Uttering the words “with my heart in the right place, the future will be holographic.”, Ma’Ma Queen showed that they were the kind of queen who would be doing things their own way. Whether it was being the first queen to “smoke weed” on the main stage or being the first queen to make over her own father for a runway challenge, Ma’Ma Queen was here to challenge what many consider to be the “way” to do drag. I caught up with one of the finalists from this season of Drag Race Holland and we chatted about everything from the evolution of their relationship with their father to whether or not sewing is crucial to success on Drag Race.
Michael Cook: What has your experience been like on Drag Race Holland as part of the inaugural cast?
Ma’Ma Queen: Well for me, the experience began with my audition, then I really focused on finishing everything for the season. I am a fashion designer and creating the looks was really the main preparation for me. I didn’t really prepare for anything after Drag Race, so all of the attention is like a gift. We had a great premiere with all of the queens, and during this crazy time, that was really special. I think it’s really good for the sisterhood of the country also.
MC: As a non-binary queen, you are truly a trailblazer for the Drag Race franchise. What does it feel like to be a contestant that is broadening the spectrum of what drag truly can be?
MMQ:I think in general, the first cast of Drag Race Holland is very diverse. We have the first bearded queen and I am non-binary. I am super happy to represent the non-binary community within the LGBTQ community. I am happy to share it from the stage and educate the Dutch people who are not educated about non binary people. You can be non-binary and do drag and you can identify as other than male and still compete on the show. Over time as seasons continue, there is space for more people and more inclusiveness. I think Drag Race is a great platform to showcase growth.
MC: What was your favorite part of the entire Drag Race Holland experience and that you will take with you going forward?
MMQ: It’s probably obvious, but it is definitely the challenge where my dad came. My dad is a really normal dad. He lives in a small town on the East side of the Netherlands. He works nine to five days a week and on Sunday goes to church. He likes his ways and has a structure in his life. Performing and entertaining is something he is totally not into, so it is already a big step for him to go on stage. Now he is on stage, in heels, full wig; for me that is a big step. For my dad to do that for me and to show he is really supportive of everything that I do, that is for me but it’s also for the whole community. There are so many people that have issues with their father or a father who is not emotionally involved, I feel like the whole community needed to see this. It’s also a good example to show other dads that it’s not weird if you have a son doing drag and you can be supportive; you don’t have to be a queen to be in drag.
I also really connected with Janey during the season and knowing that her dad passed away a few years ago, it is even more special to get to show her this. There are some beautiful moments I shared with the queens during this episode. You can feel it, the whole episode is very humble and loving and appreciating that we got to share it with our family.
MC: What was it like to be the first queen to actually smoke marijuana on the main stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
MMQ! Well to be honest, I actually wanted to smoke real marijuana and literally blow it at the judges so they could truly smell it. I unfortunately wasn’t allowed, since we were not allowed to drink or smoke or anything like that during filming. It was a fake joint and I couldn’t even light it (laughs). I sent a message and hopefully it was an homage to real marijuana. I presented it like it was royal, the queen of nature, and for me it is like a medicine. It was a risky thing to do, as there are a lot of negative connotations to being a stoner. I wanted to show that you can really work hard and be ambitious and creative, and use it was an antidepressant. In Holland, we have easy access to coffee shops and you can talk about marijuana and joints really openly and I appreciate that about my country. When they give us a theme like “Miss Holland”, it was like “yes, now is the time to bring out the marijuana”!
MC: You make your own garments and even to this day, many girls will come onto RuPaul’s Drag Race now knowing how to show, to a variety of results. Do you feel that it should be a requirement to know how to sew?
MMQ: Well, if there was a sewing challenge during my season, it could have come in handy. We had two and a half months to prepare, so I was working twelve hours a day for two and a half months working on my outfits, with some assistance of course. If you have designers making your outfits, they can spend that entire time making your outfits. I had to divide my time in making the outfits, and it was crazy. Maybe for two or three runway challenges, I could have asked a designer to design for me and then focused on other outfits even more. It is so much work for all of the runways and you want to do the best that you can. If you don’t have a sewing challenge during that season, you don’t really need that skill. I think for a second season though, the girls should be ready for a sewing challenge. They can take some classes with me (laughs)…
MC: What is next up for Ma’Ma Queen?
MMQ: Well right now I am planning on making some more content for social media, what else can we do at this time? I hope after the pandemic we can do a tour, it would be great to interact with the fans more than just online, I am really missing that. I am also working on creating my own clothing brand, depending on how the pandemic goes, I am working on creating my own collection.
MC: How have you stayed inspired and creatively fueled during the past year?
MMQ: To be honest, I have my ups and downs. I have been a freelance costume maker for several years and I was busy with all types of entertainers, from drag queens to circus performers to ice skaters. Now no one is really performing so no one needs any costumes. Now I can turn inward and really make some things for myself. I miss that a lot when I am working twenty four seven for other people, so it was kind of a blessing. As for inspiration, my tip is to buy a book if you are blocked from inspiration. Go to a bookstore and buy a book with pictures and nice images, I am sure you will get inspiration from that instead of scrolling anything on your phone. Anything where your interests lie, whether its fashion or makeup, buy a book where you can sit down, go through the pages and get inspired.
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