On Wednesday night, a few of our lovely contributors had the opportunity to interview RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 runner-up, Miss Peppermint! She was performing for Freshers’ week at the QMU in her first UK performance and we managed to catch her after the show:
Qmunicate: Hiya! We have some Scottish presents for you!
Peppermint: Scottish presents?
Q: so we’ve got some teacakes, some caramel wafers and this is haggis-
P: I’ve heard of haggis!
Q: Are you wanting to try some?
P: Not right now [laughs]
Q: [laughs] we didn’t think so!
P: I’ll bring it to my room!
Q: And we’ve got some Irn Bru as well here!
P: I’ve already tried this, and I really like it!
Q: Oh, that’s good!
P: It’s not like the strongest soda flavour, it’s like ginger?
Q: Is it ginger?
P: It’s like flowers, like roses or something?
Q: And it matches your dress!
P: It matches my dress!
Q: we’ve just got a few wee questions for you!
P: Is that like sarcastic for 79 or something…? [laughter]
Q: No, we actually don’t have loads of questions for you, we thought we’d keep it a little shorter, don’t worry!
Q: So, we wanted to ask you about your experience of being openly trans on drag race when you first started off and whether the other queens were supportive.
P: When I got the show I was already living out as a trans woman, but there was a little, sort of a dance that I had to do with just doing drag in general. It’s not the first thing that people think of when they think of a drag queen. So when I was preparing for the show I made the decision to present my drag – whatever that meant – first before coming out to people and telling them personal secrets. I was worried that the other queens would not be very supportive, but they were supportive, as we all know. And it gave me a little bit of hope that the next trans person, or gender non-conforming person to go on something like Drag Race, or just ahead in their own lives could have a little bit more inspiration and feel a little bit more comfortable. That it will be better.
Q: So, you’ve got a documentary coming up – would you like to talk about that at all?
P: A couple of years ago I asked a friend of mine to follow me around to a couple of my drag shows because I really didn’t have a lot on camera. One thing led to another, he was filming more and more and more and it kind of turned into a little mini-movie, and then I got on [RuPaul’s] Drag Race, so I went to that. I came back and literally we picked up straight from the airport and so he’s been following me now for two years, and that turned into ‘Project Peppermint’. He was going to come on this trip, we’re still filming. He follows me through my drag, the ups and downs of my drag career, my personal life, stuff with friends and family. So it gets pretty intimate. It’s called Project Peppermint – that’s a working title, and it comes out in 2018.
Q: We can’t wait!
Q: Is there any one piece of advice that you would give to as a young person who is coming out as trans?
P: Yeah, it’s kind of the same advice that I gave during season 9 filming when RuPaul asked me about what I would say to my younger self. I think would just say to any young person who is navigating, whether they have it figured out or not, that the feelings that you have are genuine. They’re authentic, they’re the most authentic and even if they may not be where you end up down the line, they are real. Don’t suppress them, trust them.
Q: We’ll just ask one more thing if that’s okay because you’re probably exhausted!
P: Oh no, that’s fine you can ask a couple more!
Q: So here at the union we’re starting an LGBTQ+ club night called Spectrvm. Those were the posters you were taking pictures in front of earlier!
P: Oh that’s fantastic! I’ll have to come back and shake my tail feathers at that!
[We discussed this with Peppermint and decided to take some pictures with the posters at the end to promote the event with]
Q: Who is your absolute favourite queen of all time? Any season at all! Except for RuPaul, everyone says RuPaul!
P: Peppermint is my favourite Queen!
Q: That’s the best answer! Everyone always pretends to say someone else to be nice but that’s definitely the right answer!
P: It’s the most honest answer!
Q: But if I couldn’t pick Peppermint, I really loved Milan from season 3, and I love Ivy Winters…
Lauren the QMU Bouncer: YAS!
P: She and I are going to be on tour.
Lauren again: [Ivy Winters voice]: Ivy Winters!
P: That was so irritating when she would do it! [Laughs] But she and I are going to be on tour for the Christmas Queens Tour and we are coming to the UK, so we might come here!
Q: Please stop by! You can always just show up!
P: Hey! It’s me!
Q: Do you feel as though being involved with drag and the drag community has helped you to find your identity?
P: Absolutely – when I was growing up as a teenager there weren’t many options for being trans – especially not young and trans. It was really something that was usually reserved for people who were older, out of their family’s control, had their own source of income and their own life, and then they could kind of explore. But for young people there wasn’t really much of an option unless you had really progressive parents, or people who were raising you. I mean my family is really cool but I wasn’t there. So the only way that I could really experiment with my vision of myself in female form, or even female clothing – what I felt was female clothing – was to do drag. I started that really young – I started it in high school. Really what I was doing was navigating myself closer to my trans identity. And now here I am!
Q: Thank you so much for talking to us!
P: Thank you for these delicious gifts!
Q: We’re sorry about the haggis, we did have to microwave it!
P: It’s usually served warm, I believe. [laughter]
Q: Yeah, it should be hot! [laughter]
We showed Peppermint our Freshers’ week zine and she was kind enough to sign a few copies so keep an eye out for opportunities to win them for charity! She also asked to keep a copy which we were thrilled about!
After that we went over and took a few glorious photos with the Spectrum posters and let Peppermint head off to get some rest!
Also keep an eye out for tickets for the Christmas Queens Tour which has quite a few UK Dates! (http://christmasqueens.net/) and of course for Peppermint’s upcoming documentary, ‘Project Peppermint’, which is out in 2018!
[Chloë Erin Tobin-Kemmer, Michaela Barton, Mata Durkin]