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Daddy’s a Drag Queen

Updated On: February 29, 2024

Our guest this episode is Patrick Holt aka Tempest DuJour, a drag performer who appeared in three seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Patrick/Tempest is a former foster parent, and adopted two of his foster children. Patrick/Tempest shares the long road to becoming a parent.

Patrick is also an associate professor at the University of Arizona.

Daddy’s a Drag Queen

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Transcript

00:00

Hello and welcome to season three of Family Twist, a podcast about DNA surprises, found family, and amazing adoption stories. I'm Kendall Austin Stulce, and my partner is Corey Stulce. We've had fabulous guests during seasons one and two. We're sharing stories of people who identify as NPEs, also called Not Parrot Expected, others who found out they were donor conceived and have surprise siblings, and even others with unique family twists. We started this podcast to spotlight

00:30

of Kendall's adoption story and his discovering both sides of his biological family in 2017. So if you're just finding the podcast, we encourage you to start with episode one to learn more about Kendall's journey. Thank you for listening. Welcome back to season three of Family Twist. Kendall and I are very excited today because we are huge RuPaul's Drag Race fans. And today joining us is Tempest D'Jur, also known as Patrick.

01:00

Thank you. Thanks for having me. Now, we're very excited because, you know, our show is all about, you know, family twists. So DNA stories, adoption stories. You know, Kendall was adopted as an infant. So, you know, we're excited to have you and want to share your story. Well, I appreciate that. I have a lot to share. I think one of the things that really touched us from your time on Drag Race was, you know,

01:29

You could just tell how much you really adore your kids. You know, it was just, it was very, very sweet. So let's talk a little bit about your journey to becoming a father. Okay. Well, I'll try and keep it as simple as possible because it can get very complicated, you know, in these situations with gay folks adopting and all that sort of stuff. So essentially,

01:55

I started the process by getting certified as an adoptive parent, as everyone does. And then I learned really quickly, this was 16, 17 years ago, so things were a lot different legally. But I found out very quickly that this was going to be an interesting and difficult process because where I live in Arizona, it's probably the same in most parts of the country.

02:25

has a designated agency that sort of processes and hosts the adoptions for that county. And where I live, it was Catholic Social Services. So they were not about to place a kid in a home with two gay guys. And we learned that kind of quickly. And actually we struggled with that for over three years. We tried to go the straight adoption route through the state.

02:55

And it just never happened, because every time a heterosexual single person or couple expressed interest in a child, we went to the back of the line, always. And even in cases where there were self-identifying trans or gay kids, they still wouldn't consider us. And what ended up happening, interesting enough, is the woman who represented us at the Catholic Social Services ended up quitting her job over it, because she said,

03:23

over my case because she said, this is ridiculous that we have this home and we are unwilling to place anyone there. So I changed and became a foster licensed parent, which is the route a lot of gay people did back in the day because that's the way you had a child placed. And specifically an emergency placement, which doesn't give people time to figure out if you're gay or not. They just place a child with you.

03:53

And really, that's how I ended up with my son and my daughter kind of as well. They were both sort of emergency foster placements. So that we were lucky enough to adopt or I was lucky enough to adopt. So, yes, it was a situation where being reunited with the birth family wasn't, wasn't really a good option for them. Right. That with my daughter, you know, there was some resistance from the birth mother. And, but the courts quickly sort of realized that wasn't.

04:22

in her best interest at all. So it was a process. I mean, I had my daughter for over a year and my son for 18 months as a foster kid before we were cleared to adopt, which is actually around here kind of a long time to have a foster kid. There were other fosters in between as well. Oh, wow. That has to be terrifying. I mean, I can only relate it from my parents' story.

04:51

You know, they got me when I was two months old. They got custody of me. But technically, the adoption didn't go through for another nine months because there was that waiting period where my birth mother could have, you know, come and reclaim to me. And I remember stories about how terrified my parents were that that could happen. Oh yeah. It's, you know, how can you not fall in love

05:20

especially in the foster system, you fall in love with these kids right away. And you know, at any moment, they could be yanked back out of your home. And we had one kid for almost two years, and we were sure at the time we were gonna be able to adopt this little boy. And literally one day out of the blue, his dad comes back into the picture in the court, takes him away, and it was heartbreaking. I think that's one of the reasons we haven't gone down that road is that...

05:47

We know for a fact that we're not good foster parents for pets because we just fill our house with them. And I think it would just be, I don't know if we could handle it. Especially after two years, I mean, oh my goodness. Yeah, I mean, at that point, you feel like it's your kid, your family. But I guess you just have to figure out mentally and emotionally how to sort of deal with that loss. And for us, well, for me, I'll speak for myself.

06:17

It was a matter of, well, at least that kid experienced two years of real love and support and everything he needed. And even though he was little, he was like two when we got him. So he doesn't have to know and remember what it felt like to be able, loving homes. And those are formative years. So I'm sure he was bonded to you two. And then for him to have to go through the trauma of being taken away. Yeah.

06:46

just heartbreaking. So what years did you end up adopting? In what years? Sorry. Oh, got it. What years? Well, let's count back into the math. My daughter's about to turn 17. Okay. And she was just turning two when I finally adopted her. I was married at the time. I'm remarried now, but that's why I keep saying we and me.

07:13

But another interesting point too is at the time, we couldn't legally adopt as a couple. So I legally adopted the kids and my husband at the time wasn't able to. So, I mean, he's still in their lives and all that sort of stuff, but it complicates things. So my daughter was one, going on two, we got her. And the only reason I got, I really, I think we actually,

07:43

had her place with us is because I had taken American Sign Language in college and she's legally deaf. And so there were other families that wanted her, I know, hetero families, but the agents, one of the agents that was representing us for the state actually stepped in and said, look, you've got to like consider this kid's needs. And so that's the only reason she was placed with us. And then my son was, he was eight months old, nine months old, about nine months old.

08:13

And literally we got a phone call. It was, I remember it was like 7 30 at night, one night, phone call. Hey, can you take this emergency placement? I said, yeah, 20 minutes later, there's a knock at the door and the cops are here. Here's a baby. And they left and it was nothing, no food, no clothes, nothing. Um, but that to me, that's fun and exciting kind of, and, and, um, that's what we knew we were signing up for that possibility. So, and he he's 13 now. So 13 and 17.

08:42

Yeah. So what were those early days like for you just fostering, like, and getting used to having babies in your home? Crazy and interesting. And I mean, I'm a big animal lover, and I've always had a lot of pets and stuff too. And I'm not comparing children to pets necessarily. But that kind of responsibility and knowing that there's another living creature that depends on you is kind of good practice when you put yourself in this situation.

09:12

You know, you learn as you go and there's no manual. And at the time even, I remember trying desperately to research how to adopt and how to foster and gay parenting and da da da. There was nothing. There was just nothing available back then. It's a lot different now. So you wing it, you know? You do your best and I just convinced myself, I guess, you just have to follow your gut. You have to do what you think is in the best interest of this kid.

09:39

And there's no one, there's not gonna be a manual anywhere that tells you how to do this. So, you know, there's constant, when you're, when you're trying to adopt, for those three years I was trying to adopt and foster, there's monthly, if not every two or three weeks visits to your home to make sure your home is still appropriate. And the licensing, we had to do like federal background checks and I mean,

10:06

If every parent had to go through what I had to go through to become a parent, there'd be far fewer parents in the world, I'm sure. Because it's a lot. It's a lot. The classes, the 12 weeks of classes, and all the home inspections constantly, it's a lot to deal with. And people, you know, I get a lot of messages from people wanting to adopt and foster. And even some of my drag race.

10:33

sort of sisters from other seasons have contacted me and like, well, I'm considering it. And I'm like, they're like, but I don't know if it's the right time. And I said, there's never gonna be the right time. It's never gonna be a perfect time to adopt or foster. You just have to commit to it and do it. And that fear that that whole, is it the right time is a fear thing. And rightfully so, you should be scared. It's a lot. It's a human life and it's different because, I can leave my dogs, I can leave it home for.

11:03

all day and come back and they love me still. You know, with a child, as I'm sure you know and everybody else, it's 24-7. There's not a moment you aren't thinking about that child and their well-being. So, but that's one of the exciting things about being a parent to me too. The best part to me was getting out of my own head and my own craziness and focusing all my energy on another human being. It's almost like relief for me, for someone who's so in my head.

11:32

So you had your husband at the time. Who was in your village that helped with the kids? Well, my husband at the time had some extended family in town that were, I mean, supportive, but not necessarily hands-on supportive. And that's really kind of it. I mean, we were sort of it as our little tiny micro village. So I was really careful too about

12:02

especially before they were adopted, who they were exposed to, because I didn't want it to be a bunch of strange people coming in and out and friends and, you know what I mean? We didn't shelter them necessarily. We took them out. We were very social. But I didn't think it was necessarily their best interest to be exposed to a bunch of people. But that being said, after they were adopted, it sort of shifted too. And I was...

12:31

very particular about exposing my kids to lots of kinds of people and everybody. My daughter is also black, so she, you know, having a white parent and wanting to honor that part of her and make sure she was exposed to other brown people and other people of different races and that's super important to me. And, you know, I remember I have to tell you this one little thing. It was sort of magical to me once.

12:58

in the car and I think my daughter was four and my son was two. And we were just talking in the car, I was driving and I said, we were joking. And I said, well, I can't tell you two apart. How do I know who's who? And my son goes, oh, well, she's got darker hair than me. I mean, skin color never came into it. You know what I mean? The fact that he's blonde and she has black hair, but the fact that they're different races, my son's very white, never even entered their minds.

13:28

And I thought, what a beautiful thing, you know? Absolutely. Wow. How quickly did your son pick up sign language? Well, actually, they both of them went to a school, kindergarten through eighth grade, that supports hearing impaired students too. So every classroom is a mix of hearing and hearing impaired students. Every spectrum of hard of hearing to profoundly deaf.

13:56

So there's interpreters in every classroom. So they just pick it up naturally. It was really interesting. Like it just becomes a thing. And my daughter, she doesn't even sign much anymore. She's decided she wants to sort of, with her hearing aid and she has a cochlear implant, she hears enough and lip reads well enough that she speaks 99% of the time now, but still has the ability to communicate. It's fun in public if I need to send them a message.

14:25

I'll sign it to him. Like be quiet or settle down or stop or whatever. My son's actually probably a more proficient signer than my daughter who's deaf. Wow. That's amazing though. What an amazing skill to take into your adulthood. Yeah. That's amazing. I love that. Yeah. It's just going to give them an advantage later in life. I mean any language is going to give you an advantage besides your native language. Right.

14:55

How is your relationship with your birth family? There's no relation, there's nothing at all with their birth families. Oh, I'm sorry, I meant your birth family. Oh, my family? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, I mean, are you kidding? Like, I come from like, happy Mormon background, so it's like family, family, family, you know? The other part of it, no thanks, but the family part. So my parents were thrilled and...

15:24

My exes at the time weren't so thrilled necessarily, but I'll just leave them out of the equation. My side of the family were completely thrilled. My parents were like, grandkids, grandkids, where's the grandkids? So they're supportive and super wonderful. And even now my daughter, my daughter talks to my mother who's like 82 at least three or four times a day, every day.

15:54

She's gonna go spend the summer with her this summer or the rest of the summer. And they're very, very tight and very close. And it's important to me that she, my daughter has like female influence in her life as well, besides cultural influence. But so it's a bond that I'm really happy with. I'm glad they're close.

16:18

Hi it's Kendall. I just wanted to pause here for a moment to ask a quick favor. If you're able to safely look at your phone, not while driving, we would love it if you will subscribe to the podcast and if you'll give us a review. We'd love to hear what you think. Okay, back to the episode.

16:38

That's awesome. Yeah, that's great. As an adoptee who didn't grow up with any grandparents, that makes me so happy because my parents purposely chose godparents for me that were grandparent age and they were a great substitute, but you know, just I wish I had had any moments with the people that raised my parents. For sure, yeah, and it's.

17:07

Because I had a relationship with both sets of grandparents and my father's parents were just amazing people. I tell stories all the time about them. And I know that they helped me to become who I am today. And I know that Kendall, he's always missed that, unfortunately. Yeah, I mean, there's so much to be learned, right? And so much wisdom and so much just

17:37

I mean, culturally too, like what they can pick up and it's even unspoken, I think is like, can be pretty remarkable. So, and I love it. Like my mom is a very, you know, in her way, religious, conservative sort of person, which is very different from my household. But I love that my kids are exposed to that. There's different kinds of people, you know, how do you deal with that? I respect that. And you don't have to believe everything they believe.

18:06

And you don't have to believe everything I believe, you know? And now they're old enough to sort of start to get that. Now we're in a very interesting and scary time in that, you know, drag culture is being attacked, you know, and it's being politicized. You know, I think even more so than when, you know, you were on RuPaul's Drag Race. I mean, have you heard talks, are there people like threatening to like take children away from-

18:34

drag performers that are parents? Have you heard anything like that? No, I don't think it'll, it can ever go to that extreme. And you know, of course I was all up in arms when all this started to happen. But then, you know, I stepped back too. And I realized like when the Tennessee band happened, I think that was the first one, right? That really was sort of national or whatever. But now that's been struck down. And, and, and my suspicion was when that happened, I said, give it a few minutes because when the ACLU gets ahold of this,

19:03

and gets it in court, it can't possibly hold up in court, this ban. I mean, there's way too complicated an issue. It's so transparently a bigoted attempt to suppress people. It's just, you know, and I deal with young people because I'm a professor by day, and my students were really concerned and really upset by it. I said, trust me, we've been through this. It's going to be okay.

19:33

what they're trying to do is look at what the conservative right is grabbing at. Anything. It's not just drag queens. It's anything. We all know this as gay people. And I'm like, just chill and relax, stand your ground and be firm, but know that it's going to be okay, too. And that doesn't mean don't do anything. Don't protest. But it's just such a joke to me. It's just...

20:03

You know, how do you pick and choose your morality? And I said, you know, we'll give an Oscar to Brad Pitt for playing like, you know, a murderer who sleeps around on his wife, but we can't see a drag queen that dances and sings, makes people happy. I mean, where's the morality police here? You know, it's, and that's not to put down Brad Pitt. That's just, cause I work in the theater too. Like actors, we play roles. As a drag queen, I'm not, that's not who I am. I play that as a character, you know?

20:33

So you're gonna ban now everything immoral and who gets to decide what's immoral. And to me, it's just a joke. It's just, it's so dumb. But we've had, you know, even here where I live, in Arizona, we've had events that were canceled because the Proud Boys called in, you know, and said, we're gonna be there too. And you know, it's bullying. It's domestic terrorism, you know? Absolutely, yeah. It's just, and it's...

21:01

Well, it's just so upsetting because, you know, like that's one of the things that Kendall and I bonded over and we don't do drag, but we love it. You know, Kendall was a go-go boy for a drag queen. And, you know, I remember my first time going to a drag show when I was 21 and I was just terrified. And of course, the host, like, you know, immediately saw immediately saw that I was terrified. And of course, then, like, you know, called me out and everything. So it's like blood in the water. You don't want.

21:29

You don't want to be scared of the drag show that we know. Right. So where did your passion for drag come from? I think that's a good question. I've been asked that before. And I really have thought about it a lot. And I think it's that, like I mentioned, I sort of grew up a very conservative little Mormon boy. Like the perfect Mormon boy, I went to Brigham Young University. I did my two-year missionary thing. And all along, I knew I was this struggling, closeted gay guy.

21:58

inside. And then I saw drag queens and I'm like, holy shit, can I cuss on here? I'm like, you know, yeah, I'm like, here's these people that live completely fearlessly, or at least they appear to be fearless. You know, with no inhibition, living authentically, it was everything that I was not and but wanted to be. And I think that's what drew me to it. And, and just the fact that it's like

22:26

To me, it's like a communal thing. It's almost tribal and in the way that like, I always talk about drag as my mask. Like Patrick, like me, if I wasn't on Drag Race, could walk into any gay bar and be completely, you know, unacknowledged. But Patrick as Tempest walks in and it's everybody's best friend. And to me, it's sad in a way, but it's also very magical in a way that that can actually happen. And it's empowering.

22:56

you know, and it gives me a voice. And I love all those sort of things about it, you know? And I love that there's every genre of drag too, like, right, there's so many nowadays, there's so many different genres, and you can express drag in any way you want. To me, that's so important. And this is what's most exciting to me is when they're banning these things from schools that allow kids to express themselves.

23:25

Um, you know, that's the part that really irks me. Mm-hmm. Yes, for sure. For sure. And what was your first performance like? Not good. Um, I mean, but, but also not bad, you know, maybe, I don't know. I'm prepared because I come from a theater background too. I'm like, okay, I'm going to dress, rehearse this and I'm going to rehearse it to death. And.

23:55

And you can tell, like when you go to a drag show, if a queen's just like picked her song right before she came on, you know, and, you know. So I took it kind of seriously. And, you know, what mattered to me is I saw that, again, like I feel like I had that mask on and everybody except me, I walk onto this crowded room and everybody accepts me for exactly who and what I am. And...

24:23

I mean, there's a lot to be learned. I always tell people about like, you wanna see the happiest place on earth, go to a drag dressing room at a drag show. And you've got, you know, heavy girls, skinny girls, brown girls, white girls, every spectrum of type of person in that dressing room, and we're all getting along. And when I, you know, when I started drag too, I was like, I was like 150 pounds heavier. I was a big girl and I'm 6'6 as a boy. So I'm like not.

24:53

what drag is supposed to be, at least back then, you know? But you walk into that dressing room, and suddenly I had like zero inhibition about my body, zero inhibition about who I was, and everybody loves you and respects you for who you are. It's a kind of magical experience, you know? Absolutely, yeah. I mean, we appreciate the culture so much and the history of drag. You know, we've got a, we have a,

25:22

a gallery wall in our breakfast area that's all, you know, drag themed. And we've got like, you know, a piece of art, you know, like stonewall on there and everything. It's just like, you know, and I love looking at it every day just because it's, you know, yes, it's entertaining, but it's also like, it's empowering too. 100%. It's a reminder of like who we are and where we came from and what our potential is too, right? Right, for sure. What ages were your children when you introduced them to

25:53

there was never an effort to shield them from it. And so they always knew that sometimes, you know, Papa puts on a dress and goes out late at night. It was always part of their life. And it's funny you should ask, because I asked my daughter and son just a couple of weeks ago, again, in our car ride talks. And I said, what's it like for you guys now to have like a drag queen as a dad?

26:20

and they're old enough now to sort of express it better. And they're like, it's fine, it's cool. Cause it worries me that, you know, cause I, my son's quite the little athlete and I went to one of his games, his soccer games recently to school. And I remember walking in and there was a group of like little seventh and eighth grade girls and like, that's, you know, that's Augie's dad. He's a drag queen. You know, I could hear him whispering and I'm like, oh no, does this like.

26:48

somehow inhibit my son or he could care less, you know, which is great. And my daughter thinks it's amazing. You know, they've just always been around it and other queens, trans friends and everybody. And so it's normal to them. And it's sort of the vicarious life I wish I always had, like, you know, and I'm like, I'm like, you guys don't have to, you know, I made it very clear always, you don't have to participate in any way in this and you don't have to like it.

27:18

even, but this is what makes me happy and I think they see that.

27:24

That's awesome. Did you watch your episodes together? Yeah, I'm not sure. My son was very little and I'm not sure he would even remember at this point that he's seen it. He doesn't really, he's not one way or another about it. My daughter is a little obsessed with like Drag Race and all the girls and Rue and all that stuff. She's, and she's like, you know, she Google searches my name and.

27:52

as Tempest and watches everything on YouTube and you know, randomly bring up stuff I did an interview like 10 years ago and I'll be like, why are you talking about? And she's like, no, it's a video on YouTube. So she's sort of like my archivist in a way and reminder, but they love it and they, you know, they think it's kind of normal. I'm not sure they think it's normal, but they realize that this is

28:20

something I like and that's okay. I mean, I think you're discrediting yourself a little bit when you say, you know, that's Augie's dad, he does drag. It's like, yeah, but you're kind of internationally, you know, internationally known, you know, it's not, it's not just like the person that shows up once at the club, you know. Well, I mean, you're very kind, but something my kids do have to deal with constantly is when I'm in public and getting recognized and

28:49

You know, we can't walk through Target without someone wants a picture. And I know I can see that sometimes it irritates them a little bit. And, um, but that's just, that's my reality too. And I'm never going to like, I'm very protective of my kids publicly, but. I rarely post them on social media or anything like that. Cause I feel like that's their decision to do. But, um, yeah, but, but whenever there's a public sort of thing, I don't allow my kids to be in the pictures and stuff. Cause that's not.

29:19

But it literally happened like last night, I remember. We were like, we were picking up food from a takeout and, and I mean, it happens again. And you know, and my kids are just rolling their eyes and I'm like, I'm sorry, you know. But we have to eat, we have to eat. Right, yeah. So even though your time was relatively short on Drag Race, what were the takeaways? Like what was your experience like? And you know, what kind of friends did you make that you're still friends with today?

29:48

You know, it's I have such mixed feelings about Drag Race and first of all, let me say Look, I'm super grateful for the experience. It was in the long run. It's amazing and it it gives you a platform And the fact that they've invited me back for two more season, you know, I've I mean appearance on season 10 I was on season 13 and and That's that's kind of cool I mean that to me that's the best the fun part because I wasn't competing too and You know, you know going into it

30:18

like, you know, I don't want to break my NDA things, but are my, I don't, because like when you start your life away, you know, don't tell the secrets. But you know, you, you, you know, everything's possible when you're on the show. And, and I, you know, it is what it is. And I don't, I, the producers, and the, and the, and the founders of the network,

30:47

First of all, we're really shocked that you're first to go. But second of all, after the season was over, they said, you know, you've created a new category here of, and this sounds so conceited for me to say, but of like first offs that people are gonna remember. Like, and I hear that constantly, you know? And that makes me feel like amazing that somehow I made an impact and.

31:12

I still get daily messages from people all over the world. Like, I just saw your episode and da da da da. It just makes you feel good. And I'm friends with really all the girls. People hated our season at the beginning because we all got along. There was no inner... Yeah. Kasha Davis, a dear friend we talk all the time. Trixie and I talk all the time. I mean, I see Kennedy and Jasmine all the time. I mean, we're all still friends.

31:42

And the magical thing too, sort of like, a lot of gay kids grow up feeling kind of lonely as I did in a lot of ways, especially being like a closeted religious kid. But suddenly you're part of this sorority of girls. And like I was doing a show last night with India Farah from Drag Race. And you can walk into someone who you don't even know, but we both shared that experience. And it's like a bond. It's like trauma bonding.

32:12

is what it really is. I mean, the experience is really hard and myself included, a lot of girls ended up in therapy after the show. Um, cause it's, it can be a really devastating experience and a really joyous experience at the same time. Um, right, right. You know, putting your fate in the hands of this show and, and literally like they can edit you to be wonderful or they can edit you to not be wonderful.

32:42

course they can't edit what you don't say so I always, you girls I'm like careful what you say because they'll you know and I was very lucky I got a very good edit but um but um but but you know I just love I love being a part of this group of girls who's like like the girls in this season's I've I've never even met in person the new or newer girls especially there's an immediate bond you know I can

33:10

I know in a crowded club, I can go to them and we feel the safety of each other. Well, I think it's important that you hit on that you were one of the first to leave that had such a big impact, because immediately Kendall and I know who you were, what season you were on, everything, and we'll rewatch older seasons or previous seasons, and there are some girls that get five, six episodes, and I'm like, I don't remember this person at all. I know.

33:39

Which is sad because it's like, you know, those people really did get some airtime sometimes. And it's like, yeah, but either the way they were edited wasn't, you know, a memorable experience for the viewers. Yeah, I love it. And, you know, I take it like, it sounds silly, because it's like a drag show. But but I take it seriously, because I do get messages from especially kids who are struggling in life and

34:08

I'm like, well, if that's, you know, I'll, I'll, I've used this example many times publicly, but I'll tell you as well that I'll never ever forget DragCon the first time and only time they've done it in New York. You know, we have our little booths and people are waiting in line to meet you and whatever. And this kid comes up, he was like 15, and he says, I drove through the night from Ohio to get here to meet you. And I said, oh my God, you know, I'm so flattered. And he said, I want you to know that like,

34:36

I was at the end of my rope, my family rejected me, I wanted to die, I wanted to kill myself. He said, so I messaged all my favorite RuPaul girls and you're the only one that replied. And he said, and that's why I'm here to meet you and I feel like that's why I'm alive. I mean, you know, talk about like a feeling of responsibility and you never know the impact you're having. And I don't, you know, there's a...

35:05

There's a lot of girls who get a lot of messages and I don't shame them for not answering their messages necessarily. Some I do. But it's important, like if you're, if you took the time to reach out to me, the least I can do is send you an emoji or something. I mean, acknowledge you, you know? Cause you never know. And this kid like, I mean, that was an incredibly impactful moment in my life. Like all it took was.

35:33

answering his email saying thank you so much for being so kind and literally that's like all I said to him. And I think you know being a parent that probably influences you know what how you treat your fans you know because you understand you know like you know what it's like and you've seen um you know kids with trauma and and stuff so you know you've walked the walk. 100% and even on a more surface level like I remember before I was on Drag Race

36:01

The first time a Drag Race girl replied to one of my comments or my messages, and I was like thrilled, you know? It was amazing to me. And I felt acknowledged and seen somehow, you know, and as shallow as that kind of is in a way, but, but you know, yeah. And everybody has a story, you know, it's like, it's, there used to be this show on Sunday mornings where a guy would go to a random town in America and open a phone book back when there were phone books.

36:29

and he'd randomly point to the name and he'd call that person and go interview them to learn their life story. And to me, that was such a lesson and I wish that show would come back. Maybe I should bring it back. But everybody has a story. Everybody, you never know what people are going through. You never know what impact you may have on their life or they may have on your life. It's just, it's so important, I think especially now. And we have a lot to deal with now. Kids have a lot.

36:58

deal with now. Absolutely. For sure, for sure. You know, and as the seasons have continued, they've gotten, you know, bigger as far as like, you know, what you're kind of expected to bring, you know, for outfits and things like that. Would you consider doing an All-Stars just knowing now like how big it is?

37:19

Um, let's say I have considered doing an All-Stars. I don't know because now, you know, you know, it's going to cost 10 to 30 grand in clothes and hair and makeup to be on the show. And do I, do I spend that with the risk of being off again first? Do I, you know, or do I save that and spend it on my kids and go on a vacation with my kids? It's, you know what I mean? It's Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you know what I mean?

37:49

It's like, and do I need the emotional torture again of that? And it was in many ways emotional torture, you know? Because along with all the good stuff comes a lot of bad stuff too, with people commenting on you. And I think my season was the first one where people started acknowledging through social media that, you know, Jasmine and Kennedy on my season were getting terrible, terrible, like racist threats and messages, and so much that Rue had to acknowledge it on air.

38:19

And that's the ugly part of it too. And it's weighing what matters most, I guess. Or, I don't know. The answer for me, people ask me this all the time, but I don't know, I really don't know about All Stars. I get it, I mean, especially, you've got kids in your house and...

38:48

regular day job. And so yeah, it would be very challenging, I think, to do. Yeah. And I think if I do and did do it, it would be just, I'd have to go in with a whole mental attitude of just have fun. It's for fun. I'm not going to take out a loan, a second mortgage on my house to buy new clothes. It's become more about that. And I wish people

39:19

Drag race in general is fabulous and what it's done culturally has been kind of amazing for drag, but it's a very, very narrow window of drag. You know, I always said, lip sync for your life, okay, fine. How about put a microphone in your hand for your life or all the other things drag queens do? We don't just, it's not a dance-off, you know, always. That's not all of us are dancers.

39:45

but I can hold an audience with a microphone, give me a microphone and I'll slay all you. You know, I'll show you what I can do. So it's a very narrow view of drag. So I wish it was, and now it's really become about costumes and makeup and hair and not so much to me. Like, you know, where are all those challenges where we had to dumpster dive and make a costume?

40:12

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, for me, and I'm sure it's different for, you know, every fan, but like, like the the runways are, you know, like, I can take them or leave them. I love the interaction in the workroom and just, you know, seeing people and seeing, you know, it's to me, that's more fascinating. And that's more rewatchable. You know, of course, I you know, you love to see a great lip sync when somebody, you know, death drops from 20 feet or something. But you know, it's well, but I think it's Yeah, it's like, it's like,

40:42

that camaraderie and just, you know, hearing people's stories. And that's to me what what keeps me coming back. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. It's it's human interaction and not, you know, not the forced and. I think part this is my personal opinion, but now that and I have some evidence to back this up that I won't get specific about, but now that like VH1 and MTV and all those people were involved in the show.

41:11

It's become a showcase of young girls and a lot of very inexperienced young girls. And I know that they want young and pretty. Young and pretty is what sells, is what makes people tune in. But you've got like, I think you're missing out on the most amazing queens in America and around the world because you're focusing on young and pretty. And I don't mean necessarily for girls like me, but experienced.

41:40

You know, right. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. We need to showcase those people. Yeah. Yeah. And life experience that you can actually talk about and share and. Right. Yeah. I'm floored that there's not a drag king show at this point. You know, like it's where's that? You know, yeah. And there's there's been a lot a lot of discussion about that, you know, for years and years there. There was no trans representation on Drag Race. Right.

42:08

He broke through that and everybody's now is like, where's the Kings, where's the Kings, where's the Kings.

42:16

Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciate, I love, I mean, I rarely get to talk about family and kids. People are more interested in like behind the scenes of Drag Race, which is fun to talk about. But I love, obviously this is my priority as my family always, so I appreciate the opportunity to talk about it. So thank you. Thank you for doing what you're doing. You're welcome. Oh, thank you. We enjoy it so much and.

42:42

Yeah, it was self-serving at the beginning and it still sort of is when I get to tell my parts of my story but we've met so many just Incredible people with interesting stories and bizarre stories, you know, so it's been Really entertaining for us. Yeah, so it's it's important stories to tell and keep doing it and people need to know like what it's like You know, I don't know if many people even realize Michelle Visage was adopted

43:11

And so we talk about that all the time. And there's other girls from the show that have been adopted or were in foster care. And you know, Miss Fame on my season was bouncing around foster care when she was a teenager. And we talked a lot about that. And I think it's important to know and take the sort of mystery out of it for, especially our community, you know. So it's important that you share. So thank you for sharing.

43:37

Thank you so much for listening to Family Twist. We feature original music by Cosmic Afterthoughts and Family Twist is presented by Savoir Faire Marketing Communications. Check out our website at FamilyTwistPodcast.com for blog posts and all of our episodes.

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