As RuPaul’s Drag Race continues being a true cultural juggernaut, it is also now reflecting a very important part of the drag culture; cisgender female drag performers (or AFAB queens-Assigned Female At Birth). Victoria Scone is hitting the RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. main stage this year as part of the Season 3 cast, and is more than ready to compete with the boys. I caught up with Victoria recently about her being the first cisgender woman to be cast on a Drag Race franchise (and why she won’t be the last), her biggest strengths and what her hometown drag scene in Cardiff is like.
Michael Cook: Tell me about Victoria Scone….
Victoria Scone: My name is Victoria Scone and I am a camp, Cardiff, cabaret, disco diva, with a
lot of spunk!
MC: How long have you lived in Cardiff?
VS: I am a Pompey girl originally, but I moved to Cardiff, which was where I fully established my drag career. So Victoria is very much a Cardiff girl.
MC: How long have you been doing drag?
VS: About three years… It feels like so much longer!
MC: What’s a typical Victoria Scone show like?
VS: If you come to a Victoria Scone show, you’re going to get all of the divas. A bit of Barbara, a bit of Donna Summer. My drag is high campery, utter nonsense. I am not portraying a real woman. Victoria is a caricature of a woman!
MC: Who or what inspires you?
VS: I am very much inspired by traditional drag, pantomime, and the older Welsh queens. People like Ceri Dupree have really inspired me. I like to mix my traditional drag with fashion and blur the lines of panto, fashion and costume.
MC: How does it feel to be the first cis-female on the show?
VS: It feels right! I definitely didn’t invent the art of drag for women. I am not the first and I certainly won’t be the last. But I feel very capable and proud to have made it through the application process and be the first on Drag Race UK.
Me being here is political but you can just have fun with it. That’s why I started. I just wanted to entertain people and that’s what we’re going to do! Drag can just be fun!
MC: Would you call yourself an AFAB Queen?
VS: I would call myself a Drag Queen, Drag Artist, Extraordinaire. I understand it’s helpful to use AFAB, which stands for Assigned Female At Birth, when we are specifically speaking about the fact that I do not own certain cis-male drag queen genitalia. But we don’t describe cis-male Drag Queens as AMAB Queens, so as a handy tip, I’d just call us all Drag Queens or Drag Artists, and if you must know, I identify as a Tony Award.
MC: What are your strengths?
VS: I sing, I dance. I’m quick witted and I’m creative. I’m everything a Drag Queen should be. I embody a lot of traditional British drag. I am the whole entertainment package. I have been performing since I was a child. I was thrust into dance school from the age of three by my mother. She was a ballerina and was on The Benny Hill Show. It wasn’t easy at first, but fell in love with entertainment, it was a kind of Stockholm Syndrome for me. I fell in love with my oppressor. That is theatre for me. I live and breathe it. I need to do it to survive.
MC: What is the drag scene like in Cardiff?
VS: It’s quite traditional, but I’m very proud to have been welcomed in and to have broadened the diversity of the Cardiff scene. The older Drag Queens took me under their wing, showed me the way and made me who I am today. You might think that the older scene might turn me away or be sniffy about my drag, but I have turned them! Once they actually see me perform, they realise that we’re all doing the same thing. We’re all dressing up, we’re all putting on a show. I’m putting on a character, the same as a cis-male Drag Queen. We are ALL putting on a character to entertain!
MC: Why drag?
VS: I think I have always been a Drag Queen, but I just hadn’t found the right outlet. Drag was a natural progression for me. The theatre introduced me to pantomime, which is such a big part of British culture. I’ve been in pantomimes from a very young age – that was where I first fell in love with drag. I didn’t look up to Cinderella, I looked up to Widow Twankey. That was my goal: to be Widow Twankey.
I love what drag allows me to do. I feel like I can get away with absolutely anything when I’m Victoria. I love drag. I love the entertainment side of it; the escapism, the nightlife, the family. I love that it is a safe queer space.
MC: Why should you win RuPaul’s Drag Race UK?
VS: I should win RuPaul’s Drag Race UK because it’s so important, not just for me, but for marginalised minority groups in the queer scene to see themselves reflected on TV. We can absolutely have a seat at this table. I didn’t build the table (despite being very butch and very good at DIY) but I deserve a space at it. Everyone deserves a space. I wanted to do Drag Race to prove that I can win it. I’m not a fragile, little flower darling. I can have them all for supper!
Follow Victoria Scone on Instagram