Balancing healthcare work during a pandemic and being a father, it is surprising that Kimora Amour even found the time to make it to Canada’s Drag Race. Between her stunning and politically charged runways and seasoned advice, the fans are certainly thankful that this pageant queen was part of Season 2. While she has departed the competition, Kimora and I sat down to discuss her Drag Race experience with the fandom, merging her healthcare work with her passion for drag, and what it was like to present the runway that everyone was talking about.
Michael Cook: What was the Canada’s Drag Race experience like for you now that this portion of it has ended?
Kimora. Amour: It is an insane experience; a great one, but it is insanity. You are locked away for two months with twelve other crazy bitches, and it is a lot of fun, but it is a lot of work and it is tiring.
MC: So many queens have such a distinct perspective, but you showcased your own throughout the Canada’s Drag Race competition. Where does your perspective come from?
KA: A lot of it comes from life experience and history; as much as I am a health care worker, I love history. I believe that if you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you are going; I believe that there is a lot of power in history. I love taking things from the past, the present. A lot of the gowns that I wear often have a reference. and bring it forward into a modern perspective in a lot of ways.
MC: Your runways had a great attention to detail; particularly, the one runway that you did got a massive amount of attention from both the judges and on social media. Did you expect to gain that kind of a reaction?
KA: No (laughs). I really didn’t know what to expect because when it comes to your art, you never know how people will perceive it or if they will understand what you are trying to portray. You do your bring it forward and to move the needle; if it is received well, you’ve done your job. Did I expect to rattle and shake the Drag Race world?-I didnt expect that. I was very happy to see what transpired afterward though; it moved me; and it let me know that people are listening and that is so important.
MC: You are very honest about every single aspect of your life. Did you plan to come into Drag Race and be an example to the viewers and your competitors or were you just your authentic self and the camera simply picked it up?
KA: A little bit of both actually. I knew that I wanted to showcase certain aspects of my things because I am lucky enough to have a platform to do that. A lot of it was just natural and in the way that things happened. Especially with the “Ugliest Sin” runway, I didnt expect to get as emotional as I did. I broke down in tears crying afterward. You have to come into Drag Race planned, but a lot of it, like my reactions, were always organic. You never know what is going to happen, so it is a little bit of both; you have to plan because you have the platform, but organic because you don’t know what is going to come out of you at certain moments.
MC: The Drag Race experience to so many is not anything like they expected. What is one things about the Drag Race experience that shocked you as you look back?
KA: Drag Race period. I expected to come in and get the same experience that Season 1 girls got. You will be there and be out in two to three episodes. No offense, that is where the black queens all landed, they went out three, four, five and expected the same trope coming into this. I was pleasantly surprised to see the understanding, entertainment value, and storytelling that I was trying to do. I was surprised that people understood that, but things had changed and there were more people of color on the scene so there was more understanding of that.
MC: The Drag Race fandom can be very reactive with a great deal of opinions. What was some of the reaction that you got from the runways
KA: I got a great reaction from a lot of my runways, but unfortunately after my last episode I received death threats; I received tons of negative things from it. For every negative one though, there are probably forty or fifty great responses. In humanity, we tend to focus on the negativity, but we have to remember that there are equal if not more people celebrating us; and to hold on and remember that. My experience with the fandom overall has been great, of course there is the random odd and toxic person; overall the response has been great. It is not what I had hoped for, because I did get a lot of tv time and was entertaining in certain aspects. You would hope that the fandom would love you as much as you loved watching yourself, and that didn’t convey when it came to followers and comments like that. You need to understand what the fandom wants, and I don’t fit that mold for certain things. I will say though, for the people that have followed me and enjoyed the ride I have put them on, I am so appreciative of every last one. There is a growth and I won’t compare myself to others, but I am so grateful and you just keep trying to win people over.
MC: Post Drag Race, you are still in healthcare-thank you for your hard work. What do you want to do now with the platform you have been allotted?
KA: I want to be able to talk about these things. Finding a way to have conversations that are difficult about life for black people, LGBTQ people, or anyone that goes through difficulties, it is important to have honest conversations. Be able to disagree, but have them all the same. While there are a million people talking, not everyone has the ability to reach. I hope to find a way to reach, educate and change lives. I would like to integrate my health care experience with drag and be able to do sexual health commentary. There are so many misunderstandings about sexual health, especially with the changes with PREP. You still have to do your STI checks and protect yourself. I think sometimes we forget these things, and there still does need to be education. I think we have to talk about these things and make sure people unertstnad; what better way to tell you than a big old drag queen to tell you?
MC: The past two years, between Drag Race and healthcare, your life has been truly changed it would be fair to say. What lesson are you taking away from the past couple years?
KA: Life is short. I have watched too many people pass away in the past two years, unnecessarily. Life is short, live it well, live it to the best of your ability, leave no stone unturned. Enjoy everything. Try everything. If you don’t try, what’s the point? There are lessons learned in failure and there are successes in failure. Try it all, do everything. There is no shame in it, continue on; life is short.
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