Queen for a Day
BY Brandon Voss
February 26 2009 12:00 AM ET
You didn't disclose your HIV status until after you won the
challenge. Tell me about that decision.
It was a really hard decision for me, because originally I did
not want that to be included in the story. But I wanted to be a
voice for our community, and I figured if I can touch just one
person's heart and give them hope, then I'm on the right
You also mentioned during the emotional revelation that you
were afraid to disclose your status on national television
because your parents didn't know yet. How did they react to the
I actually told them about a month before the episode aired. I
sat them down and had a conversation with them about everything
that had happened from the very beginning [of my diagnosis]
until now, so I reassured them that I was OK. They were worried
because they thought I was just telling them I was OK so that
they'd be OK with it, but my last T-cell count was really high,
so I'm doing amazing. I'm very happy.
What was it like for you to watch the episode?
When I watched it, I had my best friend and my roommates sit on
the couch with me. I was like, "All right, we're going to
need Kleenex boxes, and you guys are going to need to hold my
hand when that part comes." I got really emotional again only
because my emotions were very real. This means a lot to me to
be a Viva Glam spokesperson.
interviews you say that you feel like "a woman trapped in a
drag queen's body." You also say that you named your drag
persona Ongina -- using the base of your middle name, Ong --
because "God didn't bless me with a certain kind of 'ina."
Ever thought about getting sexual-reassignment surgery?
I've always been infatuated with vaginas, but I'd never
actually want one because of the whole monthly thing. Although
I guess mine wouldn't have the monthly thing. [
] My first drag name was Peck-Peck Galore. "Peck-Peck"
means "vagina" in my language.
Your style stands out among the other drag queens because
you often choose to go wigless. What's that about?
Wigs are really uncomfortable; they get really hot underneath
there. But that doesn't mean one day I won't wake up and want
to do a big purple wig. It depends on the inspiration, the
song, and the performance that I'm doing. But I really like
creating different headpieces, which I think is a little more
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