For the first time ever, the Canada’s Drag Race crown has made its way to Quebec. Montreal’s Gisèle Lullaby is officially the show’s first Québécois winner.
Going into the competition, the drag queen says she was afraid her Québécois sense of humour may not translate in English. She needn’t have worried. The Montreal-based queen not only won over the audience—and the judges—with her charm, she also won the most difficult comedy challenge: the Snatch Game.
After her big win, Lullaby caught up with Xtra’s After the Sashay to talk about crying on FaceTime with Rita Baga, her hilarious Marie Curie impression and her difficult experiences with religion.
Thank you so much! I stole the hearts of all of Canada and apparently the judges, too!
You finally brought the crown home to Montreal! What does it mean for Quebec to have its first winner of Canada’s Drag Race?
It means a lot. Priyanka has such an amazing personality and such star quality, but with Rita we were like, “Oh, no!” She’s one of the best and we really thought she was winning. It feels amazing to bring it home and I know Quebec has got all my back, all the people from Montreal and all around Quebec. Every Francophone around Canada was behind my back—we are a really big part of Canada. A lot of people in Canada forget about us and don’t think about us. It’s fun to represent all of them.
You celebrated your win at the legendary Cabaret Mado. What was it like to watch the episode with your friends and family at your home bar?
Not only my queer family, but my family family! First row, my dad was there, my mom was there, my sister, my brother, everyone was there! My cousin, my aunt. We were sold out and the crazy part is I think I knew 80 percent of the crowd.
It was a lot of big emotions. I started drag at Cabaret Mado and that’s why I wanted to do a full-circle moment, having that big coronation moment. It was amazing.
I saw some of your Drag Race sisters were there to support you—Bombae, [Season 1’s] Kiara and [Season 2’s] Adriana. That must have been quite the party. How’s your hangover?
I’m totally hungover! I have this amazing voice right now, it’s rock star-ish. I think I like it!
I saw you got a FaceTime from Rita Baga too!
We cried! You know, I’ve known Rita since I was six years old. My mom used to be her babysitter when we were in preschool. We went to high school together, we did improv together. That was my best friend and she still is today. I’m so proud of where she is. I’m going to get emotional!
She means a lot to me, since the start of my life. I was a backup dancer for her, I started drag because [of her].
You share a home bar with Lady Boom Boom. What was it like to compete against one of your co-workers?
Not only a co-worker—one of the best drag queens in Montreal! That was the biggest pressure ever. I remember people entering the room and seeing Jada and being like, “Oh god, she’s something!” I saw Jada and said, “Wow, that’s really a famous one,” but Boom Boom? Bitch, she’s funny! She’s really cute, she’s a performer, she can do anything!
For me, that was my main competition.
Your Marie Curie was a smash success in Snatch Game. That was a very outside-of-the-box choice—how did you decide to do Marie Curie?
Six years ago I watched a biopic with Isabelle Huppert, Les Palmes de M. Schutz. It’s about Marie Curie’s life. I remember watching the movie with my friend, we were really high and we were like, “Oh, she’s funny.” The best part is when she’s alone in her room and she has a little light of radium in her hand and she’s like, “I love this light.” I’m like, “You’re crazy.”
She was so scared that people would think radium was bad and it would [hurt] her work that she protected radium. I was really inspired by the denial of the character. I love characters with layers and I thought it was so funny to have someone who would lose everything and not make a big deal about it. That made me really laugh.
Throughout the competition you offered A LOT of help to your fellow competitors when it came to sewing and construction. Were you ever scared you’d help someone get ahead of you in the competition?
Helping is not a problem for me. If I say something, it’s because I have a solution. If I’m saying something about your look, it’s because I have something to make it better. Normally, I will do it super naturally. Every time someone was doing a wig and looking at themselves in the mirror, they’d be like, “Everything’s done!” then they’d turn to me and I’d be like, “No, no, no.”
It was always that feeling of support to make it better. We’re doing a TV show.
Was it intimidating as a Francophone speaker to do comedy challenges?
Yes. When I went into the competition, I was really scared my sense of humour would not translate. That was my biggest fear. I’d get lost with my translation, with my big accent.
You spoke a bit on the show about your difficult experiences with religion. That’s a common story for queer folks. I’m wondering if you could talk a bit more about how you overcame what you went through.
It’s still so triggering to me, I’ll be honest. I’ll get mad. I still feel like I have too much trauma about it. It was my first insecurity. I remember being in church and that was first time they pointed out I was effeminate. I didn’t know I was effeminate. I had to start to hide who I was. Religion for me is really triggering. I understand that people want to believe in something. Something has to make sense, but that doesn’t make sense. It’s more bullshit than anything. If you follow religion, really, you should be a good person … you don’t make love with hate.
You’re officially $100,000 richer. What’s at the top of your shopping list?
I want to bring my mom to Disney World. We were not rich when I was young, and she always said, “When we’re rich, we’ll go to Disney.”
That will be my first thing to do! I’ll have a lot of dinners in restaurants and help a lot of my friends.
Now that you’ve got the crown and the title, what’s next for Gisèle Lullaby?
Okay, so five years and 10 years! We’re doing a really business meeting. In five years, I want to have done a big tour, a show around the world. I want to see the world. I want to see Francophone people, France, Belgium, I want to go where there’s people who speak French.
In 10 years, I want to have a TV show. I want to have done movies. I’m starting to write a project already. I think the crown, I’m going to wear it high and make Canada proud.