The word “beloved” doesn’t get used as much as it should nowadays, however one of the LGBTQ community’s biggest stars personifies it in the most perfect way. That is none other than RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Latrice Royale.
What a decade Latrice has had. She stormed onto season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race with such a lovable and charismatic persona that her Miss Congeniality win was perhaps the most predictable (and earning) of any season.
Her career has skyrocketed since her initial appearance, booking tour after tour after tour while releasing some fabulous singles and starting her own business in the process. She also got married back in September to her longtime boyfriend Christopher Hamblin after two years of being engaged.
She’s back on television again on VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4, where the “large and in charge, chunky yet funky” sister we all love made her way back into the competition after getting eliminated only two weeks earlier.
Latrice was nice enough to chat with us about how things are going for her now, what she thought about getting back into AS4, her marriage and so much more.
How did it feel to get yourself back into the competition on All Stars 4?
It felt amazing!!!! After my initial elimination, I felt like I wasn’t showcasing my best self. So, when Ru gave us the opportunity to fight for our spot back in the competition, it was all business for me. Business in the sense that it had NOTHING to do with any of the girls. I had a personal vendetta against myself. So I had to prove to myself and Ru that I was worthy of staying.
Did you think that Ru was going to save both you and Monique?
I was hoping that was going to be the case, since I do feel like it would be kind of crappy for her to lose her place in the competition when she showed that she’s clearly deserving. We stayed out of each other’s way and gave a great show, and even though I felt like I did well and deserved to stay, I could say the same thing about Monique’s performance.
At what point did you realize how beloved you were by the Drag Race community?
I felt the outpouring of love on my original season. Through my travels around the world, the fans have been able to get up close and personal and see my message of hope and love. However, I feel a huge shift in watching myself on this season of All Stars. For some reason, my fire and drive that I put on myself has somehow been taken as anger and arrogance. Not very representational of who I am and what I stand for. But it’s good television, and I’m smart enough to appreciate the entertainment value. I just wish the FANS didn’t take it so seriously sometimes.
Do you have a moment with a fan that sticks out more than the other?
I do! When I was in Brazil, I had a fan who was about to have a baby and she wanted me to bless her baby bump because she had been so moved and inspired by my performance of “Natural Woman” on the Drag Race runway where I was pregnant. We took a picture of that moment and a few years later I was able to see the baby. It was a huge honor that a real woman had been so touched by what I did.
I know you just got married to your longtime partner. What does the future hold for you guys?
We are steadily building ourselves up, trying to move on into the next phase of married life. As it is now, we are both working on separate projects, so I don’t get to see him as often as I would like right now. It’s all for the greater good, and I’m so proud and excited for what the future holds.
You are also one of the queens who has become business savvy by developing your own business. How did that come about?
It came about out of sheer terror of being taken advantage of. I had heard horror stories from my sisters who had been doing this before me, and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes. So I made different ones! LOL. But through trial and error, I’ve learned a lot, and I have a great team in place. We’re steadily growing and it looks like I’m going to have to expand our team, which is great.
Any advice that you would give to someone who wants to come on this show?
Know who you are. Have a thick skin. And stand out among the rest. It’s also important that you have a plan AFTER Drag Race. Because if you don’t, it’s easy to slip right back to your old routine.
What else do you have coming up in 2019?
I’m about to go back out on another long stretch with my Hater’s Roast sisters, so it’s going to be fun to get to read them! My company is producing Peaches Christ’s “Hocum Pokem,” bringing Heklina and Jinkx Monsoon to South Florida, and featuring a whole bunch of my South Florida sisters and talented friends. I am also producing my annual pageant Mr. and Miss Pride South Florida in Aventura on March 18. And I’m working on a pretty major television opportunity that, as soon as I can talk about it, EVERYONE will know about. So for now I’m keeping up with a tour schedule while trying to expand the production end of my brand as well. I think that’s enough, right? LOL.
For more information on Latrice Royale, please check out her official website.