Kween Kong On Femininity, Competition, & Being An Aussie Drag Icon

A one of a kind workroom entrance gave both fans and her fellow competitors a taste of the kind of competitor that Kween Kong would be on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Season 2. While she made it to the Season 2 finale, she did leave without the crown but she has plenty planned for her post Drag Race career (starting with a firm eye on returning to the competition)! I sat down to chat with Kong about her status among her fellow Drag Race sisters, her work to elevate voices of color in the industry, and why her own “divine feminine energy” just might be her secret weapon. 

Michael Cook: Congratulations on a spectacular run on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. How does it feel to have made it all the way to the finale? 

Kween Kong: It feels surreal, really. I don’t think it has really registered what has happened yet. In some ways it has happened so quickly, and I have also been waiting a while for it to air. I’ve blinked and now we are here; it’s so wild! 

MC: Your name is a legendary name in the world of drag Down Under. By your own admission though, it took you a bit to get your feet firmly planted in the competition. Why do you think that was? 

QK: As you said, I do have a name for myself down here for my drag, you saw that day one when I walked in. The thing about that is tricky though because people see pictures of me, see me online, or see me in person and I am fearless so they expect that kind of energy. What they don’t see is the pile of shit in the dressing room I am working with to duct tape it all together, get on stage, and deliver that (laughs)!

I was super conscious that it was going to take me a while, and the thing I have always done is take my time. I think that in a competition setting I knew that I would not be able to rise as quickly as I needed to, but I knew that I would get there, so I just trusted the process. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch0y-7CpJhg/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

MC: What is the moment in your career that you feel truly demonstrated a career pivot to you and you really saw that you had become a force to be reckoned with in the world of drag Down Under? 

QK: To be honest, it was really walking into the Drag Race workroom, that is when I really noticed it for myself. For myself, I’ve always created my own lane and it is a tribute to what I represent. Down Under there are not a lot of queens of color in most of the mainstream spaces, so I’ve always been the one. Not that I have been booked, because I have always had issues being booked. I came up through the pageant scene though; I made them see me, I made them eat it, I made their ass know what time it was, every single time! I didn’t know how much of an impact I had really made until I walked into that workroom and I heard them all saying “Oh my God it’s Kween”!

MC: Why do you think you had to struggle to get bookings from the local promoters Down Under? 

QK: Our culture here is still about “finding the language”. Something I spoke about lot during the season was about representation. The conversation that Hannah (Conda) and I had about mistakes that had been made and how we’ve moved forward as a society, BIPOC community as well as allies, that is a conversation that is to strange here Down Under. I also think is a reason that most queens of color do struggle to get booked. That is only speaking of us as artists, that’s not speaking about people of power who are promoting and running the places.

I think that has been one one of the difficulties that I have had, trying to navigate a space that hasn’t necessarily been designed for me. I have had to been the one that tried to forward these conversations, and once people find the conversations uncomfortable, they just go the easier option and book someone else. That has been my observation and my experience.

MC: Your experiences speak so much to what so many LGBTQ people of color and otherwise go through. Opportunities are not going to come knocking on our doors too many times, so it’s crucial many times, to build our own. 

KK: Absolutely. Opportunities don’t come knocking, build another door sis! 

MC: What are your own rose and thorn of your Drag Race Down Under experience? 

KK: I think my rose was getting the time that I got to spend with Mama Ru to be honest. It’t not about the drag, because I think it has propelled me to be a better drag queen to be honest. I think there were lots of lessons that were learned by me, and they both came at the hands of RuPaul. She gave me two really strong bits of advice around the inner child where she said during our conversation “give them permission to have fun and to be happy”.

Hearing something like that from someone who has had lived experience…For me, Ru has been the main inspiration and example of excellence, someone who looks like me or someone that I can identify with. Someone who has had to pave the way for themselves and is just killing it. So many things that she gave me that I have taken on board and I feel like since filming, I am not the same person. The thorn, I don’t think that there necessarily were any thorns, I wouldn’t redo anything, I needed the journey that I had. When it comes to the vs The World or another All Stars season, the thorn will be me not taking the crown because I will be a real diva if I dont get it (laughs) !

MC: Clearly, you are the thirst trap of this season, and representing traditional masculinity while also being a stunning queen must be a bit of a mind trip at times for you, is that fair to say? 

KK: Yes and no, I am an introverted extrovert. I really utilize the energy of Kween to get out that showboat/showoff version of me, the Leo in me! The thing that I used to love about drag was the anonymity; the ability to go, do the gig, get out of drag, and walk home looking ike the security guard (laughs). You pick up trade really really quickly too! The older I get, the more I’ve become conscious of the energy that surrounds me. I keep my circle tight; I much prefer getting to know people based on who they are. Conversations are really sexy to me rather than looks; I’m getting older  (laughs)!

MC: What is next on deck for Kween Kong? 

KK: Oooh I have so many things planned, but the one if the main things I think is use my platform to amplify voices of color Down Under here in Australia first and foremost. I am producing a show called ‘Club Village’ premiering at World Pride and it is doing exactly that. I feel like I have open the door in many ways and taken a foot step in and I want to see the communities that I represent surpass me and run in and tackle all of the motherfuckers out of the way! I want to continue working on what was given to me, I have some music coming and some pretty fun things coming. I want do another season though, I want to compete again. I think if I were to walk into that space again, I would be unstoppable. 

MC: It is refreshing that you directly say that you want to compete again and have such a confidence on what you could bring to another Drag Race run. 

KK: I would do it. Literally, if they called me tomorrow, I would be like “yes, I’m coming” (laughs)! 

MC: On Drag Race, we get to see so many people’s personal stories and find out things about them we may not have seen on the surface. What do you think your own drag reveals abut you? 

KK: I think the biggest thing it reveals is strength. And not a strength that we typically see. I think the way that I have always felt strong was connecting to feminine energy. I would describe my energy as a softness to a divine feminine energy. I think that divine femininity has always been my strength, that power which is pliable and malleable, nurturing and loving and shared. Strength and power, but a soft fierce power that is shared and nurturing. 

Follow Kween Kong on Instagram

Leave a Comment