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Nymphia Wind on blacking out at the crowning, Plane Jane plans & what we DIDN'T see

Nymphia Wind on blacking out at the crowning, Plane Jane plans & what we DIDN'T see

Nymphia Wind
Courtesy of World of Wonder

The Drag Race season 16 champ opens up about making herstory and reveals the most meaningful congratulations call she received.

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She’s a winner, baby! We’re officially in our banana era and we could not be more excited to take a bite.

Last week, Mama Ru named a new reigning America’s Next Drag Superstar on the season 16 finale ofRuPaul’s Drag Raceand made some incredible herstory. Nymphia Wind beat out some incredibly tough competition in the form of Sapphira Cristál and Plane Jane to become the very first East Asian winner of the original series, an honor that was not lost on Nymphia, who dedicated her win to her home country of Taiwan.

Fans weren’t the only ones excited to see the Taiwanese queen take home the crown. President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan personally congratulated Nymphia on winning. “Congratulations to you, Nymphia Wind, for being so accomplished in the difficult art form of drag, and for being the first Taiwanese to take the stage and win on RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Ing-wen wrote on X. “Right after being crowned queen, you said, ‘Taiwan, this is for you.’ Taiwan thanks you for living fearlessly.”

If that all sounds like it would feel pretty surreal, you’re not wrong. PRIDE sat down with Nymphia to dish on her big winning moment, her connection with Plane Jane, and why we are still just beginning to peel back the layers of this banana!

Nymphia

Courtesy of World of Wonder

PRIDE: You’re a winner, baby! How are you feeling that you are officially America’s Next Drag Superstar? Does it feel real?

Nymphia Wind: No. I think it’ll start to sink in either when I’m on vacation, relaxed, or I’m on my deathbed when I’m 55 thinking back on my life and realize I had won season 16 of Drag Race.

But honestly, it’s been really exciting to be able to win it for my community. This has always been a dream of mine, to be the first East Asian to win Drag Race. So I’m very happy.

That’s amazing! And how has your community responded?

Asians are living! Our community is happy. No one’s going to riot. The craziest thing is the response from the Taiwanese president. To be able to be acknowledged by her was very crazy to me. I just feel very honored and validated because I’m trying to represent my country, and to be acknowledged by the president, is kind of validation that I may be doing something right for my country.

What were you thinking and feeling at that moment that Ru said your name and that you were the winner?

I was blacked out. I was paralyzed, in a good way. Even up until now thinking about it I’m like, ‘Huh? What? That’s crazy.’ But I actually have a crown so I did win. So I need to get that in my head.

Maybe when the check clears, it’ll sink in [Laughs]

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

You had some incredible looks this season and we got to see many of your talents but watching the show back do you feel like the audience went to see the real Nymphia? Do you feel like you were able to show who you are?

I was able to show who Nymphia was and what she’s about. But one thing the show didn’t get to see is the absolutely atrocious, shady, bitch that is inside, the C.U.N.T. that I am. [Laughs] No, I’m just really sarcastic and nothing is serious to me. So, sometimes I say hateful things just for fun. That didn’t show through the competition, I guess because half of the time I was really stressed out. So I would forget to shade the other queens. You saw a more kooky side of me — aloof — which is still me.

When I spoke with Plane Jane she said there may be a music collab coming soon, what can you tell us?

[In a Vanessa Vanjie voice] Ba-naaa-na, Ba-naaaaa-na. But that’s all you’ll get from me!

[Laughs] Thank you for the exclusive preview! But seriously your connection with Plane has been so fun to see — any chance there’s a little something more there?

Let’s see. Stay tuned. You never know.

Wow, you really aren’t trying to beat those romance rumors!

You gotta edge the audience.

Touché!

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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.