Drag has always been about resilience and joy, and even while performing through a pandemic, the queens from Season 13 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” were no exception.
Olivia Lux started the season as a newcomer, having only started drag 18 months prior to joining the cast. Through it all, she said, it was her positive attitude that kept her going, even when she was told to tone it down.
“I couldn’t help but to think that that was basically my tool — my armor — that I was able to use throughout the whole season, and it got me to how far I was able to get,” she said during the Variety Streaming Room, presented by VH1. “You’re only there by yourself. You don’t have your supportive family. As LGBTQIA-plus people we have chosen families as well [but] you don’t have that support system that you’re so used to having. So, I relied a lot on myself and my mind, and my positivity, and my smile, just to keep me going. And it was fully for me, and for no one else.”
In addition to Olivia Lux, the panel consisted of finalist Gottmik, Miss Congeniality LaLa Ri and winner Symone alongside Variety‘s senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay. They discussed everything from preparing for the show to the infamous snatch game.
Symone also shared why she felt she had to incorporate a look inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Season 13 was shot during the nationwide protests about the police killing of George Floyd, and she wanted to make sure those conversations would last.
“I felt that it was important to me to find a way to say something through my drag. That’s always been how I’ve been able to best communicate,” Symone said. “So I was like, ‘Whoever wins, I don’t want [the movement] to be something that is forgotten because of time passing. And I don’t want people to go back to sleep, for lack of a better term, about what’s going on.’ But I wanted to do it in a very artistic way, and I wanted to do it in a way that was still me, and that felt like something that came from me.”
Watch the full conversation above.