From her feud with LaShauwn Beyond (“This isn’t RuPaul’s best friend race!”) to her “very St. Tropez” runway looks, Jiggly Caliente was a hot mess on her season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, that did not stop the fans from instantly falling in love with her.
Now a seasoned queen, she toured the world, released her debut album, T.H.O.T. Process, and was featured on FX’s latest hit show, Pose. Jiggly has so much more to give, and she intends to show the world just what she can do. There is no stopping this plus-size barbie.
Jiggly will make an appearance alongside Tatianna and Kimora Blac at this year’s Aurora Pride on Saturday, August 4. We had the pleasure of chatting more with Jiggly about her career and upcoming visit.
Welcome back to Colorado! May I call you Jiggly?
We are excited to have you at Aurora Pride. What does Pride, and performing at Pride mean to you?
For me, Pride is like the one time of the year where we all put our differences aside. When girls are throwing shade or being mean, it’s all in good fun. There’s a different vibe when it comes to Pride. We put our fangs aside, and we are all just a little friendlier. That’s the part of Pride I like the most.
We are having fun and celebrating who we are as a community. Performing at Pride means a lot to me because, as a trans woman, I feel like I can represent the trans community as a good performer.
What can audiences expect from a Jiggly performance?
Well, definitely not the baked potato! I have a stylist now, so I have cute clothes, and I like to keep my performances fun, bubbly, and somewhat slutty. Although, I’m not sure if I can do it at Pride festival, depending what time the show is. If it’s nighttime, then I can probably get away with being slutty.
Usually just high energy and fun and always in a cute costume, and my makeup always on point! That is the one thing Drag Race can’t take away from me! My costumes might have been a mess, but my makeup is going to be on point goddamnit!
You will be sharing the stage with Tatianna and Kimora Blac. Are you close with these girls?
I’m not that close with Kimora, but we vibe well and are getting to know each other more. Tatianna and I have been friends for a while. I am excited to perform with them, but at the same time, I am nervous for myself because those two are party animals! I’m not as much of a party animal as they are. Like, they can hang and don’t slow down. Tatianna can drink like a dude. I’m like, ‘I can’t with you.’ Did you see her on season two? She was slinging them back. I told her, ‘Tatianna, you drink like a dude’ and she’s like, ‘Yup.’ It’s going to be a good time.
Who are some of your other favorite Drag Race queens to perform with, and why?
Ginger is definitely my favorite one to perform with. Ginger is always down to do something stupid and crazy and she usually give me the idea to do something stupid and crazy. I’m always like, ‘Eh, okay, I’ll do it.’ Ginger is my all-time favorite to be on stage with.
As for backstage, all the girls are pretty fun, but Willam is the most fun backstage. I haven’t gotten to perform with her, but Kim Chi is also amazing.
You have been busy since season four. Tell us what you’ve been up to.
I recently released an album, and I was cast on Pose as Veronica. I am super excited about it. I have been doing quite a bit, not just with drag, but outside as well. I will say, Drag Race gave me a huge platform and a launching pad for my career, and I will always be grateful for that.
Tell us about your new album, T.H.O.T. Process! How has it been received?
I am surprised it’s been as big of a success as it has been!
For me, when I wrote the album, there were like certain things I needed to say, and I was going to say it no matter what. Like the slut shaming. Even in our own community, it’s so gross. Like when you are a top and f*ck all these little bottoms, it’s all cool, but if you’re the bottom and you sleep around, you’re a ho. You know what I mean? It’s the same thing with like men and women. Guys can bang all these girls, and he’ll get a pat on the back, and, ‘Good job, bro,’ kind of thing, but if a girl talks about how many men she’s been with, she’s a slut. So, I wanted to do that and be like, it’s a fair game in the hookup world. If you are going to have fun, it should be okay, as long as you keep it healthy. Why should we demonize it and make it something else? As long as you are protected and doing it right, you are all good.
So, yeah, “FckBoi” was such a thing for me. Then “I Don’t Give a F*ck” is like my anthem to all my haters. Like, you can talk all the shit you want, boo. I’m making money and I’m doing me. I don’t care. I don’t give a sh*t.
What were your thoughts on the most recent season? Were you Team Aquaria?
Oh, I was definitely team Aquaria! She’s a queen from New York; she’s Sharon’s daughter, so immediately I was like, yes, I am team Aquaria.
I was also team all-the-black-girls-who-were-on-the-show this year [laughs]. Mainly Monet; I love Monet because she is so fun, and I was definitely rooting for her. Asia O’Hara is amazing, despite the butterfly situation. She is a seasoned performer and is just so amazing. The Vixen is also an amazing performer, and Monique was literally the mouth of Season 10. Like, you are the coolest person. I want to be your friend.
There’s been some backlash about the way Drag Race portrays minorities within the queer community, and how inclusive the show is. What is your take on this?
For me, I never thought, or think, that Drag Race is the one to blame for that. Drag Race has always been inclusive, and I feel like it always tries to include queer people of color. Like, look at the Empire spoof challenge on Season 8. Empire is all about people of color, so I don’t think it’s the show that’s causing the issues.
I think it’s because of the political climate we are in; the issues are becoming more apparent, and it’s the Drag Race fans. It’s racist people who are within the fandom. The fans segregate the girls; the girls don’t segregate each other. The black girls don’t only hang out with the black girls. We don’t separate ourselves. It’s the fandom that puts us against each other; then it’s made into a big deal because of all these little groups that chime in.
It’s unfair that it’s happening, but it’s because of the political climate. It’s so much more obvious now. This has been going on for years, it just hasn’t been brought up. All the girls talk about it because we see it. We see certain queens get away with one thing, but if a queen of color does the same thing, it’s an issue. Look at when Manila did that spoof on an Asian news reporter. Like, Manila is Asian. She’s not trying to disrespect anyone or be racist. It’s a spoof. A lot of the racist stuff has been going on with the fandom. It’s just being brought out now because it’s much more obvious.
Then you also have queens like me, the Vixen, and Jasmine Masters who don’t shut up about it, because we got to let you all know what’s going on!
Do you feel that you were accurately portrayed on your season?
Hell, no! [Laughs]. I mean, granted, I was kind of okay in some ways I was portrayed because there were a few things I said that were chopped out in editing, and I am glad that happened. I get it—we all play a role, and this was also at a time in my life where I was a bit clouded. It didn’t help when I was trying to focus on a challenge and somebody all of a sudden would walk up by me and be like, ‘Jiggly, talk about your mom.’ Like, what the f*ck? I’m in the middle of trying to make a f*cking boat! You all got to stop asking me about my mom and let me focus.
But yes, I don’t honestly think I was portrayed accurately in some parts, but the show also made me realize some things about myself. I didn’t know I was funny until I saw the show. I’m kind of funny, and that’s cool. There were some positive and negative things about how I was portrayed.
Phi Phi always likes to remind me that she was portrayed as the asshole, yet I’m standing next to her and I’m agreeing with what she says, but it’s been edited out. I don’t feel that bad being portrayed as a dummy; I’m cool with that. I always joke around and tell Phi Phi, ‘You can fall in love with a hot mess, but you can’t fall in love with a bitch.’
What can we expect from Jiggly in the future?
I am hoping to do more music and more music videos. I definitely have a third video coming out. Now that Pose has been renewed for a second season, hopefully there will be more Veronica.
I want to do it all. I want to do acting, do more TV work, I want to write my own one-woman show, and Bianca has offered to help me write. I’m just kind of waiting until she has the time to help. I had a conversation with her about my past, and Bianca was like, ‘Girl, there’s a goldmine here. Please, I’ll help you write this. It’s funny.’ I didn’t know being a hooker was funny, but okay!
So, there’s a lot more to expect from me in the future. Obviously most acting and more singing and hopefully another album. Definitely this one-woman show. I just want it all. I want to be like J.Lo. I want to do everything under the sun I can possibly get my hands on as an entertainer.