Drag Queen Darling of RuPaul’s Drag Race Seasons 9 and 10 coming to HBO.
By Alexander Rodriguez
What do you get when you put Eureka O’Hara, Bob the Drag Queen and Shangela Laquifa Wadley together? A six-part unscripted series called “We’re Here,” set to debut this spring. Eureka, Bob and Shangela will recruit small-town residents to train for a one-night only drag performance. We got some tea from Eureka on growing up gay in Tennessee, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and wanting to be science teacher.
Where were you when you found out that you had been cast on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I was at home in my Government apartment, to be honest, wondering how I was going to pay bills and buy this wig I really wanted. Signing up for classes for the new semester at ETSU.
What was it like growing up gay in Tennessee?
East TN can be a lot less open-minded. Growing up I was the sissy boy (that was bullied), but I had sisters that beat people up for me. [laughs]. I didn’t come out officially until my senior year, when I lost my best friend and was convinced to stop going to church. I just fell into a nightlife because of it.
You had a very close relationship with your Mom that you shared with the public. I can’t even imagine what it was like losing her. There is a lot of grief in our community, whether involving loved ones we’ve lost or ones we grieve for that are still with us. What advice can you give someone from our community in dealing with grief?
I honestly don’t know. No one can tell you how to grieve, I think we all do it in different ways, but you have to allow yourself to grieve and process it. Turn to people in your life that love you and just talk about it. It’s only been 6 months and I miss her more than I ever thought I could miss someone. Honestly, I wish I knew the right answer.
Is it hard to make real friendships/maintain relationships with your status in the entertainment industry?
No, I think you must be more selective. Also, I just think everyone should be careful no matter what job you have. If you’re living life, you’re busy and you can only invest time into so many people without overextending yourself. Quality, not Quantity. At the same time, I Know No Stranger.
What is one RuPaul challenge you wish you could go back and redo? What would you have done differently?
Cher-Rusical, because I let an emotional moment from my past doubt my ability. I love to sing, and I enjoy it. I would have loved to have sucked up my fear at the moment and really turned it for Cher and the world. Rockstar Fantasy!
Spill the tea girl, what is one gossipy thing about the behind the scenes of RuPaul that we didn’t get to see?
Orange Alert was a runway that we were potentially going do on Season 10 but didn’t, so we all had orange looks we didn’t use, except Asia who used hers for the Twin Styling challenge. Then they ended up doing that Runway on season 11.
You have been a, pardon the pun, big spokesperson for body positivity and self-confidence. Has body acceptance really changed in the LGBTQ community or is it just a phase?
It’s not changed completely; it has a long way to go. Lizzo is helping a lot, I believe, in the idea to just accept yourself and others will follow your lead. People don’t like “different” or “conventionally sexually unattractive”, but we are changing the image of attraction. So, I believe there is hope.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing drag?
I studied Radio TV and Film, so I’d hopefully still be working in TV or Film. Or I always wanted to be a Science Teacher.
What is a challenge that you would add to RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I miss the Puppet Challenge (The Challenge where you dress puppets up as fellow contestants while mimicking them). They recently did it on Drag Race UK and I was like, I wish we did that on Season 10.
You did a makeover on Zachary Quinto. Did he mention me at all? Did you fall in love?
I love my Daughter Noa Fence. What a dream to work with. I mean he is truly a gem.
It takes courage to release your own music, especially since the RuPaul fan world can be chatty in a negative way. What inspired you to cross that line and go solo?
For fun. Why not? I love music and performing and making art. I do my music how my character Eureka would. That’s what makes it different.
What do your fans tell you the most?
Proportionizing; I love you too; and girl those pants are a lil tight we can see your… muffin top (dirty minds) lol!
(Images Courtesy Eureka O’Hara)
Last modified: March 6, 2020