While she may be off the RuPaul’s Drag Race runway, Shuga Cain still is churning out plenty of sweet content for the children. We might be in quarantine, but you can catch this New York City queen doing tarot card readings, turning the looks online, and doing her always hilarious online show, Shuga In The Raw! In her latest venture, she has joined a number of her Drag Race sisters for Out Of The Closet, a digital series that gives you a peek into some of the closets of some of our favorite queens. I caught up with Shuga and we chatted about her quarantine life, what life has been like post Drag Race, & what it’s been like getting to develop a friendship with the iconic bombshell Charo!
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"Yo solía pensar que era la persona más extraña en el mundo, pero luego pensé, hay mucha gente así en el mundo, tiene que haber alguien como yo, que se sienta bizarra y dañada de la misma forma en que yo me siento. Me la imagino, e imagino que ella también debe estar por ahí pensando en mí. Bueno, yo espero que si tú estás por ahí y lees esto sepas que, sí, es verdad, yo estoy aquí, soy tan extraña como tú." — Frida Kahlo . . . “I used to think I was the strangest person in the world. But then I thought, there are so many people in the world that there must be someone like me, who feels bizarre and damaged like I feel. I imagine her, and I imagine she’s also thinking about me. Well, I hope that if you’re there and you read this, that it’s true, I’m here and I’m just as weird as you.” — Frida Kahlo . . . 📷: @davidserranodesign . . . #shugasosweet #Season11 #drag #dragnyc #ladyboy #gay #nycnighlife #rpdr #shugacain #eatthisnotthat #Latinx #livingthatfantasy #queen #diva #fashion #mestiza #nanashuga #teamnana #Teamshuga @fridakahlo
Michael Cook: How have you been spending your quarantine?
Shuga Cain: Well, I was actually traveling when everything happened and I was stuck in Mexico for a moment. Thankfully, I have family in Arizona so it was easier to come here, and I have been here a couple months now. It’s absolutely crazy!
MC: You are doing the online series RuPaul’s Drag Race-Out Of The Closet. Now who does not want to dive into the closet of Shuga Cain and Jan and some of our Drag Race favorites? What made you decide to come on board for this project and tear open the closet of Shuga Cain?
SC: I think it’s just that..I think people are just curious to see what our drag looks like, are we organized, things like that. Living in New York City, I was curious to see how the girls do it. I was really excited about our little space and I’m always down to share. It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed showing how we keep everything in a very, very small space!
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It’s hard to put into words what I want to say and how I feel about everything going on. I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m fed up, I’m overwhelmed, and I feel helpless. What I do know, is that I will always stand with and for our black brothers and sisters and stand against all forms of racism and injustice. As a proud Mestiza, India, Latinx, it is more than important, it is imperative that we all stand together, united as people of color, in the fight for equality! As I sit here in my parents home in Northern California, far from big cities and the protests, I’ve seen my fellow sisters protesting and helping out their cities and I couldn’t be more proud to see our communities stand together to demand change! I’ve signed petitions, posted information on socials, emailed government officials, but I want to do more, so I’ve turned to what I know, my art and my voice. As a person of color this has been a fight that I have always been a part of, this fight IS my life. I have created this performance to honor the black community, to honor the fight against racial injustice and, more importantly to honor all of the lives lost at the hands of hate and racism. This is Pride month and without our beautiful Black Trans Sisters who rioted at Stonewall, we would not have the freedoms we as LGBTQIA+ have today. In honor of them and the trans lives lost, I’ll be donating all of the tips from this performance to the following organizations: @mpjinstitute @theokraproject @bravespacealliance Lastly, I want to say that we are ALL in this together, the moment is NOW, too many lives have been lost, too many injustices have occurred, we have to demand change and we have to do the work to actually make it happen. Donations can be made via the links below. No amount is too small. Venmo: @missshugacain Cash App: @missshugacain Paypal: email@example.com I will be posting receipts of all tips and donations on my Instagram/Facebook/Twitter accounts. May we keep the wisdom of our leaders, especially that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With Love and Solidarity, Shuga Cain
MC: Many of the girls that live in metropolitan cities like New York City have definitely found ways to make the most of their close quarters!
SC: I am really lucky, my fiancee’ and I live in Harlem so we were able to find a two bedroom. I am one of the lucky few to have an actual room where I can close the door. It was a guest room when we first moved there and then drag started taking over, I was trying not to let it though. I mean, the last thing I wanted to do when watching Netflix was to look at a wig. So many friends were like “what’d you do to my room” (laughs)!?
MC: Have you kept the first outfit that you ever performed in as Shuga Cain?
SC: You know, I did for the longest time and I am actually wondering if I still have it…I think I still have it, it was an Amazon dress I think. It cost me like, twenty five bucks and if I have it, it’s at the bottom of the closet on the floor (laughs). There are a few little things that I like to keep that it’s hard to part with. You clean things out every once in a while, but there are a few things that I have saved.
MC: What has life been like post-Drag Race? It must seem like ages ago at this point.
It does seem like ages ago, it has been a whirlwind really. It has been so much fun and such an adventure. I have gotten to do so many great things, I have gotten to travel and go all over Europe and Australia, places that I never thought I could dream of going. As the season ends, you start to work with the girls from other seasons. A lot of girls that I had followed and admired for so long, we are friends now, we chat and text; It has been crazy.
I actually got to befriend Charo and her family because of the show (Shuga portrayed Charon during the Snatch Game challenge on her season). That to me, has been like a dream. I have gone to her house, we’ve hung out and filmed some things and had some meals. Every time I go to Los Angeles, I make sure I carve out some time to visit with her and the family and just have a good time. She is just incredible; It’s a total dream.
MC: Right now the world is so different; how are you staying creative during quarantine?
Well, my fiancee and I are also not together during the quarantine, so that has been tough. I have been living out of three suitcases with the same drag since March. I was traveling since the end of February, so I have literally not been home. It has been very difficult since I don’t have all my things. I have been doing digital drag shows for the kids, I am still producing YouTube content, like Shuga In The Raw. I am offering private tarot card readings now also. I have a few musical projects that I am working on and that has been keeping me busy. If I was home, I would probably be sewing and doing a million things and being more present online since I would have all of my things. It has been a nice break, connecting with my family. I am working on the projects as much as I can and you just make it work you know? I love Arizona and it has been great to walk around and chill, but it is time for me to get back to New York.
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Check out all of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race-Out Of the Closet” videos on YouTube