December 17 2018

Hot Tea with Roxxxy Andrews

As the queens head back to RuPaul for All Stars season 4, I took some time to chat with the legendary Roxxxy Andrews at The Standard East Village before she performed at the Narcbar premiere party. Dressed in a stunning ruched red mini dress, complete with a red (faux?) fur scarf and iconic silver sequin heels, we escaped the evening drizzle in a temporary yurt surrounded by for-sale Christmas trees in the Winter Garden. Her refreshing candor covered reflections on her time on RPDR, advice for other drag queens, and, of course, some much needed tea; like how to get out of a door shut with duck tape...
I was like “I need five minutes. I will not go back on that stage unless I have five minutes.” Eventually they came up and they were like “Go now!” So, I went and super glued the second wig on.
The Standard
The Standard

How did you get into drag?

I was a MAC makeup artist, and I was terrified of drag queens. I just didn’t get it--are you a guy? are you a girl? One Halloween, I didn’t have a costume, but I had all of this makeup from being a makeup artist, and I got into full drag. It was so much fun, and I got so much attention. Everyone was like “oh my god, you’re so beautiful”—I was hideous—and it just went from there.

Was RuPaul a goal that you had?

RuPaul started changing drag. Where I came from, drag was female impersonation, so they wanted you to resemble a female to the point where, “I can’t believe that’s a male!” and Drag Race just opened the eyes of how many types of drag there are. I went right into pageants and then little by little it just rolled like a ball.

Obviously when you have cameras on you, it would be hard for me personally, to be my genuine self. Were there people on the show that were one way in front of the camera and then did a complete 180 when the cameras turned off?

I’m not gonna mention names, but here’s the real tea. There were a couple that were playing characters...the entire time, so you never got to see their genuine selves. We’d ride in the car in the morning, and it’d be like one person and then as soon as we’d walk into the werk room it’d be like “Hi everyone!” and it was like “who am I speaking to? Where is the person I was on the bus with when we came over here?”


I’ve met a lot of trans women that have been like I would cut my breasts off for the opportunity to be on Drag Race.

Would you say that you’re you all the time?

I’m me 24/7, and I think that’s what hindered me a little bit on my season, because I was so me the entire time. I was a pageant girl, so on my season I was very against Jinx because one, I didn’t understand that type of drag and two, I was just very honest the entire time. When I didn’t like what she did or I didn’t understand what she was doing, I was like how are you judging this young girl who is not even in my ballpark?

So, speaking of your time on Season 5, I feel everyone remembers exactly where they were when they saw the wig reveal heard round the world. I was at a viewing party in Brooklyn, and people were literally spitting out their drinks. Where did you come up with that?

Santino told me on one of my critiques that my hair was a little small and he wished it were bigger. It was my only time on the bottom two, and I knew I was going to be lip syncing and that the song was “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith. So, I’m filming Untucked, and I’m like so what am I gonna do? I know if I whip that wig one time it will fly off, and I know that RuPaul doesn’t like it when you take your wig off, so I tell the producers that I need to go to the werk room for five minutes, and they are like “No way, we’re filming other content in there!” And I was like “I need five minutes. I will not go back on that stage unless I have five minutes.” Eventually they came up and they were like “Go now!” So, I went and super glued the second wig on.

What are your predictions for season 4 all stars?

I love Naomi. I call her my daughter, so I’m totally team Naomi. I think that she’s had great growth, in her persona too, so I hope she takes it all the way.


The Standard
Everyone has a bitchy side! So, if you think you’re a saint and have never gone off on anyone you’re a damn liar.

I feel like you changed a lot between your season and All Stars. Dare I say you got nicer?

The true tea is that I didn’t become nicer, I was just more cautious of the words that I was saying. When I went on Season 5, I was like, no holds ever. Everything just spewed out of me, and I think that’s what hindered my success. On All Stars, I was in the bottom so much, and I think it was because I was so in my head about making sure I showed them how I really could be versus just saying what I wanted and competing. If I could do it again, I think a happy medium would be perfect, and I will eventually win.

Have things changed since All Stars?

Things have changed because I think the public wanted me to “be nice,” in their words, when I was the same person the entire time. When people come up to me and they’re like “Oh my god, I’m so glad you changed!” I’m like thank you for appreciating who I really am, but that’s how I was the entire time. Drag queens are bitchy. We all want to be better than each other, and if they tell you differently then they’re lying.

It’s a competition!

It’s a competition! Just like on Drag Race, it’s a competition, so if they’re telling you they’re not, they’re lying. Everyone has a bitchy side.

I mean, EVERYONE has a bitchy side

Everyone has a bitchy side! So, if you think you’re a saint and have never gone off on anyone you’re a damn liar.

The Standard

Ru just got some backlash about not having any trans women, or men, on the show. Do you think it’s going to evolve?

Honestly?

Yes, please!

There is still not a trans woman that has been on that television show, until Sonique walked on for that holiday special. I’m not trying to speak for the trans community, but I can understand where their minds are at. I’ve met a lot of trans women that have been like I would cut my breasts off for the opportunity to be on Drag Race. Gia is now on All Stars. Gia is a woman, and I feel like now she’s living her life comfortably the way she wanted to be, and I’m not saying breasts gave her that because being trans is so much more than breasts and hips. Maybe Peppermint was the first trans girl on RuPaul, but Peppermint was doing her interviews and presenting as a male on the show. She was female, and thought of herself as a female, but they didn’t let her show who she really was. I know when Monica came out and said she was trans it was drama.

Do you think that’s in the future?

I want it for the future. I feel like it’s an element they need on television because it’s an under told story. Let me hear how you’ve transitioned; let me hear what you’ve gone through. We go through a lot as drag queens but America hasn’t heard these trans voices, and I want that for the community.

It’s such a platform for the LGBT community, especially now that it has become more mainstream and won that Primetime Emmy.

It is. I can walk around and people are like “Oh, that’s a drag queen. I’ve seen them on MTV; I’ve seen them on VH1.” But they still don’t get the trans thing. They don’t know the stories. What makes them trans? What is it like to be born as a woman in the wrong body? Those are the stories that all Americans should know. and this is the perfect outlet to do it. I don’t know who is holding back the trans community from being on the show, but I wish they would include it. I want to hear their stories, their struggles.

Is there a relationship between doing drag and fully realizing one’s trans identity?

When I started doing drag, it was a question for sure. You’re dressing as woman. When you’re in drag you get more attention. When I first started, I questioned it. Am I doing this because I am a female or I’m more feminine or am I doing this because I want that attention? Maybe I like straight men instead? Or I want people to look at me as a woman? Do I want to be a girl? And for me, I love being a male. I think I’m attractive as a male. I love my life as a male. And this shit hurts. I can’t imagine doing this 24/7. I could go on and on.

Writer
Sarah Morrison
Photographer
Serichai