Marti Gould Cummings & Tina Burner Join 'Drag Race' Queens to Discuss the Show's Impact on Drag Economy

In this week’s episode of Billboard Pride's exclusive “Spillin’ the Tea,” Aja, Bob the Drag Queen, Peppermint, Gia Gunn and Jiggly Caliente are joined by New York City nightlife legends Marti Gould Cummings and Tina Burner to talk about how RuPaul's Drag Race has changed the local drag economy.

The discussion opens up with Bob asking the group what everyone used to do before drag. A lot of the queens talked about their jobs beforehand, ranging from hairdressing to acting, but they all said they did drag on the side as a form of art or hobby.

Afterward, Bob asks what have been the “pros and cons of Drag Race,” opening the floor for the local queens to discuss the issue. Tina Burner stepped up and talked about how the allure of fame has caused an oversaturation of new queens that haven’t put enough time into their craft.

“With such an amazing platform that Drag Race gives us comes great responsibility on how to handle this in a community,” Tina said. “These people that are just coming on it for a year, and haven’t put their time and years in, and don’t know how much of an amazing platform they hold, that’s just not it.”   

When the discussion turns to the Drag Race queens, a lot of them have had to deal with the drawbacks of having a big platform and constantly being put to work.

“I miss enjoying drag,” Gia said. “I feel like drag for me used to be a hobby and it was something that I loved to do, not had to do."

Watch the full video above to hear more stories about how drag culture has changed since Drag Race, and watch the previous episodes of “Spillin’ the Tea” above.

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