Jinkx Monsoon talks competing on future seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race, gender, upcoming projects and more ahead of Birmingham and Stafford shows
It's been five years since Jinkx Monsoon won the fifth season of Rupaul's Drag Race, and now the Seattle queen has revealed that might not be the last time we see her compete on the show.
The 31-year-old queen revealed she'd be interested in competing on future seasons of Drag Race, after the announcement of brand new season All Stars Four.
"I would want to show my audience how much I have evolved since season five," she said.
"I'd still be petrified to go back into that competitive environment, but there are benefits from competing.
"Drag Race was one of the best, yet most stressful things I’ve ever done".
Jinkx, the drag persona of artist Jerrick Hoffer, may not be hitting the Werk Room just yet, but she is set to bring her brand new live show The Ginger Snapped to Birmingham next week.
The star will also bring the show to Stafford's Gatehouse Theatre and Birmingham's Symphony Hall next year.
Jinkx has previously toured alongside musician Major Scales with hit show The Vaudevillians, as well as her solo show Jinkx Monsoon Is Cursed.
"The Ginger Snapped is going to be like seeing Jinkx Monsoon have a very entertaining live psychotherapy session," she revealed.
"It’s also informative as it looks into the life and livelihood of Jinkx.
"It differs from The Vaudevillians in that it’s not fictitious characters, we’re very much sharing ourselves with the audience.
"It’s Jinkx Monsoon baring her soul rather than putting on a mask. It differs from ...Is Cursed because it’s not exclusively about my sex life".
It hasn't been long since Jinkx took to the stage in Birmingham, as she recently performed at the city's O2 Academy as part of Holy Trannity and Dragged Up's Heels of Hell tour.
She featured alongside a variety of fellow Drag Race stars, including Sharon Needles, Alaska, Willam, Ivy Winters, Aja and Latrice Royale.
- Heels of Hell Halloween Tour, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review
- Drag tour with Birmingham date raises thousands for transgender charity
- Jinkx Monsoon Is: Cursed, Glee Club, Birmingham - review
- Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales as The Vaudevillians, Stafford Gatehouse Theatre - review
"Heels of Hell is one of my favourite tours to do in the area and I’ve performed every year that it’s existed," Jinkx told us.
"I’m hoping they’ll have me back for 2019 because drag queens and Halloween, we just belong together.
"Everyday is like Halloween for drag queens, but I love this tour because all the rest of the year I have to be Jinkx Monsoon, so I really like to be able to step into another character".
Jerrick, the performer behind the kooky queen, was born in Portland, Oregon and attended da Vinci Arts middle school. Jerrick came out as gay in middle school, and first performed in drag at the age of 15.
Despite being a drag star known across the world in modern times, drag has not always been easy for the performer.
"There was a big stigma around drag even within the queer community when I started drag because there wasn’t a TV show celebrating it," Jinkx said.
"I had to fight myself a little bit too. People didn’t accept that you can still be who you are while also being a drag queen.
"Even though drag was a necessary thing for me and I would’ve been miserable without it, I still was conditioned to be ashamed of it.
"I lied and I hid it from other people because I was afraid of the stigma. Nowadays there’s no way to hide it because it’s such a huge part of who I am".
Jerrick later came out as non-gendered or non-binary, and prefers to go by singular they pronouns when not in drag.
"I used to not want to talk about being gender non-binary, non-conforming or fluid because I thought I wasn’t 'trans enough' to take on the trans umbrella term," she revealed.
"I was worried I would be trivialising the struggles that other trans people had gone through. I don’t have body dysphoria, and I don’t have the desire to change my body at this point in time.
"I realised that there are so many people out there that feel similarly. There are a lot of people who don’t have body dysphoria but don’t feel comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.
"I was like ‘well if I’m going to have this platform I might as well do something with it’.
"Now I get people every single day at my meet and greets thanking me for being so vocal and I always say that’s the best added-bonus to this job - getting to help people without even knowing them".
Jinkx moved from Portland to Seattle and pursued her drag career, regularly performing at club shows and starring in multiple Funny or Die webisodes entitled Monsoon Season alongside creative partner Nick Sahoya.
The in 2013 Jinkx Monsoon appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race season five alongside the likes of Alaska, Alyssa Edwards, Detox and Roxxxy Andrews.
Picked out as the underdog of the season as her style of drag was often undermined by other contestants, Jinkx monsoon rose from the ashes and was crowned the Next Drag Superstar as she won the season.
It's been five years since the queen was awarded the title, but there are lessons she learned during her time on the show that still stick with her to this day.
"The biggest thing I learned was when RuPaul told me that it’s okay to do whatever I want, as long as I do it 100 percent," she told us.
"If I’m going to be a singer and comedian, then I better be the best singer and comedian I have the capability to be.
"I feel grateful that I've had the chance to join the ranks of icons I’ve looked up to.
"Drag tears down the ideas of gender norms and breaks away at the rules we’ve been told we have to follow when it comes to gender.
"What I think, as we continue with drag, is that we’re going to continue to tear down those expectations and show the world that if we as human beings created a concept of gender, then we can recreate that concept, or do away with it altogether".
As well as living by lessons she learned on the show, Jinkx has a wealth of advice to share with up-and-coming performers.
"I think drag is inherently a little political," she told us.
"So that means you’ve got to be hip with the times and you can’t ignore what’s going on in the world.
"That doesn’t mean that everything you do has to be heavy and laden with political rants or issues, it just means you have to be plugged in.
"When you put on a wig and heels you’re making a statement, and you want to make sure the statement you’re making is a good one".
Since her win on Drag Race, Jinkx has gone on to release two full-length studio albums, and appear in TV shows such as Blue Bloods, Mighty Magiswords, and Bravest Warriors.
Jinkx has also voiced a gem in animated series Steven Universe, something the queens says she was over the moon to do.
"I was really excited that Rebecca Sugar answered my spam basically - I’ve been spamming her for years," she laughed.
"I love that it’s a TV show that teaches about queer theory, feminist theory, and the idea of being gender non-conforming to children and teenagers".
This won't be the last we hear of Jinkx however, as she has her sights set on a number of different cartoons to guest star in.
"I have done another cartoon show but I’m not allowed to talk about it just yet".
"If I had my choice of what cartoons I would appear in, I'd choose be Rick and Morty. I love that show.
"I'd also like to be in Bob’s Burgers, come back to Steven Universe, and I’d like to be on American Dad.
"It’s one of my favourite guilty pleasures. I don’t even know if it’s still going but if they are I hope they’ll call me some day".
We may also see Jinkx return to the theatre stage in the future, as she says she's just waiting for the right contract to come along.
"I’m constantly auditioning for things," she said.
"I’m always excited, even when I don’t get the role, if one of my drag sisters gets it instead. My motto is ‘a step forward for one of us is a step forward for all of us’.
"I was actually up for the role that Peppermint is playing in Head Over Heels on Broadway, and I couldn’t be happier for her.
"It’s just amazing that two people who identify as trans were approached by these Broadway producers just to play that role.
"I’m just glad that the role went to a sister and someone who is as outspoken, educated and passionate about the same topics".
Jinkx has her sights set firmly on the future, and she has a lot planned for her career going forward.
From TV shows to brand new music - monsoon season is certainly coming.
"I have some TV things in the works - I can’t say what it is basically until it’s airing because you never know what’s going to happen, it’s a very fickle business - but I have that.
"Major and I are already talking about a third album. We want to give this album some breathing room first but we’re going to do as many albums as we possibly can in our lives because we love doing it.
"My calendar is pretty much booked up for 2019, so I’ll be on tour like I’ve always been.
"What’s next for Jinkx Monsoon is that she’s going to keep performing until the day she dies.
Jinkx Monsoon will bring The Ginger Snapped to Birmingham Hippodrome on November 17.
The show will then come to Stafford's Gatehouse Theatre on March 25, and Birmingham Town Hall on April 3.
For more information and to buy tickets, click here.