Q Stitches Together Her Post ‘Drag Race’ Life & Looks Back On A Stunning Run

Q. Photo via Instagram.

After presenting some gag-worthy garments on the runway and making the Top Four on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16, Q has departed the competition, but not without firmly leaving her stamp on Season 16.

After developing some deep personal relationships and crafting some one of a kind performances and runway looks, Q is one of the most sartorial queens to hit the “Drag Race” main stage in recent memory. Behind the scenes, Q discussed her relationship and HIV status openly as well as openly taking a step away from the “Drag Race” online fandom. I caught up with Q post elimination to chat about her “Drag Race” run, her wins and losses during the competition, and the Season 16 sisters that helped her through the process.

Michael Cook: You had a spectacular run on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16. How does it feel right now?

Q: It feels like I did it; it feels like I went through it. I went through the “Drag Race” journey. It had been a dream for a really long time and I am just proud of myself for getting through it and doing it.

MC: What are your rose and thorn are of your whole entire “Drag Race” journey?

Q: For the whole experience, I would definitely have to say a high would have to be the friendships that I made with Morphine (Love Dion) and Xunami (Muse), it is the thing that I treasure most out of the whole experience. We talk on the phone every day and they have been my rock throughout this whole thing. As for the lows, I would have to say the pressure of being in the public eye so much for people to talk about all the time, 24/7.

MC: Speaking of your relationship with the public, you took your own step away from social media, specifically X, during your run on “Drag Race.” Was that a hard decision to make?

Q: No, because I really wasn’t on X before “Drag Race.” I got on X because I got on “Drag Race” and I thought that I needed to do it. I definitely learned as I got more active on it that it’s just not a space for me. It’s just not an environment that I thrive in mentally.

MC: One thing about your runway looks is that they’re not typically spot on for the themes, but each and every one of them tell a story. Whether you’re designing for yourself or for someone else, how do you make sure your concepts are so well fleshed out when they are completed?

Q: I definitely think of things in terms of shape, size and texture. I love building different layers of texture onto outfits, it’s something that I really love to do. That is something that I think of when I am building and creating something.

MC: Taking it a step further, when you put that much passion into a challenge and what you present on the runway, your disappointment when you did not win a challenge was evident.

Q: Yeah, definitely. I think some of it can be competitive and me hyping myself up kind of talk. I think some of it is definitely being so close and not snagging it and being disappointed in myself, sometimes that is a part of it. There were other times that I actually really did, being there with everyone else, like when Plane Jane and I were teammates and we thought we would win and so did all the other cast members, that is why it is so shocking; it played out a different way. I think people want to play it out to be one feeling and sentiment throughout, but really each time it was more complex than that.

MC: You showed a great deal of yourself and who you are throughout the competition. You were not just open about your feelings about the challenges, but also about your own relationship as well as for the first time, speaking about your HIV status. Did you plan to be open about your status prior to arriving or was it something that happened very suddenly?

Q: No, I planned to open up about it. First of all, I wanted to use it as a moment to reach out to maybe help someone who was feeling the same way during my diagnosis, who felt alone and like there was not a future for them. I wanted them to see that that was not the case. I also talked about it on the show to give myself sort of ultimatum to talk to my family about it and open up to them about it. Now I am open with them about it and I feel that it has allowed me to live more freely and with less shame.

MC: What do you want to do now post “Drag Race?”

Q: Honestly, I kind of want to take a step back from the whole experience and take a minute out of the public eye and reflect on it before I even decide what I want to do next. I don’t want to jump into anything quite yet. Where I’m not even sure how I might process this experience yet.

MC: Prior to “Drag Race” you also designed garments for numerous performers like Mo Heart & Luxx Noir London, so you have the ability to choose your next step wisely.

Q: Yeah, before “Drag Race,” I was making a living sewing and doing drag. I had my bills made before “Drag Race” and they will be paid after too.

MC: You were very honest about the pressure cooker that can be reality television on “Drag Race.” What is your advice for people that are going to be entering a reality competition experience or any experience where they will be thrust into the public eye?

Q: I mean, just find people around you that love you and support you and try to just live in their presence and their love; that is really what is going to help you stick it out through it. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have called Morphine and Xunami and they have helped me through a moment that I was having or helped me get through a moment in time that I was dealing with the social media or the pressures online.

Follow Q on Instagram @living4q


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