Words: Jamie Tabberer
All hail queen Envy Peru, the first Peruvian to compete on the Drag Race franchise, and now-winner of the inaugural Drag Race Holland.
"My phone's blowing up - I've got so many messages!" the 31-year-old tells Attitude from her home in Amsterdam.
“With the measurements in Holland, there’s not a lot [I can do] to celebrate" adds the star (real name Boris Itzkovich Escobar). "Unfortunately there’s no huge party... But the party’s online!”
Indeed, since winning, Envy's been inundated with messages from the Drag Race community, from Gigi to Valentina. (“I’m still waiting for that phone call from RuPaul – it would be amazing!”).
Here, Envy - who came to Holland from Peru with her mum at the age of four - reflects on season highs and lows, that infamous naked picture challenge and her hopes for a Drag Race Peru...
Congratulations Envy! Which RuPaul's Drage Race queens have you heard from since winning?
“Gigi Goode said ‘Condragulations superstar, welcome to the family!’ Valentina is a close friend. She’s been sending me voice clips and wishing me good luck, saying: ‘If you need something, just let me know.’ A very good sister, very sweet. And Jimbo from Canada’s Drag Race I speak a lot with.”
What about RuPaul's Drag Race UK queens?
“I’ve met Cheryl Hole a couple of times here in Amsterdam. I remember the first day we met – we fell in love with each other! She was rooting for me and has been sending me messages. A lot of the UK queens, we follow each other. Blu Hydrangea and Cheryl are the ones I speak with most.”
How will you be celebrating this weekend?
“I cannot celebrate, because there’s so much to do! One of the things I won was a cover shoot for Cosmopolitan, so we’re going to shoot that this weekend. Today and tomorrow I’ll be doing interviews, and they’re organising an event here in the gay strip in Amsterdam on Saturday. Did you see what they did for Jaida Essence Hall’s crowning moment? [A socially distanced parade]. People want to congratulate me, so I’m planning to just be in the gay street so people can pass by.”
Are you staying with anyone you can celebrate with, like a friend or a partner?
“I have a British boyfriend. He’s from Gloucestershire!”
What was your high point of the season?
“Winning the crown, but also the episode with my mum. It’s one of the most precious moments we’ve had together. I’ll never forget that.”
What was the low point?
“There are two. The first episode, because I felt so much pressure, because I knew there were expectations. I can see, I’m nervous and doubting myself.
“The other must be the naked challenge. That was tough, because of the relationship I’ve been in, in the past. I didn’t see the reason to do this challenge. ‘What does it have to do with drag?’ But I’m very happy I overcame the fear, and shared things from myself that I’d buried in a way. It’s good to talk about things. It makes you saner.”
And you can give the picture to your boyfriend, framed!
“Yeah! He loves it!”
View this post on Instagram
I have been hesitating to post this picture but I just feel I need to do it in the hope people will feel empowered. The latest episode showed a very personal and vulnerable story of mine that only my closest friends knew. Emotionally and physically abusive relationships are something very real and awful! It’s something I wish nobody has to go through because it is toxic! I realised this “born naked” challenge was scary as hell for me. Because it’s one thing walking around naked at home or in front of your boyfriend, but another thing to be naked in a studio knowing that the world will be watching. This challenge brought me back to that dark moment in my past I thought I had processed but actually had buried away. I also know it’s a result of socially constructed standards of what the “ideal” body is, something I have struggled with since my childhood. I know I’m very hard on myself to achieve perfection and to be polished and poised. But I learned to let go of expectations and being hard on myself so I can have a bit more fun! I known my worth and that I’m fabulous. We all have our insecurities and stepping out of your comfort zone will make you grow in being the best version of yourself. I want to thank all of you who took the time to send me beautiful messages. But especially all the queens, @robster16, @fredvanleer and @matthijsvanels for being there for me on the set ❤️❤️❤️ —— Photo by: robster16 Costume: none Tiara: Party City —— #dragraceholland #makeupartist #makeup #dragroyalty #dragqueen #dragmakeup #worldofdrag #worldofwonder #wowpresents #rupaulsdragrace #diversity #dragperfection #lgbtq #pride #love #photooftheday #bornnaked #nude
Has he brought you any presents to congratulate you for winning?
“Two bottles of Champagne! One for me, one for [runner up] Janey Jacké.”
Who was the hottest queen out of drag and why?
“Two of my best friends in the competition: ChelseaBoy and Janey. But ChelseaBoy is more my type! He’s very pretty and handsome."
You’ve got some good looking drag queens on Holland – I was impressed!
“I know, people were talking about it online. ‘This is the season of the trade!’ We didn’t think of it when we were filming. All the queens are good looking.”
What sets Holland’s drag apart from the rest of the world?
“The amount of diversity in our community. We’ve got women doing drag, club kids, bearded queens, the older generation – so much diversity in this small country. You see it in the season. It’s a little taste.”
Are you familiar with the drag scene in Peru?
“Yes, I’ve been to Peru, last February and March, before lockdown. The drag there is very different than Europe. The Latin American queens love to dance. They love to do choreo. They love to do productions, with dancers. They’re so amazingly talented, and I got so much energy from them. If one day there will come a Drag Race Peru, then you’re going to be in for a treat. Those girls can perform. And who knows, maybe I’ll host it!”
What are your hopes for the future?
“We were planning to do a UK tour, but the restrictions are tougher now. So of course, I’d love to do a UK and US tour with the girls from Drag Race Holland. Performing is what I love about drag. Now I’m focusing more online, because the world is different. You need to be creative to show yourself to the world. Collaborations and make-up videos, for example.”
I love to ask drag queens when I’m on the phone with them: what are you wearing today?
“[Laughs] I look like Eminem at this moment. I have a hoodie on, a cap, high socks – a sports suit from the '90s! I’m in a chill mode.”
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