After making herstory as the first ever duel winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 (alongside Monét X Change ) many would think that Trinity The Tuck would enter the All Stars 7 werkroom with something to prove to her fellow winners, or herself. That could not have been further from the truth, as this pageant queen at heart showed that she has both the fashion aesthetic and comedic chops (among other skills) to compete against her fellow crown holders, rising to the top of the competition as one of the Final Four queens. I sat down to chat with Trinity about her All Stars 7 experience, what it was liking working alongside queens she has known for years (and others that were new to her) and why right now, she is counting her blessings and is keenly aware that we all are survivors.
Michael Cook: What was it like to return to the werkroom for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 7?
Trinity The Tuck: It has been fantastic. I have had so much more fun this time around, even compared to the last two times. I am just having a ball, I am just having so much fun!
MC: During my conversations with your fellow All Stars, an ongoing theme we have discussed is that all of you have already won, so some of the pressure is off and you can really get to enjoy the experience as whole.
TT: Yeah, I agree. I think that everyone is a star, everyone has won. There is nothing more left to prove.
MC: You were one of the first people during this season’s competition that started to think that having an alliance would be an advantageous way to work through the competition. Was that a pre-determined idea or something that came up in the werkroom on the fly?
TT: Well I didn’t actually initiate the alliance, Monét (X-Change) initiated the alliance. When she approached me about it, of course I was like “yeah you’re my twinner”! Monét is very strategic and I would rather have her on my side than against me, for sure.
MC: We really got to see you stretch your acting muscles this time around, in the ‘Snatch Game’ particularly. Historically, you have found that you are your funniest when you least expect it, going all the way back to the Season 9 Stanky The Starfish character during a runway challenge. Seeing what a great actress and comedian you truly are during All Stars 7, does it still surprise you?
T: You know, I think that you have to take risks. Sometimes those risks pay off and sometimes they don’t. I feel like the more you explore and you get comfortable with yourself, the more you can trust yourself in these situations. That is kind of what has happened this season, I feel more comfortable and confident doing things that I in the past, would not have felt comfortable doing. So the outcomes so far have been positive. I think that what people need to remember is that everything is trial and error; I didn’t start our that way. It’s a learned experience that has helped me become better and to grow. I believe that is true to anything in life.
MC: Your runways this year have been arguably some of the best we have ever seen on the RuPaul’s Drag Race runway, and your own aesthetic seems to have completely exploded and truly elevated. Do you think that is true of your drag from your own perspective?
TTT: I feel like there is such an expectation going back, especially as a winner against a bunch of other winners, to be the best, to show out the best. I really wanted to deliver that to my fans and give them something to look forward to each week. Something to inspire them each week. The runways are one of the best parts of each episode. You really get to see inside the mechanics of someones brain creatively of how they executed that concept. I tried to go bigger than I ever had before and so far, I think I have done a really great job at that.
MC: Some of the winners you competed against you knew very well, while others may have been newer faces to you. Is there anyone that you were truly just thrilled to see and get to compete against?
TTT: I had either toured or worked with every single girl that was there. Two of the girls I probably knew the least were Jada (Essence Hall) and Yvie (Oddly) so I was definitely interested to get to know them and see how they were in the challenges.
In Yvie’s original season, she was kind of combative, and I think because her drag perspective was challenged a lot in her season. I was expecting her to be the same way, I expected her to be combative this time and she wasn’t. She was a lot more open and I think that is because we were receptive of her drag and supportive of her as an artist, rather than try to tell her that she wasn’t valid or her drag wasn’t valid. Jada was another pageant queen, and I was excited to compete with another polished pageant queen because I know how detail-oriented I am as a former pageant queen and I was excited to see what she brought to the table.
MC: Pageants still remain a huge part of our culture, specifically the drag culture. What is something you continue to see that pageant queens specifically miss entering ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’?
TTT: I think that the biggest thing that pageant queens miss going into the show initially is that they are not receptive of change. They think that their drag, because they’re polished, is the end all, be all of drag and that they are superior. Rather than going in with an open heart and mind to learn and add something new to their drag. That has been true across the board with most pageant queens that have been on the show, not all but most. Throughout the season as they compete, you do see most of them change their mind or be more open to adding different perspectives. That is what I think these pageant queens have lacked and also, what has made them even greater in the end. Because they end up being open to those changes.
MC:What does the rest of the summer have in store for you?
TTT: Right now I am in London and I am on tour. I am loving it, I am loving being on the road again, a lot more cautious. Even more excited than before, since it has been a long time since I have been able to do this. There will be tons more touring, and I have a new album coming out next month, so there will be a lot of promotion for that. I have some more exiting things that are happening that I can’t talk about just yet, but stay tuned.
MC: What is making you the most proud of right now?
TTT: I am proud that I survived. I think that a lot of people have an overestimate of what we should be expecting of ourselves or of others. Really, I don’t think a lot of people have registered how traumatic the last two years have been. For us, to have just survived and to have gotten through it and come out on the other side, at least healthy and still here is a true feat in itself. At least for myself, the last two years were a huge mental health challenge. To be able to come out on the other side and to not be completely destroyed, that is what I am most proud of; we should all be proud of that. I think that it has been a major struggle; mental health is a huge issue in this world, especially in this country. To be sequestered and secluded away from your loved ones, friends, and even strangers is traumatizing; we should all be proud that we got through it.
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