You may remember The Vixen as the RuPaul's Drag Race star who strutted into RuPaul's workroom on the first episode of Season 10 wearing the word "Chicago" boldly across her chest. Haling from the Windy City, that first look was her putting her political foot forward from the start. Although she has now left her lipstick-scribbled wisdom on the work room mirror, The Vixen's activism in drag is just getting started. In an interview with Bustle, she touches on how her political drag identity was born, what it means to her, and how she plans to incorporate it into her future.
The Vixen is known for her catch phrase, "I'm just here to fight!" What is she fighting for, exactly? She's fighting for what she believes in, which is to bring attention to marginalized communities that are often undervalued and discriminated against. While on the show, she expressed how difficult it is to be a black, gay drag queen in America, and she wants to make sure people are aware of that, which is why she has chosen to marry her activism and her drag.
"Before I was a drag queen, I was chairman of a youth pride center," she says. "I was a social activist in college and in high school — I’ve always been very involved in socioeconomics and politics and that type of thing with my art in general."
She says when she started drag, she felt the culture discouraged her from referencing politics while performing in any way. "So there was a long time that I didn’t do anything political with drag," she says. "Until it just kind of bubbled up and I couldn’t take it. In the last two years I just became more and more outspoken … and I’ve had a lot of things to address, more so frequently, and I’m excited for where it’s gonna go in my drag. I am worried for where it’s gonna go in my country."
The Vixen is known for a drag show she established in her hometown of Chicago called "Black Girl Magic," an all-black drag queen show in which crowds join the performers to "celebrate black femininity and queerness," per Chicago Pride. She also spoke briefly about the details of her political performance with her fellow queens on Season 10, highlighting a bit that she does in which she carries a crucifix covered in racial slurs on stage and proceeds to beat it in front of the audience until it's in pieces. “Sometimes, I just like to throw it in white people’s faces, like ‘You know what you did,’” she said on the show.
She says she doesn't plan on doing away with "Black Girl Magic" or anything like it any time soon. "I think once I got started and finally broke out of my shell with speaking up, it was addictive," The Vixen says. "It’s very validating, it makes me feel like my drag is worth-while, it’s not just me being vein or pretty for the sake of ego. It made my drag feel like something that I could be proud of for the rest of my life, and so I’m gonna stick to it."
She doesn't plan on leaving Chicago in the foreseeable future, either. "I’ve traveled a lot so far this year and I haven’t found a city better than Chicago, she says. "It’s the best place for drag because our scene is so welcoming and there are so many opportunities ... there’s room for everyone. There’s room to grow. It’s a progressive city where people listen and changes are made. So it is definitely home for me forever."
She may have been known as the bear to refrain from poking on Season 10, but The Vixen says that despite the drama captured on the show, she and her fellow Season 10 queens are friends 'til the end. "We all are going through the most unique experience in the world," she says. "Drag Race is at its peak in visibility right now. We’ve never been so viewed, and seen and talked about. So we really have to stick together through this."
As far as what's in store for her future, The Vixen has big plans, and they don't involve staying quiet. "There will be more protest art coming," she says. "I’m gonna keep ruffling feathers … RuPaul let me out of the workroom, but I’m in the world again, and it is going down."
And for that, condragulations are still in order. Girl, bring. it. on.