When Scaredy Kat first walked through the door of the RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. werkroom — cue the cat hiss — it was pretty easy to write off the Wiltshire queen. She was 19, younger than any previous U.S. Drag Race competitor. She hadn’t even been doing drag for a year by the time she got onto the show. And she had a girlfriend, as she admitted almost right away, although later clarified during a heartfelt painting session that she’s not straight, but in fact queer. Judging by the rest of the queens’ squealing and gagging, you’d have thought RuPaul had walked into the room.
Yet Scaredy won the first mini-challenge of Drag Race U.K., and the world (or at least this humble recapper) somehow fell for a cat-faced queen who had never performed a lip sync, brought us story-forward runway looks, and always seemed to be shitting herself. Scaredy spoke to me the morning after her episode two elimination, but you wouldn’t even know it — she was just excited to get the music video for “Bedroom Queen,” made with her bio-queen girlfriend Pussy Cat, into the world. “I haven’t actually watched [the episode] yet, ‘cause you know, the old anxiety,” she admitted. Positive vibes only!
What was it like having to keep what happened on the show from Pussy?
It was obviously very difficult being on the show without her, but you’re allowed to tell one person, so obviously, I told Pussy as much as I am allowed to tell her. [Laughs.] But we’re a team, so I know, she knows, basically. It’s that easy.
Going on the show, did you think that having a girlfriend, not necessarily being gay, would be such a big deal?
Yeah, I thought that the other queens were gonna properly hate me! But I think they actually were all okay — I’m sure a few of them probably do behind closed doors, but to my face they were very nice. But I never thought that it would be a massively big deal to the public. I didn’t think there was going to be so much controversy around it, but I also didn’t think there was gonna be so much positivity. I just thought people weren’t really gonna give a shit — and I’m sure a lot of people don’t, but for those that do, that’s all good fun, that’s fine with me. I’m just being me.
So what made you decide to bring it up, it seemed like as soon as you walked in the door?
I just wanted to get it off of my chest, let everyone know what they’re dealing with. And I thought it’s an interesting little thing, and it shows drag isn’t just confined to gay men.
I think the other thing that shocked a lot of people was that you had only done drag for a little less than a year. I don’t think we ever got to fully find out how you first started.
Obviously watching the show was a big influence, but I used to look at people like Eddie Izzard as a kid, and people like Grayson Perry, and be like, oh, they’re doing this different thing that intrigues me and scares me at the same time. And then eventually, because me and my girlfriend, we do art together, we thought, why don’t we just create some characters to go in our weird, arty world?
From there, what made you decide to audition for Drag Race U.K.?
I always wanted to get on the U.S. one, ’cause I thought it would be really fun. And then it came to the U.K. and I was like, “Oh, I think I’m gonna do it.” And Pussy was like, “No you’re fucking not, of course you’re not, you’re not ready for that, no one’s ready for that let alone you.” But I did it anyway and got on it, some-fucking-how.
I have to tell you, I absolutely fell in love with Kitty Rouge on the runway. Where did that side-character come from, with the French accent and all of that?
I kind of just came up with it at the time ’cause I knew it would be funny. And I thought, Bond girl, it’s a bit of a dodgy part isn’t it? A lot of sexism and misogynistic stuff going on with all the James Bond films. So I was like, why don’t we just blow that up and play up the whole sex thing, the French thing, we’ll just go with it. Is she a villain, is she not, what’s she gonna do? I just thought it would be a bit of a laugh.
Also on that episode, you reminded us that that was your first time ever doing a drag performance, a lip sync. What did that feel like for you?
It was amazing, it was really crazy. I was just focusing on, “Don’t fall off the stage, don’t throw up, don’t pass out, don’t look at RuPaul, it’s gonna be okay, just have fun. Throw yourself around and some people might think it’s funny.” [Laughs.]
Don’t shit yourself.
Don’t shit yourself — or do, ’cause apparently people quite like it! [Laughs.]
At the beginning, you were telling me that you’re excited to now show everyone what you and Pussy can do together. Being so young, what are your drag aspirations?
So I’d call it more of an art aspiration, I guess, because that’s what me and Pussy do mainly. We’ve just released our first music video, it’s on YouTube right now, and we’ve got a couple more of them to come. We wanna do our art exhibition that we’ve been working on for a very long time, which we’ve only done one time. And we wanna try to make art a bit more fun and accessible and interesting, and for it to say things and change things, unlike most of the art nowadays — to be honest, it’s a bit shit.
And one last question: What’s your advice for someone who is just starting drag?
Just don’t give a shit. Just do what you wanna do and be who you are, and people who are gonna stand in your way, they’re just bloody obsessed with you, and that’s a good thing — any attention’s good attention. And promote a message, and think about what you wanna change in the world. But mainly, don’t give a shit.