Scroll To Top
Interviews

‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Star The Girlfriend Experience On Being Proud, Pretty & Ready To Take On The World

‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Star The Girlfriend Experience On Being Proud, Pretty & Ready To Take On The World

The girlfriend experience
Courtesy of World of Wonder

PRIDE chatted with the drag star about repping for transwomen, the idea of being a role model, and why she is the trade of the season, period.

rachiepants

The Girlfriend Experience strutted out of the competition on Canada’s Drag Race season four exactly how she entered it: beautifully! And she knows it — humbly, of course.

While she might not have stayed in the competition quite as long as she hoped, she was there long enough to make her mark. She brought beauty, humor, and talent even she didn’t realize she had: that of a lyricist who slayed that portion of the girl group challenge.

Most importantly, however, her time on the world’s biggest drag stage also offered the performer and trans activist the opportunity to share her story and inspire other transwomen along with the people who love them. It’s something she has been doing since even before stepping onto the Drag Race set, by sharing her transition journey on social media, helping to demystify the process and normalize trans bodies in all their beautiful complexity.

She’s an inspiration and the self-proclaimed “tradette” of the season and we celebrate her. PRIDE sat down with The Girlfriend Experience to chat about the highs and lows of her time on the show, and why her “race” is just starting now. No question she’s going to be a winner, baby.

PRIDE: How are you feeling about your run on Canada’s Drag Race, now that you’ve had some time to decompress?

THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE: Having the period [between filming and] the release was much needed for me and my soul, because I had so much going on prior to even filming the show like my transition, the pandemic, relationship heartbreak. I went in there at a 10. I didn’t really have any time to acclimate, or just fully go inside, reflect, and take a moment for everything that I put my body and myself through. So having that time to look inward, have some ‘me time’ of just quiet [was good]. I didn’t have to talk about Drag Race, because we weren’t allowed to talk about it and I could ‘do me’ for a little bit and find my spark again.

One thing we learned about you this season is that you’re an incredible lyricist. Did you know that going in? And are you going to do anything with that now that we’ve seen what you can do?

It’s funny because my friends back in Germany make fun of me because I speak better than when I type. I think when I write things down, I over-articulate things and what I’m trying to say gets lost. So, that was my biggest worry going into that challenge. I’m glad that that all came together because what you don’t see is we had only so much time to do it. I was struggling because I got really embarrassed. Putting myself out there is a lot easier for me on social media than it is to relate my feelings on paper in a song. Music isn’t necessarily what I’m used to or what I’m good at, but I think now that I know that I have that skill under my belt, I do want to explore that a bit more. That’s the part of the show I was excited for, being pushed into places that I haven’t really gone before and seeing what else I’m good at. I guess this seems to be one of them.

Watch PRIDE’s full interview with The Girlfriend Experience below. 

Let’s talk a little bit about your final lip sync, it seemed like maybe you were having an issue with your outfit and maybe a reveal.

it wasn’t too much of a reveal, so to speak. I don’t like to perform with a lot on because I like to move around. Wearing latex, wearing a corset was pretty restrictive. Going into [the lipsync] all I wanted to do was like go the heck off. I was just struggling. My nerves took over [and] the song itself was a very wordy song. So there were a lot of things working against me in that moment — or at least what I had internalized in my head. But when it comes down to performing one thing that I’m sure of, and that I’m good at, it’s putting on a show and taking my clothes off and going off. Everything went kaput, everything was just like womp-womp-waa.

Well, at least you went out with an iconic exit line, which begs the question. If you’re the prettiest, who was the trade of the season?

Oh, I mean, I was the trade. Venus will kill me for saying this, but it’s about time that we had a tradette of the season. And I humbly accept that honor.

Humbly, of course!

And self-proclaimed.

Well, one of the things we saw along with your beauty and your talent is your story, which was incredibly moving. And I’m curious if telling your story has resulted in people reaching out and sharing their stories and how has that experience been for you?

I’ve connected with a lot of people, a lot of young trans artists too who find some kind of similarity or resonate with what I do and who I am as a performer. I always love getting these messages from people. Especially with the elimination, I’ve gotten so many beautiful messages, but also trans girls in other cities or countries that send me videos of them performing and they feel confident to pull their breasts out on stage. It’s a little bit different than when a cis girl does it because of the shame that goes around a trans body.

One thing that I do with my drag, and why I love being naked is I love celebrating me. I love celebrating the work that I put into myself, and the pain that I went through to be able to be this person in front of you. [I want to normalize] trans bodies, there’s such a spectrum of it.

It just makes me really proud and honored that people have found confidence in themselves through what I do to bring that to the table and bring that to the world and do it unapologetically and beautifully.

Drag Race is the biggest drag stage in the world. And by virtue of that, you kind of automatically become a role model. I’m curious, is that something you’re happy to take on?

People will put expectations on me but I think as long as we know that I’m not trying to be the role model for the ‘American Teen Dream’ to grow up to be this humble, modest woman. I’m here to celebrate and provide a visual representation of freedom for trans women, and to be able to express themselves the way that they want. As long as people like it, keep it straight, what my position is as a role model, and what I represent, there shouldn’t be any issues and I want to be that person for anybody. And I hope that people can feel comfortable to reach out and connect with me.

I find that really incredible and incredibly generous considering how dangerous and scary it can be for outspoken transwoman. So I salute and applaud what you’re doing. I have one more question and it’s a fun one. Snatch Game, who were you gonna be?

I can’t tell you. You’re just gonna have to wait and see ‘til that week comes around.

Hmm, that’s very interesting.

Just stay tuned.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.