She’s Yvie Oddly, and oddly enough, her edges stay shredded, but her tits are tough – this perfectly sums up the revolutionary and innovative queen from the Mile High City who loves to push the boundaries of drag.
When Yvie first walked into the Werk Room on this latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, audiences instantly knew that she was not a typical, ordinary drag queen. There was something different about her, and she did not disappoint. Best known for her outrageous and unconventional looks, Yvie describes herself as an authentic weirdo. A jack of all trades, her style can range from high fashion glam to dirty street punk, even to terrifying alien creatures. She loves to go for the shock factor that will make audiences drop their jaws on the floor. She may be weird, but you cannot deny that she is fierce. Yvie is one of the most unique queens to walk down the Drag Race runway. She will give it her all to shine like RuPaul.
Additionally, Yvie’s flexibility, strength, long limbs, and signature cackle make for entertaining and energetic performances. The ultimate goal is to give us something new and exciting. Will she be America’s next drag superstar? No matter the outcome, she will always be a star to us.
Yvie will be performing at this year’s Denver PrideFest on Sunday, June 16, on the Center Stage at 2:00 p.m. OUT FRONT had the pleasure of chatting with Yvie about her experience on Drag Race, her upcoming Pride performance, and the several barriers and walls she has broken down within the queer community.
Hello, Yvie! How awesome is it for you to be performing at your hometown’s Pride festival?
Performing for the first time is going to be awesome! Pride has always been the most important time of the year for me, and that is when I get the biggest and most exposure out of the local queens. It’s nice to bring it full circle!
What can audiences expect from an Yvie Oddly performance?
You can’t expect anything. That is the point of what I do. You just kind of have to go in and expect the unexpected.
What does Pride personally mean to you?
Pride for me personally means remembering that there is a community of people out there who, like you, aren’t always understood, who aren’t always accepted and are rallying together to celebrate visibility. For me, that is exactly what Pride is, even if you are not out of the closet. I remember in high school seeing so many people gather in one space and knowing there was a future and a place for me.
The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 will be announced almost a week before this issue comes out. If you win, what do you hope to accomplish with your platform, and what kind of impact do you hope to make?
I just want to use my platform to advance the art of drag and expand the perception of what it means to be a public figure, what it means to be a drag queen, and what it means to be queer in 2019. Like, without being too preachy, I want to show people the possibilities of what you can do with your life if you are willing to work hard and be open to interacting with others and just always keeping an open mind.
What initially made you want to try out for Drag Race, and was this your first time auditioning?
Ever since I saw Drag Race, I was kind of hungering for it because I wanted a place to finally have my point be heard. I felt very often glossed over or ignored in the queer community, being a skinny, fem, light brown boy [laughs]. I didn’t feel heard; I didn’t feel seen, and because how specifically the gay community is driven, I didn’t feel valued, because I wasn’t the highly sexualized object that a lot of men are.
I always wanted to get on Drag Race, because I remember RuPaul being like, ‘I never intended on being a drag queen, but when I saw that drag was a way to get my voice heard, of course I jumped on it.’ That was my mindset. I knew I had to get on to make a bigger splash, and this was actually my third year trying out.
So far, how has Drag Race changed your life?
I mean, so far it has been absolutely everything I hoped and expected it to be. I don’t feel invisible in the slightest anymore, and I can actually see the impact I am having on the world around me. Not even just with fans. My whole community, literally a whole city, rallied behind me, and it’s pretty magical to see people putting aside their differences to work together to help build a better future and create these open doors for everyone. I mean, it is just magical. I feel like I can do anything I can put my mind to. Like I am in some crazy, real-life Disney dream [laughs].
Now when you come back home to Denver to visit, do people treat you differently, or do they look at you as the same weird, odd kid who loves to perform?
I mean, I think it’s a little and a lot. It’s a bit too complex to be ‘do they treat you differently or not?’ They have all grown up with me, and they have all seen me and know what I am capable of doing. I feel like I am for my community in Denver what it’s like for any football team for their city where people take time in loving you and supporting your journey because you are representing them. So, both and neither!
How does it feel to know that you have broken down barriers and opened up representation for other weird/alternative queens who like to do their own thing?
It is crazy, because I did not realize how badly we needed it. I was selfishly thinking about me when I got on the show, and I had to take a step back and realize that even now, after a decade into this show where we have had other alternative representation, it is still something that needs to be fought for. Getting on the show now, there are still people out there who are like, ‘your drag is weird.’ It is strange to me.
Another barrier you have broken is for queens with similar conditions and disorders like yours. You opened up a lot about your struggles with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Were you afraid to talk about it on the show?
I wasn’t ever afraid to talk about it as much as I adamantly didn’t want to talk about it. I know that is one of my hurdles, and I needed to overcome it on the show and in life. I do not want people to pity me, and I don’t want their support in that sort of way. I want people to be really proud of what I am putting on, and if they find out at the end of the day that I am fighting through my disability, then I want them to know I am working my ass off, and I won’t let my disability overcome me. I am fighting through my disability to get to where I want to be. The show specifically has a really bad history of girls talking about their issues only when it’s to save their skin, and I knew I just didn’t want to be seen that way.
As a queen of color from a primarily white city, how important was it to represent Denver on the show?
That’s another reason why I never truly felt like I represented Denver, because Denver is a mainly white city, and I didn’t even realize how truthful that was. It really shocked me and forced me to, as much as I am representing Denver, realize that I am trying to represent a future of Denver and hoping that more black, brown, and queer people in Denver get voices. That there is some equalization. That this is not a completely gentrified place and show that there is a still a bit of color and grit in the city.
Out of all the challenges, which one was your favorite?
Oh, that’s hard! I think it would have to be the musical challenge. I was a theatre kid in high school, and it just felt so good going into that where I get to dance and act and have fun. I love that environment.
Watching the episodes, is there anything you wish you did more or less of?
Yes, for sure! I wish I had more fun, you know? [Laughs]. For real. I feel like I got caught up in the competition environment, and I think that was part of the reason I made it as far as I did, but a lot of the time I was there, I was struggling against myself and fighting all these different voices in my head that were telling me that I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t impressing RuPaul. If I had been able to just take a step back and look at things from the perspective of looking at what I get to do instead of looking at what I have to do, then I feel like I would have enjoyed the experience a whole lot more and shown people who I really am instead of who competitive me wants to be.
Do you feel like you were accurately portrayed? I have interviewed several other Drag Race queens, and some of them have told me they were given the b*tch edit or portrayed inaccurately. What do you think?
Well, those queens are full of sh*t! [Laughs]. I’m sorry, they have cameras on us 24/7. The edit they give you is the story that you were really telling your sisters. If the girls are all talking about how you are a b*tch, then editors and the show are going to work with that story, even if that is not how you see yourself. I personally could not be angry with how I was edited because, if anything, they did me a favor and softened some of my harder edges!
There was also quite a bit of tension between you and some of the other girls throughout the competition, especially Silky. Have you all made peace with each other, or is there still some negative energy floating around?
We definitely made peace with each other. It took all season long and even a little bit after that. I personally now just realize that there are some places that we are never going to see eye-to-eye, but I think is what’s helped us grow and get over things, especially the rivalry we had on the show. I was only angry because I didn’t think she was committing herself fully, and when we were actually able to have a conversation about that, it, like, hatched up potentially everything for both of us.
Now, my last question for you. What’s next for Yvie Oddly?
The world, darling, the world! No matter the outcome, I am here regardless, and I am just excited to try a bunch of things that are on my dream bucket list that can now be executed into reality.
Fabulous! Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Yvie. We look forward to seeing you at Denver Pride!
Thank you so much! See you there!
Photos by Brandon Voss