‘We can’t stop until everyone can live their lives without excuses’

(Photo: HuffPost)

(Photo: HuffPost)

Last year, Victoria Scone saw in a new era of RuPaul’s Drag Race Race when she became the first cisgender woman to compete in any of the show’s global franchises.

Victoria got off to a strong start and was a storm with fans, only to end up pulling away in week three due to a knee injury sustained during a voice acting performance.

Still, the drag queen has retained her place in the hearts of fans and will forever be remembered by show devotees as the first cis woman (“and the best, honey,” she jokes) to open the door to more types of performer down the line.

Victoria Scone at the launch of Drag Race UK last year (Photo: Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images)

Victoria Scone at the launch of Drag Race UK last year (Photo: Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images)

Victoria Scone at the launch of Drag Race UK last year (Photo: Tim P. Whitby via Getty Images)

“Of course I will always be very proud,” Victoria told HuffPost UK. “It’s a shame it took so long for someone to be first. It’s funny, or maybe sad, that we’re still having firsts, and there’s still a lot of firsts ahead.

“I felt like a kind of sacrificed lamb, ‘in debate’ – and everyone he was talking about that. But it’s good to talk, and it’s good to have debates, because it makes people realize their flaws and their preconceived ideas of what they thought drag could be and how many people we’re not including on the queer spectrum of us.”

“There are so many queer people who don’t have the platform that certain people have, and that’s a privilege,” she continues. “But as long as we’re recognizing that and working on it, we’re heading in the right direction.”

While she acknowledges that the reaction to her casting has been mostly positive, there has been some criticism from closer Drag Race fans, many of whom have unknowingly erased Victoria’s own awkwardness in the process.

“There was sort of an assumption that a woman = straight woman, which is really funny,” she recalls. “Not that a straight woman can’t do drag, of course. But there was the assumption… it wasn’t even a thought that a woman could be weird. But my God they can! They are very good at it.”

Victoria is passionate about increasing Drag Race stage representation and believes drag kings who can compete should come next.

Victoria Scone at Rainbow Honors earlier this year (Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack via Getty Images)

Victoria Scone at Rainbow Honors earlier this year (Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack via Getty Images)

Victoria Scone at Rainbow Honors earlier this year (Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack via Getty Images)

“Whether people think it would work or not, I’m telling you, very well,” she insists. “Some people didn’t think me being cast was going to work, and I proved them wrong. A little. If I hadn’t broken my knee.

“But I really want to see drag kings within the Drag Race franchise one way or another… It’s just small changes that would need to be made, but people don’t like changes! God, I love change! How boring would it be if we were all the same? God!”

For Pride Month, we caught up with Victoria about why Barbra Streisand is her ultimate queer icon, the family movie that inadvertently inspired her own awakening, and the upcoming fight for LGBTQ people…

Who was the first queer person you remember looking up to?

From a very young age I went to dance classes, as many people do, and I was into pantomimes. And I remember that the receptionist at my dance school was a trans woman. I was raised with this lovely lady, and I never considered that to be a thing.

It just goes to show, these damn laws that are being passed every minute in the US about kids not being exposed to drag shows and queer people… people, it just becomes the norm. And that absolutely It is the norm.

Another icon I admired for watching televised pantomimes on TV at Christmas was Julian Clary. And it’s really funny, because I recently hosted the Rainbow Honor Awards with Julian Clary, which was a very full circle moment for me. I remember watching Julian on TV, wearing these fantastical costumes, telling all these gross jokes – which is a lot of my humour.

Julian Clary on stage at the Palladium last year (Photo: David M. Benett via Getty Images)

Julian Clary on stage at the Palladium last year (Photo: David M. Benett via Getty Images)

Julian Clary on stage at the Palladium last year (Photo: David M. Benett via Getty Images)

What was the first LGBTQ TV show or movie that you remember that resonated with you?

Probably because I’m from the arts, everything I saw was weird. Rocky Horror is very obvious, it would be on bloody VHS or something, and I remember thinking, “I need some of that.”

And I vividly remember having a weird awakening watching Labyrinth with David Bowie. Although David Bowie it’s a male performance, this movie made me queer in some way. And many people say the same thing.

David Bowie in Labyrinth (Photo: Jim Henson Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock)

David Bowie in Labyrinth (Photo: Jim Henson Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock)

David Bowie in Labyrinth (Photo: Jim Henson Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock)

What’s a song you associate with your own release?

That would be hard to say, my coming out was a very slow and arduous process. There was no big hoo-hah as such, it was very slurred and boring. And I didn’t really tell anyone for a while, and then it got kind of obvious, and then I was in a relationship with a man for a while, and that was weird, and now they’re gay and I’m gay… so I really don’t. know.

But I open each of my shows with the song Get The Party Started, and it reminds me of starting out in drag, having a little sense of being accepted in a queer space, getting hired, and performing. It takes me back, and I still play now, and it sets the tone perfectly for a show.

What was the most recent LGBTQ show or movie that made an impact on you?

I really enjoyed Fire Island. It’s so funny, it’s really good. It has a wide spectrum of different ethnicities of queer people, which is cool, because sometimes queer TV can just be two white men. It’s also based on the Pride and Prejudice story, and I think it’s really smart how they put that weird twist on it. And how they did it by reflecting, “we’re just people, and we’re having relationships just like straight people do,” which is obvious to us, but maybe not to some… er… homophobes.

Also, it’s very funny. So funny. We’re funny, as queer people. We have a good sense of humor, we see things in a different way.

The Stars of Fire Island (Photo: Disney)

The Stars of Fire Island (Photo: Disney)

The Stars of Fire Island (Photo: Disney)

Who is your ultimate queer icon?

I have to say Barbra Streisand, I always say she’s my drag mom. Again, probably my inner stage boy coming out, but Don’t Rain On My Parade is one of my favorite songs in the world to sing – it’s so gay and I love it so much. Everyone knows it, everyone sings along and it’s so empowering.

She’s just an absolute icon for me. I think it’s knowing exactly who she is and living without remorse, I love it, I just eat.

Barbra Streisand (Photo: Kevin Mazur via Getty Images)

Barbra Streisand (Photo: Kevin Mazur via Getty Images)

Barbra Streisand (Photo: Kevin Mazur via Getty Images)

Who is a queer person in the public eye right now that gets you excited about the future?

I’m really excited about Lucy Spraggan. I think she’s a very powerful lesbian, and I don’t think we’ll ever have enough lesbians, in my opinion. She’s really exciting, she has so many ideas and she’s really excited about queer people.

She’s also had a really interesting life, she’s had such an interesting journey and has been through so much. It makes me excited about the possibilities and what we can achieve.

Lucy Spraggan (Photo: Shirlaine Forrest via Getty Images)

Lucy Spraggan (Photo: Shirlaine Forrest via Getty Images)

Lucy Spraggan (Photo: Shirlaine Forrest via Getty Images)

Why do you think Pride is still so important today?

Maybe it’s obvious to us as queer people why it matters, but we can’t shut up about it – pride is still a protest.

And even looking inside ourselves, there are people within the queer umbrella who are marginalized and cannot live their lives as externally as we or others, and that simply cannot be the case. We cannot stop until we can all live our lives remorselessly and authentically. Therefore, we cannot be silent.

What is your message to the next generation of LGBTQ people?

Do not be lazy. Know your history and where you come from. And never shut up. Never stop fighting for more. And don’t be an idiot. We have to take care of each other, because everyone deserves a place at the table. And lesbians are very good at building tables.

Victoria Scone will appear as part of the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 3 tour, which is touring the UK from August 31 to October 16, 2022.

This article was originally published on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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