By Christopher Rudolph
Walking into the competition on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Plastique Tiara was one of the most popular queens on social media, but she proved to be just as fierce without the filters. She held her own against the other girls, even winning the “Farm to Runway” challenge.
But after a run-in with L.A.D.P. (Los Angeles Drag Patrol) on this week’s episode, RuPaul made a citizen’s arrest and sent Plastique packin’. MTV News spoke with the Dallas-based queen about what Drag Race taught her, the advice Alyssa Edwards gave her, and what it was like getting a hug from RuPaul.
MTV News: Hey, Plastique! How are you feeling today?
Plastique: I’m feeling good. [Laughs] Surprisingly!
I wanna talk about this week’s reading challenge: it seemed like a lot of the girls were coming for you. What was that about?
I’m not sure. I guess I’m just easy to read? [Laughs] I don’t know. I’m very—you know, like, pure-hearted. I’m not that much of a shady queen, so I guess I was just an easy target.
When Ru asked you to sashay away, you said that you’ve grown so much over the course of the competition. Now that it’s been months since you filmed this season, how can you see your growth looking back?
Doing my time on the show, when I went on, I felt like everything was going to be great and dandy, and I was going to slay the competition away. Just because I brought good looks and knew how to do my makeup, you know? But throughout the show, I learned that it’s much more than that. You have to have charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. The thing I was missing was that I was not confident in myself. I have this idea of how America’s next drag superstar should act, and when Ru came and talked to me, I realized that I had a lot of things that I need to work on myself because of my past and because of how I was raised. It really impacted me growing up. Now, I learned to be reassured of who I am, and not to compare myself with others. And not to worry so much. Because they want to see me, Plastique Tiara. They don’t want to see Plastique Tiara doing somebody else. I guess that’s what I learned—just to really accept myself to the fullest and not worry about people’s opinions of me.
That moment in the workroom, when Ru hugged you—that was really touching. What was going through your mind as Ru was talking to you?
I…[Laughs] You know, I didn’t expect it. Honestly. He’s RuPaul, right? And I feel like he has heard stories like—about unacceptance—so many times. But for that moment, for him to really embrace me...I felt really loved. In my family, we’re not affectionate to one another, really. So at my weakest point, to have somebody there to lift me up and embrace me—like, he didn’t have to do that. So for him to have done that, I’m very grateful.
And you said that your family didn’t really know what you did. They just knew that you’re a performer. Have any of them watched Drag Race?
My mom and my grandma knew that I was a performer. When I went on this show, they didn’t know that I was filming for Drag Race. I guess you could say that they are tolerating it, but still not accepting it. Which is fine with me for now. They’ve come such a long way from when I first started drag. They thought I was, like, prostituting myself at the club because they didn’t really understand the concept. But now that I’m on national television, I have a worldwide fan base, and a platform... I think it’s more tolerable now. I’m like, Oh, okay—they just view it as a job for me.
Do you feel like you gained a new family with the Season 11 queens? Are you super close to anyone?
For sure, for sure! I’ve made amazing, amazing friends... you know, these are friends for life. We’ve gone through a life-changing experience that no one else really can relate to. This is our season, and this experience is our own. So even if we have conflicts, just like siblings, we fight. But at the end of the day, we all love each other.
Did [your drag mother] Alyssa Edwards have any advice for you when she found out you were competing on the show?
Honestly, she just said, “Be yourself. Just be yourself.” So I showed up and just had fun. That’s what I remember, too—she said, “Just have fun.” Don’t try to be somebody else to win challenges; just have fun and be yourself. And wish I would’ve done more of that. But I feel like at the end [of my run], I did. So I’m very happy.
You said that you had no regrets. Does that change now, looking back?
You know what? I don’t think I would. If I hadn’t gone home, and if I hadn’t done the things that I’d done, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have learned so much about myself, and I wouldn’t be the version of myself that I am today. For right now, I’m just so happy and blessed. I have no complaints.
Coming into the competition, you were one of the most popular girls on social media out of the queens. Do you think that hurt or helped you?
I feel like it’s a double-edged sword. Coming in, I had a large amount of followers, so people expect me to be this outstanding, perfect little drag queen. But what they don’t see is that I do have many insecurities. I’m human, so I’m not perfect, even if I use filters. [Laughs] Having a wide fan base, I was able to connect a lot with all of them. Even the things I said on the show about [not knowing about] pop culture—because after I said that, I was really ashamed. I was like, wow, I don’t know if anybody can relate to that and understand my story. But after that, I had so many messages and stories and just countless DMs saying that I relate to your story so much. I’m so thankful that you spoke about it on this worldwide platform so that people out there can relate, too. I was afraid to speak about it for a long time, so that’s just a beautiful thing to me.
What can fans expect next?
I guess I’ll just say that I’m here to conquer all the platforms. [Laughs] So, be prepared—there will be more music, but there will also be more and more and more.