January 17 2019

Hot Tea with Yuhua Hamasaki: Going Back in the Closet

Hello, hello, hello! This week on Hot Tea, I sat down with Yuhua Hamasaki in the penthouse suite at The Standard, East Village. While she put on her face, we gabbed about what it’s like to be from a conservative Chinese family, her New York clique on Season 10, and her no regrets attitude.

Tell us about your drag origins story! When what the first time you did drag?

I did drag for the first time as a way to express myself. I grew up in a very conservative household, and when I did drag for the first time it was the first time I really felt like myself.

Does your family know you do drag?

They did know, but I have since gone back into the closet as a way to keep myself close to my parents. I’m not here to correct them because I know they’re not going to live forever, and I want the time I do have with them to be in peace rather than in conflict.

Did you always aspire to go on RuPaul?

When I started doing drag it was several years prior to Drag Race, and it was really more about being a drag queen on MySpace. Do you remember MySpace?

Haha, yes! Do you feel like there are a specific set of pressures to being an asian drag queen?

I feel like I have a lot of influence in my drag from being asian, especially in my comedy and in my looks. There are a lot of asian countries where drag is embraced and truly part of the culture, but there are others where it is more taboo, like China, where the scene is entirely underground and not spoken of.

They did know, but I have since gone back into the closet as a way to keep myself close to my parents.
The Standard

Would you ever go to perform in Asia?

I’m actually going on my first tour in Asia soon! 

Back to RuPaul, a lot of the drag queens come from New York? Were you friends with any of them prior to going on the show?

I was friends, well let me rephrase, we all knew each other before the show. When we first when on we sort of had this New York clique in my season. And we’re all still friends now.

What are your takes on All Stars Season 4 so far? Who do you think is going to take it all the way?

When the season started, I was team Naomi, but now I’m all for Monet. 

What changed?

I mean, I think her performance speaks for itself.

Do you think the judges are fair or do you think they manipulate results based on what they think the viewers would like?

I think every judge comes with their own point of view and what they’re looking for, but that’s why they have at least four judges, so there are multiple points of view, which makes it fair.

What would you go back and change about your time on Drag Race if you could?

Nothing. I think I did everything right and learned a lot from my time on the show!

The Standard
Photographer
Morgan T. Stuart
Writer
Sarah Morrison