From the moment they took the first challenge of the season and truly made it their own, Black Peppa made their distinct & gorgeous mark very evident on this season of Drag Race UK. From paying homage to their culture through their runway looks to sharing their own deeply personal story, Peppa’s talent and individuality simply glowed, rocketing them to the Final Four. I sat down with Black Peppa to talk about their Drag Race UK journey, their early drag career, & how finding drag helped them find themself.
Michael Cook: We’ve reached the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 4. How does it feel?
Black Peppa: It feels remarkable, it feels fitting. It feels correct, pretty much correct to be part of the Top Four and part of the finale.
MC: When did you know that drag was going to be a true career and more than simply a hobby, but a passion?
BP: I kind of fell into it. I was always a performer, doing nightclub go-go dancing. I fell into the whole drag scene, Yshee Black used to live in Birmingham, they live in London now. They wanted me to perform after I dressed up as Catwoman for Halloween. After my first performance, it was like “oh you’re good at this, you should try this out”. I fell into it that way and never thought that fast forward, three years down the line, that I would be on a show such as Drag Race.
I have been watching the show since I was a child, hiding and watching it with my headphones in my ears, trying not to let my parents hear me watching it. I would have never thought that I would have fallen into it, but three years into it I realized I could make a living from it. I feel really free and liberated when I walk out the door, shut my stuff off, and I go to a night bar and perform. And I bring smiles to people’s faces. It has honestly been a journey and I am so happy that it has changed my life; it is definitely my escape.
MC: What do you think your rose and thorn is of your Drag Race experience?
BP: I think the highest point was being able to go on the show and showcase my skill set and showcase who I am as a person and what I do and how my drag has changed my life. I think the lowest point has been, its been a bittersweet low point for me, but it’s realizing that drag did change my life. Prior to drag, we all go through different things, and I didn’t have an easy road moving into this country, finding acceptance, and I struggled a lot with many things.
I think that when I finally found drag and I was able to not feel judged, not feel like I was in an unsafe space so to speak, especially in the Birmingham scene, I was like “okay.” It really took a lot of searching for myself; even though I think I know myself now, I really had to have a lot of alone time to really understand myself. Even though it was a not so pleasant time of my life, it was also the best and most crucial time of my life, That was the bittersweet low point for me, but now fast forward to now and here I am on RuPaul’s Drag Race being able to show the light at the end fo that tunnel and all of the cultivating that was done to get up to this point.
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Featured Image by Lily Sadin