July 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm EDT | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Trinity’s tricks of the trade
Trinity Taylor, gay news, Washington Blade

Trinity Taylor (aka Ryan Taylor) says her season was one of the tightest competitions in the history of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’ (Photo courtesy VH1)

Trinity Taylor, one of the finalists from season nine of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” is on the “War on the Catwalk” tour, which was slated to kick off Thursday in New Haven, Conn. (tickets, dates, etc. here)

The queens come to Washington Sunday night, July 16, at the Warner Theatre. Trinity spoke with the Blade by phone Tuesday from her home in Orlando, Fla.

WASHINGTON BLADEWhere are you right now? 

TRINITY TAYLOR: I’m in my bedroom. Are you gonna ask me what I’m wearing next?

BLADE: Sure, why not? 

TRINITY: A grungy T-shirt and we’re leaving it there (laughs).

BLADE: Tell us about the tour.

TRINITY: Yeah, well, I was very fortunate that they asked me to host the tour which is kind of nerve wracking because I’ve hosted tons and tons and tons of shows but this is a major tour this season nine tour, so there’s a lot more pressure. So hopefully I do OK. I am, you know, I’ll do what I do best — show my tuck, hopefully make some people laugh and the biggest thing is just entertain because that’s what I am, an entertainer.

BLADE: I thought Trixie was hosting.

TRINITY: We’re both hosting. Maybe certain dates. I don’t know that she’s doing the whole thing.

BLADE: How did you like the format for the “Drag Race” finale this year?

TRINITY: Well obviously I thought it was terrible because I didn’t make the top two (laughs). I’m just kidding. I think it was great for the show. It’s something the show needed because the show was very predictable the past couple of years, you know, the person who wins the most challenges wins. So this was definitely something that was shocking and something different which is good, change is good. I think it got a lot of attention and exposure and that’s good for the show and whatever’s good for the show’s gonna be good for me.

Trinity Taylor, gay news, Washington Blade

Trinity Taylor (Photo courtesy VH1)

BLADE: Charlie Hides said during the reunion she only got two hours of sleep one night. Is the competition really that intense? Did you sleep well during the run?

TRINITY: So, um, Charlie, I love Charlie, but the reason why Charlie was saying all these excuses was people were putting her on the spot for her terrible lip sync. So she was just grasping at straws. As far as sleep goes, first of all, this is a competition. You’re not signing up to go to a weekend spa. When they say it is “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” it is really a race. You have very little time, the schedule is grueling, the challenges are not easy. … If you’re watching it and you go, “Yeah, I could do that,” well yeah, you maybe could do that if you had the time but when you’re on a time crunch, you don’t have a lot of time and so, you might not do your best. Or you may do phenomenal, but it is a race. So as far as sleep goes, you got plenty of hours to sleep because there was a schedule of when we were done and when we were picked up. But when you had your alone time in the hotel rooms, you did have to make sure you knew your lip sync songs, make sure if you had anything last minute you needed to work on, prepare for, you know, all that’s on your own time. So for her to say she didn’t have enough sleep, that’s really on her.

BLADE: Could you tell she was phoning it in on that lip sync or were you too busy concentrating on your own performance to realize that?

TRINITY: Until I watched it on the episode, I didn’t know what she did. I kind of just zoned out, I was just like, “I’m in the bottom, I’ve got to stay,” and it didn’t matter who I was lip syncing against, I was going to stay, that was my focus. So she wasn’t even there to me, I was just performing.

BLADE: What struck you most watching the show vs. experiencing it in person? Do you see it at all before it airs or you see it with everybody else? 

TRINITY: Oh, no that’s the first time we see it. What’s shocking is — I’ll give Alexis as an example. On the show, Alexis didn’t — I liked Alexis, she was not annoying at all, I didn’t see this like person who made excuses and blamed us for not doing well. For some reason it didn’t click in my mind while I was there that she was complaining a lot like that. And then watching the episodes I’m like, “Dang, she really tried to come in for us.” And so seeing it from a different perspective from actually being there, it just registers differently. And also seeing how everything is edited together. Not that they edited stuff that was not true, but just seeing how it all tells a story, it’s very interesting.

BLADE: On “Untucked” there’s often notes for the girls who are leaving in the workroom but it looks like they’re taken in there as soon as they get their makeup off. When do you have time to write notes if you’re — it appears — still out there on the main stage?

TRINITY: Um, what happens, um — I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you this but I’m gonna tell you anyway — what happens is after they have the person sashay away, that person goes and is sequestered for a short period of time, not long. For us to film the rest of it when she says, “If you can’t love yourself …” and then they play music and we leave. When we leave, we go directly back to the work area, take off our makeup and that’s when we are allowed to do the notes. Then we leave and then the person who’s eliminated is allowed to come back and that’s when they actually pack to leave. But the reason why we get our makeup off is they still have filming to do and they want to get us out of there quickly because we have to be up the next morning.

Trinity Taylor, gay news, Washington Blade

Trinity Taylor (Photo courtesy VH1)

BLADE: Your boyfriend was so hot in the finale. I was jealous. Are you still together and how are things going?

TRINITY: Um, we broke up that night actually. No, just kidding, we’re still together. He’s still a doll and I am very blest to have him in my life. He’s very supportive.

BLADE: Remind me his name.

TRINITY: His name is Leo. He’s just a great guy.

BLADE: Have fun with that.

TRINITY: Oh trust me, I do.

BLADE: I was enthralled by Valentina at first but later, especially at the reunion, she struck me as really fake nice and she got a lot of flak from the other queens. What’s your take on her?

TRINITY: Well I love Valentina. Me and her are probably the closest from this season out of all the girls. On the show, I hated her. I thought she was a diva. She got a really great edit. There were several girls who got really great edits. Like the producers for some reason just didn’t see what we all see, but like Valentina was a diva brat on the show, she was. Kind of like what you saw in the reunion. Valentina in person though, as you get to know her, she really is a diva. But like it’s just different. Getting to know her and interacting with her in person in everyday life vs. on the show is different. She’s a diva and she has this grandiose aura about her all the time, even as a boy. It’s not fake but I can see how it could come across fake because it came across fake to me on the show but that’s just how she is.

BLADE: On the makeover episode with the crew it showed you back there helping your partner with his tuck. Were you actually taping his dick back or just handing him the tape and telling him what to do? That must have been awkward doing that with a straight guy.

TRINITY: His name is Rizzo. It was not awkward at all for me. Obviously he was, you know, a beautiful man. First of all, he didn’t want to be taped but he knew that was part of my schtick as an entertainer is my tuck and if he’s gonna be my partner, he’s gotta have a fierce tuck too. I told him you’re gonna have to shave everything because if you don’t, you’re gonna hate yourself. So he shaved everything except his ass, he shaved everything in the front. We couldn’t tape him like my tape which is tape to skin, so we put a pair of tiny, tiny, tiny underwear on him and we taped over the underwear because you can’t have tape on hair. That would be a nightmare. I didn’t have my hands on his penis but I was back there to like really, really help him. After he got the tape on, I had some hands on helping him but, you know, I tried to keep it professional as much as I possibly could, taping on top.

BLADE: Who was your favorite celebrity judge?

TRINITY: Oh absolutely Lady Gaga. She just was very genuine. I felt like she was genuinely interested in what we were doing and what we had to say and in “Untucked” she actually came back there and did a one-on-one critique with us and told us bluntly what she thought and I believed everything she said. She’s very wise about her experience in the industry and the advice she gave us was, she just was very genuine and heartfelt. I liked her. A couple of the judges were just there because they were asked to be there but she was actually excited to be there.

BLADE: Is Cheyenne Jackson as hot in person as he looks on TV?

TRINITY: Oh girl, he is a Daddy. I would sit on his face. He is, yes, he is beautiful. And he’s got like this swag about him, like, I don’t know, this smooth, cool guy attitude. And he’s hot, yes.

BLADE: The reunion seemed especially bitchy this year. Why? 

TRINITY: By then, we’d seen the show and we got to see what everybody truly said, some of which we hadn’t known before. That’s why a lot of the girls were not as friendly like they were on the show because they got to see the true side of people and they wanted to voice their opinion.

BLADE: How are you and Eureka now? Think you’ll get along OK on the tour or have you spoken to her lately?

TRINITY: I hate her. I think she’s a terrible human being. (laughs) She’s actually a cool girl. I have no qualms with her at all. We’ve actually talked since the show. The thing with Eureka is, I didn’t have any beef with her. I beat her (in a previous pageant). Why would I have a beef with somebody I beat? To me, she was holding onto a grudge because I had beaten her. That’s where the beef came in because she had something against me. As far as like since the show, we have some similar personality traits but also some real differences and I don’t feel like our personalities mesh well for long periods of time like being on a show together for many, many days, that’s where you get a lot of conflict. But I like Eureka. I think she’s very talented, I think she has a lot to offer and I think she’s going to slay season 10. She’s very funny, so I feel like we’re in a good place.

BLADE: What’s the Ruvealed going to be that starts June 29th? Is that just outtakes or do you know?

TRINITY: I think it’s just you get to see clips that weren’t put in the show because of time. Like an extended version of the show. More outtakes, more things you haven’t seen yet, stuff like that.

BLADE: Some years it seemed there was a clear frontrunner like Bianca or Violet. This year it felt to me like you could have made a good case for any of the top four. I know it’s hard to say when you’re in the middle of it, but do you agree?

TRINITY: No, this was to me, and I’m not trying to be biased, I’m a fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” even though I’ve been on the show. I watched all the season past as a fan and this season, the cast was probably collectively the strongest cast they’ve ever had, as far all the girls brought it. All the girls have fashion, all the girls brought it in the challenges, so they are a very talented group of girls so that’s why there wasn’t a clear standout winner like when Bianca won or when Bob won or Violet won. There was just more competition. Like you said, there was a valid case for each of the girls in the top four of why they could have won and that makes for better TV, that makes for better competition. I hope that every year from now on, they do that good a job of casting where they actually pick top-notch girls from start to finish. That way, you don’t know who’s going home.

BLADE: The “Drag Race” wiki said at one point you considered transitioning to further your career. Is that true and do you think, like this was something some fans said about Peppermint, is transitioning — not that it’s bad or wrong by any means — but at some point does that become a different thing from the art of female illusion?

TRINITY: OK, so to answer your question, yes that is true. To answer the last part of the question first, being a trans person whether you’re a trans woman or a trans man, that is completely different from being a drag queen, drag king or an entertainer. I have really good friends who never entertained or don’t entertain anymore who are trans. Being trans is who you are on the inside. Being an entertainer or being a drag queen is a hobby or your job or your creative outlet. You can be both, like Peppermint, but being trans is completely different. Now years ago when I was first starting pageants, I contemplated transitioning not because I felt I was trans, but because I felt the pressure from pageants because a lot of really well-known, successful pageant entertainers are trans and I felt that was the route I was gonna have to take if I wanted to be successful. I’m glad I didn’t go down that route because I am not trans and you should never transition for the wrong reasons. You should transition because that is who you are and that’s how you feel on the inside, not because of pressure from a job or wanting to further your career.

Trinity Taylor, gay news, Washington Blade

Trinity Taylor (Photo courtesy VH1)

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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