Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio on Surviving Self-Isolation Like a Queen

"We got through the swine flu, the bird flu, the AIDS virus, and 'AJ and the Queen.' We can do this."

With venues closed and every upcoming event canceled or postponed, the RuPaul’s Drag Race girls know you can’t walk into a club purse first right now. Instead, they’re bringing their shows to your living room.

One of the most popular tours starring Drag Race queens, Werq the World, also had to cancel its shows. But now Werq the World is comin’ at you live—as a livestream benefit to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Voss Events

The Werq the World livestream is scheduled for Saturday, April 4, at 8pm ET and will feature performances by Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Gigi Goode, Kameron Michaels, Kim Chi, Plastique Tiara, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, Violet Chachki, and Yvie Oddly.

Legendary drag duo Bianca Del Rio and Lady Bunny will be co-hosting the event. The two queens sat down with NewNowNext (virtually, of course) to dish about what fans can expect from the livestream, what they’ve been up to while self-isolating, and their words of encouragement for those going through a tough time right now.

Hi, Bunny! Hi, Bianca! What have you been up to during this time of self-isolation?

Lady Bunny: I’ve been working at home here. Some girls sell used panties. I’ve been selling used toilet paper.

Bianca Del Rio: Which is genius, I must say.

LB: I’ve also been cooking a lot. I just came up with a delicious new recipe for mouse bread.

BDR: Brilliant.

LB: I’m kidding. It’s gerbil bread. You can try it after this is all over.

How did it come about that you two would host the Werq the World livestream?

BDR: Well, I think like every other drag queen, we have a little more time on our hands. You kind of go apeshit. I mean, it’s been a while, couple of years, since I’ve had any time off. So for me to have time off is like, “Okay, this is amazing.” And then two days into it you’re like, “Oh God, I need something to do.” So considering Bunny and I have had sex with everybody in a 20-mile radius, we now thought, “What’s the next thing we can do to terrorize people?” And it’s doing a show. I’m being generous because—

LB: God, this virus really brings out the best in you. More than anyone I’ve ever known, you are a candidate for a mask.

BDR: You are such a cunt.

LB: I mean, I said you should be wearing masks before this virus.

BDR: It’s true.

LB: And who knew Valentina would be so ahead of her time?

BDR: We had no idea.

How’s it going to work logistically? Are you going to be livestreaming from your homes?

BDR: Yeah, because, I mean, honestly, this is the first time anyone’s going to get a glimpse of where I live—or where Bunny lives, because usually no one’s allowed near it. Let’s say that Vogue is not interested in that fucking dump she lives in. So this is the moment for people to see how Bun Bun hibernates and lives her true fantasy. I mean, if you’re not Dominican with a wife and six kids, you’ve never been to her apartment.

LB: That was rude and true.

Bunny, I’m excited to see your apartment!

BDR: Well, 10 years ago, Bunny and I were working together and she would say, “I need to leave early because the plumber’s coming.” I’m like, “Oh, okay. You got to let him in?” She’s like, “No, I got to move all the dildos from under my kitchen sink.”

LB: Actually, that’s true. I thought you would say, “I have to let him out.”

BDR: Well, that too.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Lady Bunny (L) and Bianca Del Rio.

Was Wigstock the last event you two co-hosted?

BDR: No, we did New Year’s Eve in London and Manchester. When Brandon [Voss] called me and said, “Would you like to do this Werq the World thing?” I saw that everybody else was involved. I don’t care about all the other drag queens because they annoy the fuck out of me, so this is the ideal job—the fact that I’m doing it basically via satellite. The only reason why I agreed to it was because Bunny. If Bunny’s involved, I say yes. Bunny and I have done many shows together. Bunny and I’ve done many men together, but Bunny introduced me to crystal meth, so I will do anything Bunny’s involved with.

LB: Okay, well, I’m going to be cutting my toenails.

BDR: Wow, I’m not doing that. I’m not doing that.

LB: Listen—people need to be cheered up right now. These are some of Drag Race fans’ favorite queens. Miss Vanjie, Kim Chi—I don’t know any of these other ones. No, I’m just kidding.

BDR: I just think at this point everybody’s seen everything on Netflix. They need something new. They watched that fucking Tiger Country Kingdom [Ed. note: It’s called Tiger King] documentary. Well, why not watch these drag queens? It’s just as bad.

LB: When I heard there was some TV show about gay sex and bad hairstyles and tigers, I happened to think it was another Siegfried & Roy biopic. No, listen, this is a tough time for everybody and we’re cooped up in our homes. And what could make people feel better than annoying drag queens piped into their homes?

BDR: It’s true.

LB: Listen, this [virus] is going to be tough, and this is just the beginning of it in the U.S. So if this gets drag fans who would ordinarily be going out to one of the many shows that’s been canceled, let’s give these girls some entertainment and a way to feel good. Laughter is the best medicine. Another facet of this is that because so many of our drag sisters are out of work, a portion of the profits goes to a drag queen who fills out a form on VossEvents.com for consideration. Also, 100% of the tips that the performers get during the livestream will go to this out-of-work drag performer fund. Because a lot of people in this country are living paycheck to paycheck, and now those paychecks have stopped.

BDR: Paycheck to paycheck, drag dollar to drag dollar. So it’s crazy, and it’s a great way for them to actually get to see these performances. All of us usually travel and tour, so this is just a great way to have it at home at your disposal on your computer.

LB: Can’t beat that.

How have these cancellations affected your upcoming schedules?

BDR: I had a little break planned because I was supposed to actually have my tonsils out, which basically means facelift, but all of that got canceled. Actually, I’m kidding. I was getting my balls lifted. But it was all canceled, so I had a little time off anyway. But obviously a lot of Pride events this summer have either been canceled, postponed, or are in limbo. I’m kicking back up again in the fall was the original plan. But who knows at this point? So it’s kind of scary for everybody.

LB: I mean, my schedule is totally blank, too, but sadly that has nothing to do with coronavirus.

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Bunny, a lot of DJs are going on Instagram Live and Facebook Live to do DJ sets from their living rooms. Have you ever thought about DJing one of your Monster sets from your apartment?

LB: Well, I do enjoy seeing other people do them, but I don’t like seeing them with weak sounds. And if there was a way to really make the sound pump, I would be interested in doing that. But, I mean, I’ve heard some great music doing it. A friend of mine in London named May Day just did one and she was playing phenomenal music, and she wasn’t even asking for tips. She was just saying, “Make people smile,” and it worked. So I would consider it. I would love to be able to dance around in a bigger space, so maybe I could do it at The Monster when it’s closed—just me in there, and not touch anything, and put lipstick on the outside of my mask, and boogie on down.

BDR: Let’s be real. Bunny is used to playing to no one anyway. So she’s really at home with this whole coronavirus, and I think it’s just going to work beautifully.

For those planning to tune in to the livestream, what can they expect—or what they should brace themselves for?

BDR: Well, that’s a stupid question. We don’t know what the hell is going to happen. I’m going to start drinking early in the day. I’m only going to be dressed from the waist up and let’s see what the fuck goes on. What I love about it is the fact that it is live. Anything goes. Bunny and I have been locked up for a while, so this is going to be crazy. We were worried about this corona thing and being locked up, so we said, “Let’s call Latrice Royale because she knows how to act once you break out.” So Saturday is going to be our big moment to break out of jail and feel our fantasy. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Bunny is going to go off her medication, and I’m going to start drinking early, so anything can happen.

LB: Basically, it’s going to be a fun drag show with lots of your favorites from Drag Race, and it’s a way to see drag live in a well-produced format.

BDR: And you don’t have to smell them.

One more question: Do you have any words of encouragement for people going through a tough time right now?

BDR: Suck a dick, make a dollar.

LB: We got through the swine flu, the bird flu, the AIDS virus, and AJ and the Queen. We can do this.

BDR: We survived. We shall overcome.

For more info on the Werq the World livestream head over to the Voss Events website.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
@chrisreindeer