Kimmy Couture made herstory as the first out trans woman to walk into the workroom on Canada’s Drag Race. While queens like Kylie Sonique Love, Kerri Colby and Kornbread have appeared on Drag Race south of the border, Couture’s casting marked a major moment for trans representation in Canada, where trans folks are rarely seen on television.
By making it to the top four, she did the dolls proud—bra-and-panty critiques be damned! (She looked great in them.) She also showed off her comedic chops, particularly in the Rusical, but also in the workroom with her endless staredown with Miss Fiercalcious trying to write jokes. And she proved that any naysayers who said she was just a carbon copy of her mom, Season 2 winner Icesis Couture, were totally out of pocket.
Ahead of the Season 3 finale, Couture sat down with Xtra’s After the Sashay to talk about bringing Asians to the forefront of mainstream media, gender dysphoria during the competition and the power of the block button on social media.
She’s a LEGACY! I think it’s safe to say you made your mother, Season 2 winner, Icesis Couture, proud. What has her reaction to your run on the show been?
To be honest, when I went on Drag Race, I did not expect to go to the finale. There’s this whole thing of mother-daughter back-to-back not lasting very long, the one who goes after. But you know what? She’s really proud of me.
I saw that Icesis taught you about the power of the block button on social media. Have you been able to drown out the haters online?
I sure am! It’s such a good tool to have. There’s so much love out there, but there’s people who would rather hate on you for no reason, and it’s unnecessary. If they don’t have anything to do to you, if they don’t contribute to your life, you might as well block them!
You were the first openly trans woman to walk into the workroom on Canada’s Drag Race. How has it felt to carry the mantle for the dolls in Canada?
Amazing! Literally all the trans women [who are now out] from the season before, they messaged me and said, “Bring it for the dolls, girl! You gotta win this for the dolls! You’re there openly as a trans woman.”
The community is so powerful. There’s a lot of strong, bad bitches in the community who do drag and I’m so happy I get to represent the trans community. I really hope one day there’s more trans competitors.
There were some challenges this season, like Masc for Mascara and the Daddy Date mini challenge, that called for masculinity. I imagine that could have been difficult and emotional for you as a trans woman.
I’m not going to lie, it was very gender-dysphoric. It was very triggering. But at the same time, that’s what I signed up for. I’m not there to complain about what the challenges are. I signed up for this, I was there to win it.
On Drag Race, I took it day by day. That was what Icesis gave me as advice: “Take it day by day and if you get into your head, visit, don’t stay.” As long as you commit to what the challenges are, you’ll do great.
I want to talk about the line “I wasn’t born in this world to educate people, I’m here to enjoy my fucking cocktail, bitch.” What we didn’t get to see was how the line ended, which you later tweeted. “But yet here I am, doing the same thing over and over again, answering the same questions, it’s a never-ending battle.” Can you give some context to the frustration you were experiencing at that moment?
I was trying to express the frustration that with marginalized communities, people of colour and in the trans community, we always get the same questions. Every day. It’s so frustrating and exhausting to answer them all the time. There was a point in my life where [I asked myself], “Is this what my life is all about? Do I just wake up every morning and answer the same questions?” It felt like a never-ending battle.
Advocating and activism is really important, but there are times when we can only educate so much for certain people. Free labour? It’s 2022, we don’t do that. With the internet, you can research.
Congrats on headlining Capital Pride! That’s a huge deal. What was it like to own that stage during your big Drag Race moment?
I was so emotional. I got to go back to Ottawa, perform and be a Drag Race girl. I thought I was going to be a local girl forever. Now I get to go back and see all the familiar faces that have been supporting me since the beginning? It was a full-circle moment.
You shared your experiences with sexual assault on the show, which are sadly relatable for many, many queer folks—but especially trans women. What’s your message for other people who have been impacted by sexual assault?
It’s important to talk about it, to address the issue. We need to be more vocal about our experiences. That’s one thing I learned from holding it in my chest and keeping it to myself. I [would have] never really gotten to seek any help or [find] people who would help me if I wasn’t really vocal about it.
We need to fix this problem. It’s a really disgusting behaviour and it’s very traumatizing. I cannot believe how many people are victims. Right after that episode aired, people poured out their love and support to me, but they also told me all their stories. It saddens me there’s so many victims out there.
You changed your name on social media to Kimmy “Bra&Panty” Couture. It’s fun to watch you embrace the negative critique. When’s the bra-and-panty collection coming out?!
Oh my god! I’m actually thinking of merch coming out soon. I don’t want to spoil it, but there’s something in the works.
You tweeted a Grindr screengrab from a fan who wanted to talk about the show while you wanted to get down. Is being famous getting in the way of you getting D?
Ab-so-fucking-lutely! I need to get my blue check mark so I can get on Raya.
What’s next for you?
I’m thinking of a lot of content to do in the future, so keep in touch!