We have seen countless eliminations from the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, but much like their full run on RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K., Ginny Lemon made a point to do it their way. While choosing to walk away from the competition on their own was daring, Ginny Lemon is following their own “true North” and delivering brand new music and content to fans worldwide. I sat down with Lemon to talk about what it was like to discuss being non-binary on-camera, their Drag Race elimination experience, and how artists like Kate Bush & Tori Amos have shaped this unique and talented performer.
Michael Cook: You are definitely the talk of the town this past week, and your shocking self-elimination from RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. trended on Twitter for days. First off, how did you come up with your iconic catchphrase “Fancy A Slice?”
Ginny Lemon: I honestly, literally just made it up. I had the name and I thought to myself “okay maybe should commit to a catch phrase.” I told my husband and my best friend that I had a catchphrase and I said “Fancy A Slice?” and they both turned to me and said “it’ll never catch on, its not good” (laughs)
MC: ‘Drag Race UK’ is now in the rearview mirror for you. How do you look back on the entire experience as a whole?
GL: I look back on it very fondly. It was almost a year ago and I don’t regret anything. I am glad I did what I’ve done, and I am glad that it is done and it’s over. It has been so hard keeping this secret, I have been sitting on it for too long!
MC: Other than Ben DeLaCreme, you are the second contestant to ever walk away from RuPaul’s Drag Race on your own, and the first in the U.K franchise. In that moment, was it something that you had planned ahead or you simply went with the moment?
GL: I literally made no plan and it was never my intention to walk away. I like to go with my own spiritual compass. As Tori Amos said, “I like to guide myself to my true North” and I like to go with my true gut feeling. I felt that in that particular occasion, to do what I do; I didn’t plan it. There is a very cheeky smile just before, and you can see something in my face. I just wanted to do what was best for me and what was best for Sister (Sister) and just make a bit of ‘telly gold’, darlin’
MC: From your aesthetic to how your take on the challenges to your self-elimination, everything that you do is truly done on your own terms. Have you always been that type of performer?
GL: I kind of think yes; it’s unusual because, I think I have put my own personal restraints on myself. I was very good at preaching “love yourself and do what you want to do”, but I wasn’t doing it myself. By taking this opportunity and going on the journey, an emotional and fabulous one, I kind of just did things my own way. By taking back control of the situation,I thought wow-I am obviously serving a buffet that they don’t fancy, they didn’t ‘fancy a slice.’ They had a little sniff, but didn’t fancy it. You know what babe, I’m outta here my feet hurt and I could do with a sit down and a cup of tea.
MC: While you were there, we got to see a different side of you as a performer, but as a non-binary queen and person. The conversation that you had with Bimini Bon Boulash was both meaningful for the two of you and the audience. What has the response been like?
GL: The response has been absolutely incredible and so overwhelming. When the conversation happened, it was a very long time ago and for me, it was just one human talking to another human about how I was feeling. I was feeling very confused and sad at that time. I think for me just to have that real conversation, I didn’t think about it that much. To see it now, to see how it is affecting people, I am absolutely lost for words; it is quite hard. The love that I have received, the stories about people coming out, it has been absolutely incredible. I had no idea that that conversation would lead to a much bigger conversation that the world is having right now.
MC: You are a massive fan of Kate Bush, and you even have her name tattooed on your knuckles. If you had to choose a Kate Bush song as your favorite, what would it be?
GL: Yes I love her! If I had to choose my favorite, it would be a b-side from the Hounds of Love album called ‘Burning Bridge’, which I am not saying with any irony at all. I absolutely adore it, it has one of the niftiest and sweetest melodies, and I think it it incredible; a lost hit! It’s impossible to choose a favorite, but the answer has to be the entire album of The Dreaming; that album is exquisite.
MC: Now that you have this massive platform, what do you think your next project might be?
GL: Well I have been quite exited, I have been working with the Arts Council here in the UK and I have managed to secure funding to deliver my Ginny Lemon Tonic. I released my new single ‘I’m So ‘Offended, so if you have been offended by my exit, please go and check out the single and the video. The entire album was written after I left Drag Race and during the lockdown, so it’s all about the trials and tribulations of living in this tumultuous world and hopefully the songs can be quite relatable. My next song is called ‘I’m Over My Overdraft’ and I think we’ve all been there during this time! Maybe some world domination, a little telly on the side?
MC: If you got the chance to say something to RuPaul & the other judges now, what would you say to them?
GL: I would say that I can hide a whole banana in the fold of my flabby tummy.
MC: How have you stayed inspired and creatively fueled during this truly surreal time in our world?
GL: I think the best thing for me, what I always do is to get lost in music. If all else fails, if I can’t write, create or be out there, I will just hide away. Listen to some Kate Bush, listen to the whole Tori Amos back catalog, definitely Little Earthquakes from start to finish. So I tell people, go out and listen to Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos, That album helped me as a vunerable human to become the person I am today; in any of those desperate times, I will always return to Little Earthquakes. One of the lines from Little Earthquakes is “yellow bird flying, just got shot in the wing” and sometimes I feel like I am that little yellow bird that gets shot in the wing; and I just need to pick myself back up again.
MC: ‘Silent All These Years’ remains an absolute anthem for our community, even now.
GL: Yes! I feel like I have been ‘silent all these years’ and I don’t want to be silent anymore. I think it’s a fantastic anthem for people like us who felt like outsiders or anyone that has had to deal with anything. They dont have to be silent anymore.
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