If you were there last year, you already know how fabulous the HERstory-making first RuPaul’s DragCon was. (If not, it’s coming back May 7-8 this year so sashay over this way and sissy those tickets!) In the meantime, check out this interview with artist Terry Blas by PQ Monthly that chronicled his sickening weekend at DragCon!
PQ: This was the first Drag Con. How did you hear about it and why did you want to get involved?
Terry Blas: I heard about it on Twitter, naturally. I thought instantly, I’ve gotta go. I sent a text to my friend Chad [amazing artist Chad Sell)] and was like, “We have to do this.” It not only seemed like a no-brainer and a great opportunity to get our work out to a bunch of people, but it was the FIRST EVER drag convention and I knew that it would be fun and different from any show I had ever done. Plus, RuPaul’s Drag Race is essentially gay football and every season when it comes on I’m happy. I talk to all my friends about it, I have some viewing party nights and it gives me something to be excited about.
PQ: Did you meet Ru?
Blas: I didn’t “meet” Ru, but I stood very close to her. Since I was exhibiting I got to go into the convention center early and set up and walk in and out when I needed to. I was in there early on Saturday and they made an announcement in the convention hall that all drag queens were to meet RuPaul at the entrance to the hall for the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon! Now, I’m not a drag queen but for me this was history in the making so I went and stood off to the side. She gave a speech to everyone waiting to come in, saying that, “Yes, we are selling art! Yes, we have merchandise! Yes, you can meet your favorite queens, but this convention is really about finding your tribe!” She cut the ribbon and announced, “Let the first ever RuPaul’s Drag Con begin!”—then she ran inside. A sea of people who had been waiting to get in started pouring in, so I knew I needed to get to my table. So essentially, I walked into the convention, right next to RuPaul. I don’t get too star struck but I was in awe. I couldn’t speak to her and I don’t think I would have tried.
PQ: What was your favorite part of Drag Con?
Blas: I have several favorite parts. First, meeting and talking to other fans of the show and drag in general. Seeing how people responded to my art and the art of D.J. Kirkland, who I was tabling with. Second, being there and exhibiting with other artist friends I don’t get to see often, like Alfredo Roagui and Chad Sell. Third, meeting Michelle Visage. She’s so tiny and so sweet and she was genuine, interested in the artists and their work and she was appreciative of artwork people had done of her. I can’t wait to go next year.
PQ: I saw some pictures of kids there online. Is Drag Con an event for families?
Blas: Yes! And that was wonderful to see. It was incredible. I saw a little boy who couldn’t have been older than 6 shout in delight, “Trixie!” (Season 7 contestant Trixie Mattel), and a young girl who was about 8 could name every Queen I had done art of. My tablemate, D.J. Kirkland, told her mother that she was “doing God’s work.” She commented that her 5-year-old does the standard Alaska “Hiiieeeeee!” all the time. I talk about this extensively on Episode 94 of my podcast, The Gnerd Podcast (available on iTunes—and on terryblas.com), where I reviewed the whole convention for those who couldn’t go.
Read more of the interview here!