As one of the beloved queens from this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.fans have been rallying for Sister Sister since she came out strongly about the sometimes polarizing fandom of Drag Race. While her time on Drag Race U.K. has come to an end, Sister continues to speak out on how we all can do better and be better as fans of the global phenomenon that is Drag Race, as well as simply to each other. I caught up with Sister to talk about her Drag Race experience, that now-legendary lip sync, and why opinions don’t always have to be expressed to be valid.
Michael Cook: Now that this part of your RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. experience has ended, what is it like to look back on the experience?
Sister Sister: I think my head is still very much inside the competition. I am excited for in a few weeks time, and in a few years time. It will be interesting to look back in a few years time and say “oh wow I thought I could do makeup back then” (laughs) little things like that. It has been absolutely mental. I suspect and hope that no other season has to go through it in the same way that we did. As fun as it was, it was stressful.
MC: You are the first queen in Drag Race herstory to perform her lip sync for your life on her own, as Ginny Lemon eliminated herself and walked off the stage. That must have been a truly surreal moment.
SS: You’re right it was. It did take me a while to notice, I’m not going to lie. Because of who it was against, there was a part of me that noticed, when she wasn’t on the stage, I said “she’s going to run up behind Ru and be doing the worm” in true Ginny Lemon style. Lip syncs are the epitome of being in the competition. You can do the challenges and get in your head a bit, but it is the ultimate, it’s like you are fighting the final boss in a game. It’s you, it is literally just you. And it literally was just me (laughs)
MC: You seem so gregarious and big hearted, but you had no problem ripping your sisters to shreds when it came to the reading challenge. is that something that comes naturally?
SS: I am like anyone, performers can switch it on and off when they have to. I love comedy roasts. I live for the reading challenge, and I think it’s a really healthy way to exorcise some demons; everyone should try it. Plus it does come from love; like Ru says, the reason we’re allowed to be so cutthroat with each other is because there is so much love in the room at all times.
MC: Prior to your elimination, you spoke very openly about the fandom and the way that they engage with the queens, which can sometimes be extremely dark. The temperature has certainly seemed to change; as members of the LGBTQ community and as fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, what do you think people can do to bring things back to a level of civility?
SS: It’s unfortunate that these things do crop up, but I think sometimes they have to. I did the only thing that I could at the time and that is to address it as big as I possibly could. Unfortunately, we kind of have to remind people to be more self aware. The way that we interact now is different. Real life means speaking online, that is what classifies as real life now and that is how we all interact with each other. We have more time to think about what we are saying when we write something out as opposed to just thinking it. We have the time to consider things more. When you are writing these things out and you that someone is going to be on the receiving end of these things, if you have to, sound it out, say it out loud. Think “is this how I want this to be delivered, is this how I want it to come across?”-take responsibility for it.
The thing is, there are consequences to the things that we say online. There is a weird disconnect between the fanbase and the stars of Drag Race; it’s almost like people put them in a character box, like they are not real people so we can say what we want. I was there to say “guys, that’s not true; we actually are real people” It’s about cutting out the middle man of me or anyone else having to say to someone “what did you say that for?” An opinion is still valid, even when it’s not voiced. You don’t have to say that thing in order to make it any more valid, it is still going to be valid.
MC: Some of your fellow competitors seemed to look at you as a bit of an underdog and you truly had to prove yourself during the competition. Do you think that is a fair assessment?
SS: Yeah, and I think it is because I started out all meek. If I had gone in guns a’ blazing like the rest of them, I wouldn’t have had to feel like I was constantly playing catch up. Mentally, I wasn’t there when I started filming and I can say that now looking back, because I can recognize it.
MC: When you came back from the filming break, was it like you were coming back recharged and refreshed?
SS: One hundred percent; it was literally like a re-birth. I think because lockdown was so harsh, this was the one thing that I was super looking forward to. It can be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so you are going to go into it with all guns blazing. I really felt molecularly different going back in. There was a moment that Ru said to me that wasn’t aired, “you’ve got this new look, you’ve come back with this stupid haircut, you’re a clown; I see it now. I see who you are”. The goddess of the whole competition understands you, it is exactly what you want to hear.
MC: What is coming up for Sister Sister?
SS: I want to do everything. I am working on my one woman show at the minute, which I am super excited to perform in front of real live people. It really is going to be about re-integrating yourself into the real world. I can’t wait to do the meet and greets and I can’t wait to meet the fanbase that I accumulated while on the show. It is truly magical, you can feel it in the air already, everyone is super excited to get back out there and be real people again.
MC: How have you stayed inspired and creatively infused during this time in our world?
SS: I was in the shower the other day and I had a pang of serotonin and it was linked to thinking about performing live on an actual stage. I imagined an actual roll of laughter in my head and it was truly the epitome of hope for me right now. “This too shall pass”; these horrible times have been horrible for a reason. We are going to appreciate things so much more than we did as soon as we can. That goes for everything; from hugging someone, being in groups with people, going to a museum. You are going to appreciate it ten-fold when you can.
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