AJA

She was the Il­lu­mi­nati princess they tried to si­lence, but this bitch is still gonna talk! Cur­rently the youngest All Stars queen evvvver, get ready to be cooped and ga ed as it’s about to go down with Aja.

Gay Times Magazine - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy Ma­teus Porto Words Sam Damshenas

Just call her the queen of the club. Back on the Drag Race stage af­ter lead­ing the charge on the down­fall of Valentina, AJA talks her new-found con­fi­dence post-cos­metic surgery and dishes on all things All Stars 3. AJA, your smile is beau­ti­ful.

Best known as the break­out star of Un­tucked sea­son nine with her in­fa­mous Valentina rant, Brook­lyn queen and Hara­juku-in­spired babe Aja is back for All Stars 3, and this time, she’s come to slay… henny. She speaks to Gay Times about BenDeLaCreme’s un­ex­pected slayage, Drag Race fash­ion ru-grets, and miss­ing out on an Emmy… SD: De­scribe Aja in five words…

A: Eclec­tic. Weirdo. Awk­ward. Pretty. Stupid. SD: How im­por­tant is queer sol­i­dar­ity in the

age of Trump?

A: Ex­tremely im­por­tant! Look­ing how far we’ve come al­ready, for some­one like him to come in and ruin all that… it would defy ev­ery­thing we’ve worked for. Right now, we need to push harder and harder, and no pun in­tended, to break that wall. Be­ing your­self is also the best form of protest.

SD: What are your thoughts on re­nam­ing RuPaul’s Drag Race as BenDeLaCreme’s Drag Race?

A: It’s like in sea­son six, when Bianca (Del Rio) walked in and ev­ery­one that said it’s Bianca’s Drag Race. I think af­ter see­ing BenDeLaCreme win so much, ev­ery­one is wait­ing for the ball to drop. Ob­vi­ously, I can’t com­ment on whether that will hap­pen or not, but… I’ll just say that BenDeLaCreme is do­ing ex­tremely well, so far! SD: How much do you think you’ve grown since

sea­son 9? A: It’s so sur­real to see how dif­fer­ent I look on cam­era. Me and my boyfriend were watch­ing sea­son nine the other day, and I’m kinda em­bar­rassed to watch it now, but I’m also like ‘lol’. See­ing where I came from is in­sane. When you’re the artist, you don’t re­alise how much of a glow-up there is un­til you see it for your­self. In sea­son nine, I thought I was gonna go the whole way, and when I look back, I’m like ‘there’s no chance!’. SD: Which run­way look do you re­gret the most?

A: In terms of looks, all of them! My favourite run­ways were the ones I saved for af­ter my elim­i­na­tion. If I had to, I’d re­make all the run­ways be­cause there was a lack of fi­nesse. I might recre­ate all the looks, like I did with my Princess Disas­tah. I re­gret it all, but I don’t re­gret any­thing on All Stars 3.

SD: How does it feel to re­ceive a RuDemp­tion edit on All Stars 3? A: I know a lot of peo­ple think it’s a RuDemp­tion edit, but I think they’re set­ting me up for the win! That’s the T. But re­ally, this sea­son, fans re­ally have no idea. Ev­ery­one walked in and was ter­ri­fied of Trixie, no­body thought Ben would do any­thing rev­o­lu­tion­ary, and it’s funny see­ing where we are in the com­pe­ti­tion be­cause ev­ery­one has reeval­u­ated where we’re at. Some girls have been in the bot­tom so of­ten, and it’s just go­ing in so many dif­fer­ent direc­tions, that I can’t wait to see where it goes… Well, I know where it goes, but I can’t wait for ev­ery­one else to see!

SD: You were the break­out com­edy star of sea­son nine with your Un­tucked rant. How have you changed since then?

A: I think that my Snatch Game for All Stars was so much cra­zier and bet­ter, and there’s a lot to look for­ward to. Sea­son nine wasn’t re­ally known for com­edy queens, but ev­ery­one in All Stars had a pretty big per­son­al­ity. I will say this… I didn’t un­der­stand my com­edy in sea­son nine un­til I re­alised that I was the comedic star of Un­tucked. Watch­ing Un­tucked, some of the things that I do and say are of the ut­most ridicu­lous­ness. Like, what was I think­ing? I re­ally think I missed out on my Emmy for the host of Un­tucked.

SD: What is your re­la­tion­ship like now with the in­fa­mous Valentina?

A: Valentina and I are very great friends. I ad­mire her a lot and the feel­ing is mu­tual. We keep in con­tact, we’re both very young, in­flu­en­tial and suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als who con­tinue to set an ex­am­ple for the younger gen­er­a­tion. Hope­fully we stay on that pos­i­tive road, be­cause when you’re young and in the spot­light, some­times it’s very hard to main­tain a sense of re­al­ity. All we can do is stay true to our­selves, and con­tinue to aim higher.

SD: And the show is all about learn­ing from each other and build­ing your pro­file, no? A: A lot of girls who walk through that door… their drag is messier than Nina Bo’Nina Brown. Like Shangela on her sea­son, she was a fuck­ing mess, and I was a fuck­ing mess, and here we are! We have the money and the re­sources, but also the per­son­al­ity. At the end of the day, you need to sell your­self. Drag Race is not just about com­pet­ing for a crown, it’s about brand­ing your­self, and learn­ing how to sell your prod­uct. Not ev­ery­one who does Drag Race is suc­cess­ful. Queens like Alaska, Wil­lam, Shangela, Trixie, these are queens who took the Drag Race ex­pe­ri­ence and mo­nop­o­lised their brand to so­lid­ify their spot. Es­pe­cially Trixie, she went home very early in her sea­son, came back, and she is the queen that’s prob­a­bly just un­der­neath Bianca Del Rio.

SD: And fi­nally, what’s the one thing you’d change about queer cul­ture to­day?

A: The ne­ces­sity to la­bel things. Queer cul­ture is more about blur­ring lines and la­bels. For a com­mu­nity that is sup­posed to be blur­ring the lines, there’s so much em­pha­sis on specifics. One of the best parts of queer cul­ture is for­get­ting about la­bels, that we’re co-ex­ist­ing as hu­mans, and ex­press­ing our­selves in the most unique way we can. It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re a he or a she, a they or a them, just be you.

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