The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race talks to Yahoo Entertainment about season 14, and Maddy Morphosis reveals what it's like being the first straight, cisgender male drag queen.
- Condragulations on being part of the season 14 cast. I can't believe that the show has been on for 14 seasons. And that's not even counting all of the All-Stars and international seasons. And it's bigger than ever.
The cast has, you know, over the years, diversified. We had, you know, Kylie as the first trans woman to win All-Stars. We had a trans man, Gottmik, who was in last season. And of course, people have been paying attention to the fact that Maddy is coming on and is the first straight cisgender man. Some people think that's great because it's showing that drag is for everyone, other people think, no, this is like a sacred queer space. We don't need another straight man up in this space. Your casting got a lot of attention, you know, both positive and negative.
MADDY MORPHOSIS: Honestly, I've just, like, been focusing a lot, like, on the positive. I've been doing drag for about five years now. And I've always encountered nothing but support for drag. So I'm just really focusing on the positive aspects of it. And I feel like anyone who has a negative feeling about it are just kind of basing their feelings off of just gut reactions and headlines. And they don't-- they haven't had a chance yet to really get to meet me and what I'm about.
ANGERIA PARIS VANMICHAELS: I personally don't consider drag as just a queer space. I actually consider drag more of an artistic space. I feel like that's the whole point. It doesn't matter who you are or who you choose to love or what you're attracted to. Baby, we are all here because we got one thing in common. We like the art of drag. And I'm so glad that we get to all be a part of a cast that is showing this inclusion, like, to the world.
KERRI COLBY: You have to go back to what drag is and what drag means. There is no specific box that drag belongs in. It's a way to express yourself, to feel who you are.
And I think with Maddy being on our cast, like I said in previous interviews, we never went in knowing who people were. We just went in as we are who we are. Let's introduce ourselves and get to know people.
And I don't know Maddy for being a straight person on "RuPaul's Drag Race." I know Maddy for being an authentic and genuine person who has been inspired through the art of drag and is pursuing their passion.
And I think, also, to keep in mind, we always talk about walk a mile in the shoes, walk a mile in the shoes, walk a mile in these Louis Vuittons. Well, Maddy quite literally is an example of someone who may not necessarily be the typical person to be a part of the "Drag Race" franchise. But they're walking around in our shoes. And they're doing it authentically. And they're giving the representation where representation is needed and do.
DAYA BETTY: I knew Maddy before coming to the show actually. And I had obviously known about her personal life. But that really should have no effect on someone's artistry. Drag is a form of art. And above anything else, it's just self-expression. And everyone has that right.
And allyship is, like, a huge part of the game, making sure that we have people that aren't necessarily gay or lesbian that still stand up for us or use their voice to help us. So people just need to calm down, you know?
KORNBREAD JETÉ: I think Maddy is a part of the family just like anybody else. We're going to protect Maddy at all costs. But I also think, while a lot of people are focusing on Maddy being a hetero cisgendered man, you also have to realize too there are two POC trans people on the show as well, which is just as important, if not more important about someone being a heterosexual male on the show.
ORION STORY: Everyone wants to, you know, preach about inclusivity and you know, say, like-- I think the focus has been, you know, the fact that we have like a straight person. But like Kornbread said, we have two trans people of color on this season. And I think this cast is so diverse. It's probably one of the most diverse casts we have ever had honestly.
And I think that it's like, it's really important. Because you know, there is going to be people like Maddy watching the show that, you know, maybe want to try drag, somebody maybe on the street that thinks, like, oh, yeah, I can do it. And I think it's important that we all understand that it's not about someone's sexuality or how they identify. We all bring something unique to the table. And I think that it's important that we all acknowledge that and, like, you know, respect that.
JUNE JAMBALAYA: Ru always says it best. We're all born naked and the rest is drag. So I am excited to have Maddy and to have someone with a different point of view. Like, we have trans winners. We have a drag king. It's such a wide perspective of drag. It literally is an art form. And you can't tell someone that they cannot share their art, period. That's just crazy to me that negativity is even attached to someone willing to go on national television and bare they're all in their art form.
BOSCO: I totally agree. Like, drag is just like clowning gender. And I don't understand why that should be restricted to someone based on their sexuality. If you think it's important to, like, know and respect the history and the queerness behind drag, which is something that Maddy does tenfold. I can't speak to as-- to enough of how much I love Maddy and how happy I am that she is in this competition with us.
KORNBREAD JETÉ: Maddy is a drag queen that is on the show. We all know that. We all see that. Obviously we love attention and things like that too. But this is the first time that has happened on the show like this as well. So we love Maddy. Everyone in here loves Maddy. Everyone in here will protect Maddy at all costs. But I think everyone's make it a bigger deal than what it actually is. Maddy is a drag queen. Maddy puts on makeup just like all of us sitting here on this camera.
We all want to throw marbles under Maddy's feet because Maddy is competition. Nothing is changing in that-- in that manner.
- It's season 14. The show has been on for more than a decade now. So we've gotten to the point in the show where there are people who grew up with this show and there are people who maybe auditioned for it multiple times. Do any of you have stories about, you know, growing up with the show or following the show and how it may be put you on the path you are now?
ANGERIA PARIS VANMICHAELS: I've been watching "Drag Race" literally since season 1, episode 4. And I was, like, in middle school then, and didn't really know nothing about drag. And like, I've been a fan ever since.
DEJA SKYE: I started watching from season 1. The drag scene, especially where I'm from in Fresno, was very small. And I really didn't see it at the caliber until I started watching "Drag Race." Because it really-- "Drag Race" did kind of change the game, locally, for kind of every-- everywhere, honestly.
WILLOW PILL: The first time I saw "Drag Race" was when season 1 was on Joel McHale. They were making fun of it. And I was like, oh, I kind of like this show. And so I started watching. Yeah, it was eighth grade. It wasn't until maybe like 5 or 6 where I was like, I think I can do this.
JASMINE KENNEDIE: My first sighting of a drag queen ever was Raja on season 3, her finale, you know, when I was in, like, fifth grade. So, like, literally it was just like it was always like a memorable moment. And so yeah, definitely a child that grew up with it.
ALYSSA HUNTER: I just started watching because I was a little kid. Yara Sofia, Puerto Rican sister, go over there in season 3. So I get inspired. And I know, one day, that I will be a "Drag Race" queen, I will be a Ru girl. And now here I am. I made it. And it's-- it's a dream come true actually.
JORGEOUS: It wasn't until season 4 that I really started watching it. And I was just like, oh my God, like, I need to do this. So like, once I watched season 4, I was like, I need to keep on doing this so I could eventually make it on, you know, hopefully sooner than later.
ORION STORY: Me and my mom used to watch the show together all the time. And you know, and she passed away. And I wanted to, you know, make my drag a-- in her honor.
JUNE JAMBALAYA: My first season of watching "Drag Race" was Violet's season. I was completely in love with Miss Kennedy Davenport. And I just thought no one could dance-- no one still can't dance like that.
DAYA BETTY: I would say Adore from season 6. Adore Delano is like-- she's the first queen that I saw and I felt like kind of spoke to more of like a younger generation, just by the way she approached drag. And she doesn't take anything too seriously.
BOSCO: I didn't start watching until season 8, but immediately, like, fell in love with it and, like, started watching the entire catalog. Sasha Velour's finale lip sync with the rose petals is what convinced me that I needed to start doing drag. Because I didn't realize drag could tell a story quite like that. And after I saw her do that, I'm like, oh, I need a piece of that. I need-- I need to do this as well.
LADY CAMDEN: Two people come to mind. Like, I think, obviously, Brooke Lynn Hytes, because she's a ballerina. But also, like, Bianca Del Rio talked a lot about, like, how she wanted to be a comedian and she felt like putting on the drag just, like, took it to another level. So just this idea of bringing your passion outside of drag into it just enriches it further. And like, that's kind of what made me think, oh, maybe I can apply what I've done in my previous life into this new life.
KERRI COLBY: Honestly I would say, a lot of my inspiration, I have to give credit to my beautiful auntie, Ms. Kylie Sonique Love. She has not only been such a huge supporter and major step of me getting to where I am here, but she's just been so inspirational from watching her. All the amazing contestants have absolutely just really brought out me knowing who I am.
MADDY MORPHOSIS: As far as like inspirations, like, obviously, like, people like Heidi N Closet, she's someone who came from, like, the middle of nowhere in the South. And the fact that she got on a platform like that.
And then, obviously, last season, Symone, she's also, like, the first queen from Arkansas to get on the show. I grew up in a really tiny little country town. And I wasn't into like a lot of the same stuff everyone else was. Like, I didn't care that much about football or hunting and all that. But I was always interested in other things, you know, like fashion. And like makeup transformations always seemed, like, so cool to me.
And you know, you're in a small town like that, there's no resources, there's no one to tell you, like, about yourself, about what other things are outside of this little country town. And so I-- you know, I grow up, I thought there was like something wrong with me. Like am I-- am I gay? Am I trans? Like what does this mean for me? And it was around like 2010, 2013, there wasn't even a lot of resources online for, like, things like this. And so it was like, after I moved out of my hometown and went to, like, a bigger city, I made, like, some friends that were, like, involved in the scene. And like, going out to the clubs and stuff, like it was a place where I can explore, like, my own gender identity and what everything, like, meant for me.
JASMINE KENNEDIE: Hopefully it's a bridge, honestly. Because like what Maddy's doing is he's done his research, he's came in, and never once made it, you know, as if we felt inferior because of his straightness. You know, that wasn't even a topic. It was brought up, hey, I'm straight. Cool, awesome, welcome to the crew, girl, and kept it pumping. So, like, so very that, you know. Props to him. And I can't wait to see-- maybe, like, boyfriends of girls watching the show would be like, I don't have to be so, like, macho, macho, like, type of man.
- There's a lot of sisterhood when it comes to the show. But of course, in general, with "Drag Race," a lot of people do, let's face it, watch for the drama. And aside from the Maddy thing, just in general, you talked about throwing marbles under the competition. Are-- people watching it for the sisterhood, some people watch it for the drama. Will we get a little bit of both?
KORNBREAD JETÉ: Oh, there's always drama. It's zero sleep and a lot of Red Bulls.
BOSCO: I think we're, like, one of the most, like, affectionate and close casts that I've ever seen. We all get along really, really well. But the thing about drag queens is we all have main-characteritis. We all think where the main character in our own story. And like, that involves, like, a lot of headbutting, especially when you give us enough alcohol and stress.