the queens this season — what local queen from Chicago would you want your fans to go check out?
Ooh, yes! There's so many! Honestly, I would say Camilla Fox is the best, most Boy Scout-prepared drag queen of anybody else. She has every "t" crossed, every "i" dotted, she is the bomb. When you watch her perform, there is absolutely nothing to clock, she is absolutely stunning.
Before I let you go, what is next for The Vixen?
Well hopefully I'll be doing a big long tour. But until then, I've been writing music my whole life, so eventually, I'm going to put out these very nice projects. I didn't want to put it out on my elimination week, because it's DragCon, and so many people are putting out music this week. When the time is right, I am going to release a very, very nice project.