Jinkx Monsoon Knows Drag Queens Are for Everyone


Jinkx brought the project to World of Wonder, the production company behind the Drag Race franchises and countless web series starring drag favorites. “What’s really exciting is that they gave us the support to create the show, but really let us create it in our own voice and maintain our original vision for it. And I think that’s gonna read very clearly in it,” Jinkx says. “I’m so critical of my own work, but when I watch this, I’m actually sitting there like, that’s a good joke, I like this bit.” Krug writes the scripts but leaves a lot of room for improvisation, and Jinkx comes in and works her magic.

It occurs to me when Jinkx asks how old I am, that I’m the same age that she was when she first filmed RuPaul’s Drag Race, a decade ago. So much has happened for Jinkx in that gap, like being hit by a car in the streets of Amsterdam. It’s an incident she mined for humor on the show, but it speaks to her deeper engagement with trauma.

Back in college, Jinkx remembers learning that the behaviors we accumulate in our childhood, the maxims rooted in trauma and passed down family trees — “deal with it yourself,” “if you’re strong, you won’t let this get to you” — will simply exacerbate the hurt. “You don’t get over it by denying it happened. You don’t get over it by swallowing it or avoiding it or burying it,” she says. Jinkx sees that those behaviors condition us to deploy our coping mechanisms like clockwork, overcompensating to hide the pain. “Then it affects who we are as a human being. So when we unpack it, and actually deal with it, and address it in our lives, we gain power over that trauma,” Jinkx laughs. That’s why she brought up the car accident. “But I had to make it funny for television, you know?”

Jinkx has gotten good at reading the language of the universe. She’s reminded of something she learned from RuPaul; if the universe is knocking on your door with an opportunity, take it. When you get a green light, go. “Sometimes I’m like, should I try to branch out and do something super serious? I wouldn’t even have fun doing that. I have fun being a comedian, and I have fun making people laugh. And that makes me feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do with my life.”

There’s been room for love, too. Jinkx’s wedding was held in quarantine, with family and friends appearing over Zoom to watch the celebrations in the Monsoon living room. Russell T Davies, returning Doctor Who showrunner, gave a speech using figurines and memorabilia from the show. “Doctor Who, for a while, was mine and my husband’s one show we could agree on before bed. We have very different tastes in television,” Jinkx says.

Surely there’s an alternate universe out there where Jinkx Monsoon has just graced the main stage of the TARDIS. “I can assure you, I’m not secretly on Doctor Who now. But listen, Russell, I’ve given you many free tickets to my shows,” she laughs. The last time Jinkx saw Russell, they joked about writing her a cameo role now that he’s at the helm again: “Don’t pass me off as some kind of earthly drag queen. I want to play some f*cked up alien googah.”



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