Words: Brian Leonard
As Drag Race fan-favourites and UNHhhh hosts, Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova are no strangers to having eyes on them. But both say they feel more unsafe doing drag in the UK than in the US.
Speaking to Attitude for the My Pride Series, sponsored by United Airlines, the legendary queens opened up about their personal experiences.
Katya reveals that after one performance in Glasgow she was told not to walk outside in drag.
She tells us: "Even though the hotel and the venue were so close together… I went out there and was like 'oh, ok' because I felt that I could get the sh*t kicked out of me by these drunken groups of men."
"It’s crazy intimidating and really dangerous," she admits. "I mean here in the UK I feel often like not safe."
Asked whether they believe hate crime in the UK is worse than in the States, Katya quickly answers "yes," while Trixie caveats with "it depends."
The pair add that they’re "always in cities, and the story is usually a lot different in the city."
Trixie continues: "I’ll say this, it really is illuminating the situation that pretty much anybody presenting as non-binary or trans or trans masc or femme lives in because obviously I live as a male in a wig and it is interesting how just the glimpse of this for some people is so triggering."
With hate crimes against people based on sexual orientation rising in the UK, the pair’s experiences of targeted harassment are not isolated events.
Both Trixie and Katya have also faced public discrimination in the US. Trixie notes that on tour in Boston "some daytime drunk guy" yelled obscenities at her in the street.
"I’ve been called everything but I have never been attacked physically," Katya adds.
Also appearing in the My Pride series are fashion guru Gok Wan, Cabaret actor Fra Fee, 'Dancing On My Own' singer Calum Scott, and RuPaul's Drag Race icons Peppermint, Trixie and Katya.
Attitude Pride at Home is to benefit the Attitude Magazine Foundation for LGBT causes.
To donate £3 please text ATHOME3 to 70480 or click here.