Since Drag Race UK launched in 2019, the world has fallen even more in love with British drag than it was before.
But it’s not just about the vulgar humour, hun culture references and British guest judges – as hilarious as they are. This year, the show broke boundaries by including the first cisgender woman ever to compete on Drag Race. Victoria Scone, from Cardiff, stormed into the workroom and redefined mainstream ideas of what a drag queen can be.
Unfortunately, after two strong weeks in the competition, Victoria had to bow out early after injuring her knee. But even in a run that was cut short quicker than RuPaul can scream “silence!”, she still managed to make an impact.
PinkNews: Hi Victoria! What was it like watching yourself back on TV?
Victoria Scone: Very weird! I think it’s strange to see yourself on TV at all, but then also to sort of be dropped into your favourite TV show ever, it’s even weirder.
Did you feel extra pressure being the first cisgender woman appearing on Drag Race?
I probably should have, and I guess there was, but I didn’t really feel it necessarily. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time and it was all meant to be! We never hear women talking enough about how confident they are in themselves and how good at their jobs they are. I’m very confident that I’m a very good drag queen, so I felt that I would have been able to fly the flag for cisgendered women in drag very well, if my knee hadn’t self-sabotaged me!
That misogynistic knee of yours…
It is a homophobic, misogynistic knee!
How is she now?
It was just a partial tear to my ACL, so it wasn’t a full tear, which was fortunate so I didn’t have to have any surgery. But yeah, she’s had lots of physio and now I’m back jumping into the splits… which I probably should not be doing, but you can’t stop me!
Veronica Green and other queens have mentioned the pressure of pulling together so many looks for the show on a budget, during a pandemic. How did you manage that?
The world was literally burning around us and there we were, trying to throw together like 35 looks out of our arse! It was mad. There was no money to be seen, and yet somehow, we had to complete these looks. I did work with a few designers. I did also make quite a few things myself. I made a few things that we’ve seen: I made the petals for the daffodil look and I made the wig. My girlfriend made the sandwiches for the afternoon tea look. Unfortunately for episode two, I didn’t get to wear the outfit I wanted to wear, because I was categorically told not to wear heels, so I wanted to wear an outfit where you wouldn’t see my shoes. Unfortunately, we didn’t see many of my outfits at all; if you thought the first two were going well, you saw nothing!
Who would you have done on Snatch Game if you had stayed in the competition?
I will tell you one of them: my backup option was Danny Dyer. I thought it was important, as the first cisgender woman, to introduce some drag king-ing.
Has the invitation been extended to return next year?
Well, you know you know as much as I do at the moment. What RuPaul said is what I know and what I have been told: “We haven’t seen the last Victoria.” Season three is still on telly at the moment, so I guess if I was to be invited back, that’s well into the future.
Last year there was a lot of discourse about how negative the fans can be. Has the feedback been like from fans?
Going into the show I prepared myself for the very worst and assumed that I would get vastly negative feedback about being a cis woman in a drag competition. But I was very surprised to receive positive feedback. We have to try and follow RuPaul’s advice of not to look at the comments as much as possible and I’m trying to do that as much as I can. But if I’m very honest, I’m receiving very positive tweets and comments on Instagram. I do love Twitter, follow me on Twitter if you don’t already because I’m hilarious on that!
What was it like flying the flag for Wales?
I’m very proud to be a working drag queen from the Welsh scene. I was originally born in Portsmouth, but I started drag in Wales. So I’m very proud and hopefully they’re proud of me too!
As the first cis woman on the show, do you hope you’ve opened the door to others?
I’m the first, but I won’t be the last! I plead with gendered performers to apply all the time, because I only applied so I could moan about how they wouldn’t let me on the show! I certainly didn’t think it was an option for me, but it absolutely is now the door is open, so we have to run through it. This is just scratching the surface of the diversity that we have on offer in the UK.
How did your parents react to you telling them their daughter is a drag queen?
They were very confused. But they are my biggest fans. They were away on holiday in Greece for the first two weeks the show was airing, but they were watching on their phones and cheering me on. My dad couldn’t stop crying and he was FaceTiming me. It was very adorable. I couldn’t ask for better parents and they love me unconditionally. I’m very fortunate because not everyone has such a supportive family in the queer community.
You mentioned your body issues on the show, after being read by Krystal Versace. What is the best way to balance humour with the histories people might have with things like body image?
I love a fat joke as much as the next person. And you know I love British comedy and we are rooted in insult comedy. But I think it’s about the delivery and perhaps the time and the place and… not coming from someone who’s very skinny!
How are you and Krystal now?
I absolutely adore Krystal and I think she was being smart and probably trying to use her time to try and capture attention, so I understand why she was doing it. She’s so very young as well, she’s only 19! I’ve been fortunate enough to watch her grow so much since, since filming and she’s become a very dear friend. I know she didn’t mean any malice in it because, I mean, it was factual: I was literally the biggest girl there! I’m very proud to be a fat girl. I like being fat.
Were there any challenges you were particularly looking forward to?
I was honestly looking forward to everything, which is very pageant thing to say. I love singing. I’m a live singer and I’ve never lip-synced in my life. Even on episode one, I wasn’t lip-syncing, I was singing.
How has Drag Race changed your life?
Oh darling, I haven’t had a day off since we were announced. I literally have not stopped working!
Which queens did you consider your biggest competition?
Probably Charity Kase. I think her runways are being more overlooked than anyone’s, currently.
Would you ever compete on Celebrity Bake Off or any other reality show?
I’m just waiting for Strictly Come Dancing. That’s the goal!
Are you in contact with the other queens?
We all hang out all the time. Honestly, every single one of us. We have a group chat that we text in, every second of the day. And that is genuine, I don’t think we’ve ever really had that properly, especially in the UK. But we all love each other dearly, so yes, they’ve been a great help.