Dusty Ray Bottoms embodies everything a true New York queen should be: fierce looks, intense talent and a catalog of performances that anyone would be hard to match!
Now, while the three divine looks she put together may not have gotten her through to next week on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, we were all sad to see her go. And while her time in the competition has ended, we’re just gearing up to see more of this multi-faceted performer.
I chatted with Dusty Ray Bottoms post-elimination, and we spoke about competing with her fellow New York queens, progress with her family after she bravely spoke about her experiences with conversion therapy and which New York City queen she would love to see represent the Big Apple on Season 11!
With your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience in the rearview mirror, how does it feel to be an official “Ru Girl,” Dusty Ray Bottoms?
It feels absolutely amazing. The fact that I was chosen out of all of these people who wanted this opportunity is so humbling. I am so proud of what I did, and I feel just so accomplished about everything that I presented. I could not be more proud.
Much was said about there being five ladies from New York City, and that it may have been too much representation from one area. What did you think?
I didn’t think it was too much representation from New York City at all! I actually think it was a great representation for everything that New York has to offer in terms of drag. Each and every one of us have amazing things to offer to New York, and we do that. It was great to be able to show that and share the experience with my New York City sisters.
It seems like you and Miz Cracker had some issues with fellow NYC sister Aquaria. Was it helpful to get that all out in the open?
You know, it was great to be able to iron the issues out as we did. The thing is this: we are all Season 10 sisters. No one else knows about what went on or what the experience was like but me and my fellow competitors. We have to rely and lean on each other and hold each other up.
What is one thing that surprised you once you got to the show?
So much! Definitely the magic of television and editing! For example, we stand on the runway for what’s close to two and a half hours. On television it’s narrowed down to about two minutes. It’s stressful, your feet hurt and it’s more silent than you would think. Television makes it look much more conversational. You’re up there being judged; that is exactly what is happening.
You were brave about coming forward concerning your past with conversion therapy and issues with your family, which is ultra conservative and extremely religious. What has their reaction been?
I am beyond happy with the reaction I have gotten, and that is exactly why I did it — because I knew there would be a young person who would be going through or had gone through the exact same thing. During the audition process for Drag Race, you have sort of therapy moments, and it did come up then. I made the decision that it would be something that I would talk about publicly and try to help people with my experience. The response has been truly overwhelming, and I am touched.
You mentioned during the show that your family didn’t know you were even on the show. Has that changed?
It actually has. They know that I was there, kind of, I guess you could say. I definitely don’t think they saw that episode where I spoke about it, though. Right now we are trying to talk a little, and I do talk to my mom. I can definitely say that it’s a work in progress with my family.
Season 9 alum Alexis Michelle rallied to have you cast and is a dear friend, I know. In terms of paying it forward, what New York City girl do you think would be great for Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Let me tell you, I think Miss Shuga Cain would be a fabulous addition to the Season 11 cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race! That bitch makes all of her own stuff and is an amazing performer. She would be not just a fabulous representation from New York but a fabulous representation for the Latina community as well.
Speaking of New York queens, having to lip sync against your fellow NYC sister Monet X Change last night was ironic, especially considering the exact same kind of lip sync happened during Season 9 when Alexis Michelle went up against fellow NYC sister Peppermint. These NYC head-to-heads are nerve-wracking!
I completely agree. Monet is a fierce competitor and my sister. Nicki Minaj is definitely not something my crazy self-performs regularly, and that is definitely Monet’s thing. I really wanted to put 100% into it, and I think I did. I am proud of that lip sync.
The world is at your feet now, Dusty Ray Bottoms. What’s next for you post-Drag Race?
Well, I have my new single “Neva Lavd Yah” that just dropped, and that is my anthem! As for Broadway, I would love to be onstage as Dusty or as Dustin — either way would be fine. I want to just keep performing and keep creating. That is what I truly love to do.