April 13 2018

Hot Tea with Monique Heart

New York-The Standard Interview
There was no need to check for a pulse at narcbar last night, hunnies. The heart of season 10 was beating strong and we were living!

The incomparable Monique Heart co-hosted our weekly RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party Miss Girl alongside Rify Royalty at The Standard, East Village, and it was a TRUE GAG. Also, this was Miss Heart’s first official gig as a Ru Girl, and we felt honored and blessed to host such royalty. Literally, we were blessed. As a pastor-turned-drag-queen (for real), Monique engaged and uplifted the crowd, before giving us shows, shows, and more shows, late into the night.

Prior to the episode, Monique kikied with us about the current season, and the fine line between the girls and the girls. What exactly does that mean? Read on and find out. [Tongue pop.]
The Standard
THE STANDARD: So, let’s talk about you. Your name is so fitting because you really are such a pulse this season. How was Monique Heart born?
MONIQUE HEART: Well, before she was Monique Heart, she was Kutabetch. You know, cut-a-bitch. But that only got one side of me. Yes, I am tough, and yes, I will come for you, but I am also loving and sweet. I grew up in the ministry! I was a pastor! And now I’m a drag queen. I’ve got heart.
 
How does your religious past influence your drag identity and performances?
It gives me redemptive eye. In the gay community we talk about love, but no one really deals with the heart of who we are, so rarely do we hear about each other’s coming out stories and the hardships. So if I can be one where they say, “She’s pretty, she’s cute, she’s talented,” but then you can also pull me aside to be a listening ear and a support for you, I feel that separates me from being another funny, pretty comedy queen.
 
Well we definitely saw that voice of reason during the Aquaria and Vixen feud on episode three.
Oh, yes, let’s go back! When they first got going, I was like, “Can we just be sisters?” And let me tell you, at the time I did not see Aquaria as vulnerable. I hadn’t gotten her yet. I felt I didn’t have the right to speak to her heart yet. Earned authority is something real. If you want to talk to me, bitch, I better know you. But I felt like I had that with Vixen where I could say, “Girl, laugh it off. [Aquaria’s] irrelevant to you.” I was thinking, "Yes, you may want to go off this moment, but sis, [whispering] we gotta get booked after the show and the people that gonna book you may think you’re confrontational! So let’s calm the bullshit!”
 
It’s dangerous to be vocal during this competition, but even more dangerous to be silent, right?
Yes. If you do not go in saying this is what I want, this is what I do, this is my course of action, you go home.
 
During the group challenge last week, Mayhem Miller wasn’t speaking up, and you said, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” What did you mean by that?
Mayhem clearly didn’t open up and said she was OK when we asked, but she still looked triggered, so she should have said how she really felt. Mean what you say and say what you feel. Because you didn’t, your ass was in the bottom. There it is!
 
But when she got in front of the judges, then she talked. Did you feel she threw you under the bus?
Growing up in church, we use the word “discernment.” You can judge what’s goin’ on. And I remember sitting in Untucked and just knowing she was gonna throw me under the bus. You see, we have known, the drag world has known, that Mayhem Miller is that girl. She’s the LA queen who for years has been like, “RuPaul, why the fuck have you not put me on the show?” But then when she got there, and Mayhem will tell you this, too, the girl we all knew and were expecting was not the girl on the show. She was quiet, she was laid back, she was different.  Maybe it’s either the competition got to her and she wasn’t a force to be reckoned with, or she just isn’t that girl. That’s it.
The Standard
The Standard
A lot of us watching have felt you are that girl. You’re slaying the competition! But you have repeatedly landed in the middle of the pack. How did you stop those head games from affecting you?
Full honesty: I didn’t. I had a breakdown because I thought the judges weren’t getting me. Let’s break it down. Week one [for the drag-on-a-dime challenge] I come out the gate hot. While other people are hot gluing shit, everything I wore came off that table of stuff. The judges don’t say anything.
 
Next episode, we come out on the runway and the judges are saying best drag, but we were told backstage [by producers] trademark drag. So I came out in my little cookie monster look with the tearaway, because that’s me. And then the judges say they don’t get it. You say you don’t get it, but you didn’t ask, Miss Padma Lakshmi. Bitch, you don’t even watch Drag Race on a regular basis, but you wanna tell me…! Oh, no, no, no.
 
It is hard because these are judges you’ve looked up to for years. Let’s start off—RuPaul: icon. And then Michelle. And then you got Carson Kressley from one of the first openly gay TV shows. So, it's like, when I don't get a [positive] response from them, I feel fucked!
 
And then the judges praised Miz Cracker for her drag-on-a-dime look when you had given her materials….
Oh, bitch. And that happened twice! [Screams.] The gag. The gag! But I can tell you I am the dark horse of this competition. RuPaul cut me a check! Don’t take no taxes out!
 
Money, honey. OK, so you’re the dark horse, but you must have some alliances. Who are you tight with?
Asia was a true blessing week one. The first week, we did our promo and I broke my shoe. I only had two pairs of shoes for the whole competition. I was so broke when I got on the show. Asia was like, “Girl, we’ll figure it out,” and she kept me sane. After her, I’d say Dusty Ray Bottoms, who at first I thought was going to trigger me! When he walked in with that “Neva Loved Ya” thing I was like, "Oh, you’re him," and I kept watch. But he was there for me during a breakdown and we had a real friendship. After that I’d say Cracker and Monet.
The Standard

What were your first impressions of the girls?
Before I met her, I thought Monet was 4’ 2”. Like short, tiny. No, that bitch is the dude from The Green Mile. She’s huge! And that voice. That’s a man! Yuhua triggered me. Miz Cracker triggered me because of her name. And then I found out she has a black boyfriend and I was like, “You do not make sense to me, girl!” But OK, cute.
 
Do you think the beef between her and Aquaria about copying makeup looks is real?
So you saw [episode one] Aquaria lookin’ like Lambchop productions. We saw Cracker lookin’ like she had an allergic reaction to blue eyeshadow. I did not know she was supposed to be a sad mime or whatever. So, I didn’t get it. They looked totally different. But what gagged me was that Aquaria got quiet when Miz Cracker showed up. She was real bold talkin’ about her looks, but then when Cracker was there she didn’t say anything. Not even after the runway. Take your dick out girl, this is Untucked! But she said nothing. OK….be that girl. Facts: they’re both just white with long angular noses and small eyes. [Whispering] Cracker is prettier to me, though.
 
Ha! I like how you distinguish between that girl and that girl. Who fell into those two groups?
There are the girls in this season, and then there are the girls. No shade, facts, the girls: me! Because I’m that girl. Asia, because she’s that girl. Monet, Vixen, Aquaria. Aquaria is a brat, but I don’t know another 21-year-old who is that sickening. The bitch left Drag Race to go on tour for a gig she booked before she was cast. Who’s doing that at 21? Aquaria is that girl. So is Dusty Ray Bottoms. I know, right? And Vanjie. Those are the ones that do it for me.
 
Miss Vanjie. Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie. That literally haunts me. And that was episode one, but now it’s completely taken over the Internet. What was that moment like in real time?
Gaggy. When it’s time for the lip sync, the lights go down, they play the music for 10-15 seconds to make sure you can hear it, then they stop and reset and say this is for real. So there’s like a false start. It’s a gag.
 
Oh, shit!
YAH GIRL. So full disclosure, we thought we’d get a save on episode one and no one would go home. Then we thought both Vanjie and Kalorie were going home. Then Miss Kalorie pulled that stunt and hit a split and we knew it was up. Then Vanjie exits saying her name over and over, then she was gone. It’s so surreal. It’s weird.
 
So what is the gag of the season?
This is the first time since season five that the cast is stacked. People are gagging on season 10. It’s anyone’s game.

The judges are pretty stacked, too. Who do you wish had been on the show?
If Beyonce was there, that’d be nice. And I wish Tyra would finally come on. Or Naomi! You know, the icons. And then there’s...actually I’m not gonna say his name. He has a TV network that I might want to be on. So Imma wait.


Writer
Cameron Keady
Photographer
Morgan T. Stuart