Queen of the North Priyanka Gets Ready With Knix
You won't find bigger fans of the Rupaul's Drag Race franchise outside of Knix HQ. We have our favorite Queens, we have opinions of who's been robbed, and we have favorite lipsync performances that we rewatch (over and over and over again). We've even held fantasy leagues where we've placed bets on who would snatch the crown. Bragging rights go a long way here.
So when Canada's Drag Race opened the Werk Room in 2020, we were so excited to see all of the amazing drag talent shine in our own backyard. Enter Priyanka, our homegrown hero from Toronto— an icon and legend who would end up being crowned Canada's first drag superstar. Not only did Priyanka serve charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, but she did this all while being honest and open about their experiences as a queer Indo-Guyanese Canadian.
Because drag has been such an important way for Knix to foster community as we all continue to work from home, we were so excited to chat with Priyanka about the ways she creates community through drag. While she gets ready with Knix, we caught up with Priyanka to dish on all things drag, the importance of chosen family, and what she's been up to after snatching the Drag Race Crown. Meet Priyanka.
We have to ask… what’s your name?
Hi Priyanka! How are your Pride celebrations going so far?
OMG! It’s been so hectic but in a fun iconic way. All us drag performers LOVE PRIDE because it’s such a fun opportunity to work even more than we normally do over the year. It’s also the part of the year where we feel most confident because we’re EVERYWHERE.
Why is “chosen family” so important in drag culture?
Chosen family is the most important. You have to really be vulnerable and open when you’re someone in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and the same goes for when you’re creating your drag or “chosen” family. A chosen family are the people who let you be you so you can unapologetically learn and grow!
Tell us a bit about your own chosen family! How have they helped you on this amazing journey you’re on?
My chosen family has helped me so much. I do have a very supportive biological family, but my chosen family is who I went to first before I ever came out. They were the ones I told I was gay for the first time and the ones who I talked to when I decided to try drag for the first time. They helped me by making me feel like there was no judgement, and that I was able to do whatever I wanted as long as it made me happy.
On Drag Race you were super open about your relationship with your own family and drag. How has that changed since being on the show?
YES! My two families have officially merged. My family is so open and so supportive. It’s really funny because it was actually ME who was keeping them apart because I wasn’t ready for it yet. Now everyone is one big happy family. My dad even helps my mom with all my merch!
With the world opening up again, what are you most looking forward to?
Ugh— this is such a loaded question, but it’s performing live. I actually quit TV to perform on stages in front of live audiences. So when we got hit with a pandemic, I had to go back to being on camera which I love. But there is something about performing live that makes my heart so happy.
Last question— what’s your fav song to perform right now? (Is it Cake?)
Hahahaha I have NEVER performed it yet but when I go back to doing live shows— you know I’lll be performing it and other songs off of my album coming in July!