Drag star Alaska Thunderfuck talks about season 2 of her docu-series, her career in drag and even politics

JENNY BLOCK | Contributing Writer

Alaska Thunderfuck is not to be fucked with. Just check out season 2 of the OUTtv docu-series Behind the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition, now officially out in the wild, to see why. The series goes behind the scenes of Alaska Thunderfuck and Lola LeCroix’s Drag Queen of the Year contest.

The six-episode docu-series, filmed in front of a live audience, offers a view to the backstage world of mounting a monumental drag competition that is about far more than inclusivity. The event is more about being on the cutting edge of drag, and the docu-series is all about the two stars who are committed to riding that razor’s edge.

Thunderfuck appeared on the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, finishing in the final three that year, before returning to win season two of Drag Race All Stars. She has released books and albums, co-hosts a podcast and rules YouTube. She’s even the face of a vodka brand and the creator of a fab new fragrance.

And, of course, she does awe-inspiring drag, starring in Divatronic icon tribute shows paying homage to stars like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.

I caught up with Alaska by phone and was blown away by the truly remarkable human behind all that glitter.

Dallas Voice: What is it really like just being involved in creating a documentary? It just seems like the most interesting and wild and sometimes strangely intrusive experience. Alaska: I don’t really love having cameras following me in my day-to-day life. It makes me feel like I have to be more thrilling or interesting that I actually am. I prefer things to be nice and boring, especially when I’m producing a show, because that means everything’s running great. But, inevitably, when you’re self-producing a show like this, things go awry, and so we’re grateful that there are cameras to catch that. I hope that it makes people feel like they’re part of the action.

How did the documentary come to be? Well, OUTtv came to us, and they said, “Hey, what do you think about doing this?” And I’ve worked with Adrian before, and I’m very impressed with her as a filmmaker. So, ultimately, what sold me on it is that we had a chance to amplify the platforms and the voices of these drag artists. That’s the point of the whole project anyway. If we can do that, I’m happy to do it.

Alaska Thunderfuck at the 2023 DragCon LA (Photo by DVSROSS via Flickr)

When you were little, what did you think you’d do with yourself when you grew up? Well, I was really shy. I was really introverted. I wasn’t good at sports. So I just kind of liked to keep to myself. I liked to draw pictures. I would daydream that I would grow up and be a girl that was singing songs in rooms with people, and so I guess I have become that. I get to do that all the time.

What do you think your 12-year-old self would think about the amazing life and success you have now? I think they’d be blown away. I think that they would think it was really crazy and unbelievable, and I do stay connected to that. I try to remember that. I love the sort of thrill of drag. I love being around wigs and shoes and just ridiculous things. I love that. So I try to stay connected to that.

It does seem like you’re sort of a renaissance human. What inspired you to write a book in the middle of what seems like a very big performance and production and other life schedule? I kind of doing everything just because I’m curious about it, and I enjoy doing a little bit of everything. That’s why I like drag, too. It’s not pigeonholed into one thing like, oh, you can only be a singer or you can only be an actor. I kind of get to do a little bit of all of it, which I love.

Anything on your dream list or vision board of what you’d still like to do? I sort of just take it as it comes, and I sort of let the world and the universe tell me what is next, and I don’t know. I mean, I think I just listened to Barbra Streisand’s audio audiobook and I’m very inspired by her as a filmmaker and as a director. So I think I would like to eventually do that in my life, direct a movie and write a movie.

Any words of wisdom or inspiration for the next generation of drag performers? Well, I would just say do it. If you’re drawn to do it, go for it. When I started drag, it was like I didn’t have a choice. I had to do drag. There was just something within me that needed to do that. Now it’s sort of a glamorous, viable career choice, which is definitely wasn’t what I was starting out. That’s all the more reason to just do it, and don’t just do it online or don’t just do it on social media. Do it in real life.

Oh, I love that. Why do you say that? Then you can see people’s real reaction. You get to really live it and go out into the world.

What would you say is just the wildest, craziest thing that has ever happened in your drag universe? Doing Sharknado was really wild. I flew to Romania the day after Christmas and filmed with Tara Reed and Deborah Wilson in a castle. I still don’t really believe that that happened. It’s pretty wild to me, but it was really, really cool. I mean, it was so wacko and so bizarre, and I loved it.

Would you say, is that how you feel like your universe works? You’re a good human and you do good work, and so one person talks to another, oh, you should totally work with that person. Is that how your universe goes? Well, I try to show up, and I try to do what is asked of me and try to do a good job, and I try to be on time. I went to school for theater, so it’s very, “If you’re early you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late.” In doing that, I feel like a lot of opportunities have opened up for me just because if people ask me to do something that I’ll actually show up and do it — 99 percent is just showing up.

Living in Texas is pretty ugly right now. I wonder what your take is on all of this banning drag garbage. What do you make of SB12 and similar anti-drag legislation? Well, it’s a smoke screen, and it’s a distraction. It’s used as a, to quote Jaida Essence Hall, “Look over there” kind of tactic because politicians don’t want to tackle the things that actually matter to most Americans, like affordable healthcare and getting a living wage and houselessness.

Is there anything you never get to talk about or put out there that you’d like the opportunity say? Well, I think we should tax the billionaires. I think it’s time for this country to sort of catch up with modern civilizations around the world. I think we need universal healthcare now. I think we need a universal basic income. I think we need a living wage. I think people are just tired, and it needs to change now.

Any last bit of advice to our young LGQTQ+ community who really are struggling, especially our trans friends? It’s hard out there. Put down your phone sometimes. Go out. Touch the grass. See the sky. See people. Do real things.