Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme are currently touring The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show across America, but this wasn’t always the most wonderful time of year for the RuPaul’s Drag Race alums.
“It’s funny because DeLa and I play distinct characters on stage: DeLa loves Christmas, I hate Christmas. But our actual backstories are the exact opposite,” Jinkx told Q‘s Tom Power in an interview alongside DeLa.
For Jinkx, Christmas was centred around her grandma who was “the type to just take in everyone who didn’t have somewhere to be.”
“I didn’t know it, but my grandma taught me about chosen family within my given family,” she says.
“I take the experiences I had as a kid that my grandma gave to me and I pay it forward through this show now, because I was one of the fortunate queer kids in Portland, Oregon, who had a family who loved me — my flamboyant, clearly queer self. Like I was a visibly queer, visibly trans kid since birth. It just took me time to realize that. So I get to take that feeling and give that to my audiences now.”
In contrast, DeLa was “very queer in a family that was not ready for that.”
“Going home for the holidays became something I just absolutely dreaded,” she explained.
“Bless my father, he’s a wonderful person and he tried very hard, and so I hate for him to hear this, but I created my first Christmas show specifically so I’d have a job so that I couldn’t go home for Christmas.”
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DeLa’s first-ever holiday show was held in Seattle on Christmas Eve. By creating a new holiday tradition, she learned just how many other queer people were looking for community during the holidays.
“I think we did two nights and one of them was Christmas Eve,” she recalls. “About 40 people showed up and a lot of them were queer folks who did not have a place to go.”
It was at one of DeLa’s early holiday shows in Seattle that she met Jinkx, who has since become a frequent collaborator.
“All the music and humour is like a wonderful respite from this dark world that we’re in. It’s like a chance to take a little break from all of it, but it also needs to be nourishing, you know? But the bottom line always remains that this is a show, an event, that is about community.”
For Australian fans looking for some queer festivity, The Jinkx and Dela Holiday Special is available to watch online.