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Sum Ting Wong on coming out to her parents and why bigger queens have to work 'harder' on the runway

'Drag Race UK's latest eliminee spills the tea.

2019-10-27

RuPaul's Drag Race UK bid adieu to another queen this week, as Sum Ting Wong became the fourth contestant to sashay away from the competition.

Sadly things didn't go quite right for Sum Ting Wong during the infamous Snatch Game when her Sir David Attenborough impression failed to amuse the judges - but her exit was at least marked by an emotional post-elimination pep talk from Spice Girl Geri Horner, who had previously declared that the Birmingham-born queen embodied the "spirit of Britain."

As Sum Ting releases her brand new single 'CrossFire', we gave her a call to get the tea on her time on the show, including how she finally came out to her parents, her relationship with sometimes divisive "drag mum" The Vivienne, and why larger queens have to work harder on the runway.

How are you feeling having watched your elimination episode back?

I feel amazing because I've got to release my single on YouTube and iTunes. It's called 'CrossFire' - download it now! [laughs] Drag Race has been incredible for me, because I've been able to showcase myself as the singer that I really want to be. It's been the craziest 18 hours.

Are you sad you didn't get more of an opportunity to showcase your abilities as a singer and performer during your time on the show?

The thing is, when I went on the show, I knew that singing was my forte and that I could smash a singing challenge. But I didn't realise the show would showcase - even to me, because I didn't know I had it in me - the other great things I can do. Like, I didn't think people would love the stamp [runway look] so much, because I was just being a d**khead in a little foam box sidestepping across the stage. And I didn't realise I could sew a tailored suit out of plastic! All these things I didn't expect, the show brought out in me.

 
 
 
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I’m not a regular boss, I’m a cool boss

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Speaking of that suit - you ended up in the bottom two for it during last week's episode, but I thought it was a solid effort for a high fashion look. Do you feel like larger queens are perhaps unintentionally penalised on the runway for looks that, if they were being worn by a smaller 'fashion' queen, would be eaten up by the judges?

The thing is, like, the stereotypical archetype of a fashion model is slim. I'm not that, at all. So I have to try harder to make myself look beautiful. I'm not saying big girls aren't beautiful - I'm [saying I'm] a size 22 and I have to make clothes because I can't wear them off the rack. I feel like we have to do more. I like wearing my body out, my tits out, my ass out, so when I'm wearing clothes I have to try super hard to make sure everything's tailored. And the fact Michelle said she'd wear that jacket, I was like 'Yeah man!'

Were you disappointed to leave at this stage of the competition?

Oh babe, I thought I'd go in episode one, are you serious?! [laughs] Being able to make it to Snatch Game is The One. Everyone tunes into Snatch Game. And I felt like I did Sir David proud. It's absolutely crazy and everything's incredible. 

We did see Blu say she was trying to steer you away from doing Nigella instead. Did you feel a bit stitched-up watching that back?

No not at all, because even if I was doing Nigella, I couldn't out-slut Blu Hydrangea! [laughs] But I still want Nigella to follow me on Instagram.

We've seen The Vivienne start to divide opinion over the last couple of weeks with the 'advice' she's dishing out to other contestants. How welcome was it at the time?

The thing is, I think it comes across harsher than it is. Me and her went out for cigarettes together all the time. We're so close, and I think it doesn't show on the show. She was like my drag mum in there. The way she comes cross is weird, because the way we talked to each other, if she didn't give a damn about you she wouldn't say a thing. She's only saying it so you improve yourself, and that's how we are in the drag community in the UK. If I see one of my sisters looking horrible, I'm like 'Don't do it!' We try and better each other. I feel like she's getting a hard wrap because people are seeing it as mean, but it's love.

We had a Drag Race first as Geri went backstage to see you after your elimination. It was clear you had a profound effect on her - how did that feel?

Watching it back it felt like a shock! Obviously I was there, but watching it back I was like, 'Mate, that is so good?!' I did my lipstick message in the mirror and turned round and there was Geri. I was like 'Is this a joke?!' Every word that hit my brain hit my heart. I love her so much, she's been my idol for 20 years.

We saw you open up about your releationship with your parents on the show and you've since come out to them - what's your relationship like with them now?

Oh absolutely incredible. So this is how the whole coming out conversation went - this is the exclusive. So I literally called my dad and said 'Hi dad I'm bringing my boyfriend home this weekend ok bye!' He was like 'What do you mean boyfriend? Do you mean girlfriend?' I was like 'No', and he was like 'Oh ok'. To me, coming out is somthing we as LGBT people do every single day, and I didn't want it to be something special. I just want it to be normal. And [with] my mum, when I was like 'Mum, I'm bringing my boyfriend back this weekend, was like 'Ok but what do you want for food?' And that was the conversation. My dad was like 'You know, this is hard for me because I'm not used to this, but I guess now I have four sons instead of three'.

That's amazing.

We don't need to validation of our parents. It's nice that I got it and it's the fairytale ending to my story, but we choose our own family. Even if they'd said 'No, we don't accept this', I know I have a loving gay family that I've chosen myself.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK continues this Thursday 31 October at 8pm on BBC Three.