Last Words With RuPaul's Drag Race's Joslyn Fox
This week on RuPaul's Drag Race, the contestants were faced with their most daunting challenge yet: marriage. Each queen had to make over a straight man as a blushing bride in order to prepare him for an actual wedding to his fiancé (outfitted in a tuxedo) at the end of the episode, officiated by none other than RuPaul. It was a joyous occasion for the couples. But un-joyously, Joslyn Fox had to sashay back down the aisle after losing a lip-sync to Adore Delano (whose "drag daughter" Ryan Dalimonte was recently interviewed by Out about the television nuptials).
But for Fox, the wedding bells have just begun to ring. America's Drag Sweetheart spoke with The Advocate about plans to tie the knot with fiancé André and what he is most looking forward to about married life. The self-proclaimed "MacGyver of drag" also weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding the "Female or Shemale" mini-challenge aired this season, saying, "It has always been a worthy fight to me to stop people from saying words like 'fag,' 'gay,' 'homo,' etc. ... so why is this any different?"
The Advocate: How did you prepare for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Joslyn Fox: Auditioning four seasons in a row was a great learning experience for me. I didn't make it onto the cast each year, and I would watch that season, see what the girls brought to the table that I didn't show in my audition tape, and apply it to the following year's tape.
What was your strategy for painting your “twerk of art” in this week’s mini-challenge? Did you have an artistic inspiration?
I knew it was important to create an image that was visible but open to individual interpretation. I really thought that it was my challenge to win. I was honestly surprised when Bianca won. Maybe my painting was too legible and not abstract enough, but I thought it was the clear winner.
This week it was all about marriage. What does it mean for you personally that you can now marry the man that you love?
My home state of Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage. I've always felt very lucky to have the privilege of the right to marry, and that's why it is always so exciting whenever another state legalizes gay marriage. It is a very exciting time to be a part of the gay rights movement and through the show, especially my fiancé André's video message. I love being able to put a face to a gay couple marrying.
Are there wedding plans that you’d like to share with us?
I've been planning our wedding for years now, and I'm obsessed with the idea of a backyard wedding. I've always envisioned celebrating with family and friends in the warm summer night air, under the stars, white twinkling lights everywhere. I've had a very well-thought-out music playlist ready to go for a while now. It will be the party everyone will be talking about for years. Everybody say 'love'!
What are you looking forward to most about married life?
Being able to tell him, "You're stuck with me now!" I love our partnership. He's my backbone and my number 1 fan. We couldn't be more opposite, and we certainly make up where each other lacks. I can't wait to get old and wrinkly together and sit on the porch of our old plantation house in the South drinking gin and tonics and holding hands.
Your “drag daughter,” a straight athlete, seemed less than enthusiastic about the prospect of dressing up as a woman in the bridal challenge. He even became physically ill onstage. What was the greatest difficulty in his transformation? Do you think the experience of “walking a mile in your heels” helped change his mindset toward gender expression and LGBTs?
He was the one groom who seemed like his wife signed him up for the show without telling him fully what he was getting into. It was like pulling teeth, and my rhinestoned pliers were rusty. I was really frustrated that he was the one guy who wasn't super excited about wearing heels and a wig, but it created an incredible opportunity to school him on homophobia. He was certainly a changed man after his experience on the show. I know he went home and was an advocate for gays with his teammates, family, and friends. Maybe the hindrance was what got me sent home, but it was my opportunity to create an impactful conversation of a social relevance on an otherwise lighthearted show.
If you could give a drag makeover to any straight male public figure or celebrity, who would it be? Why?
Adam Levine. So I could help him tuck. He'd probably write a song about it too.
Looking back on the episode, would you have done anything differently to avoid elimination?
I think I was overly confident in the lip-sync. At that point, I had felt that Adore's bride was a mess and her mother of the bride look was juvenile, and on top of it she expressed to us in the gold bar how defeated she had felt. I didn't realize until the episode aired just how intense she was on stage when were lip-synching. I wish I hadn't been so complacent and maybe had 'taken it to church' a little harder to solidify my place in the top five.
Was there another contestant from this episode that you thought should have gone home first? Why?
Making it to the top six was far more than I expected going in to the competition, so I can't say that anyone else deserved to go home more than I. I couldn't be happier with who made it into the top five. I really made it to the end with all of my best friends. I'm such a lucky girl.
Who are your favorite among the remaining queens this season?
I'm not going to pick favorites of the top five. I love them all dearly. But I do feel that the crown has Bianca's name on it. I've learned not only experiencing the competition with her, but even more so after watching the show, that she is as kind as she is talented. She's the ultimate drag queen and a fabulous human being. One of the best things I've taken away from this experience is my friendship with Bianca. It's funny how I went into the competition a big fan one of the queens and left with a new idol in mind. #teambianca
Before the competition, Courtney Act was someone you idolized. Was it a letdown for you when Act threw negative comments your way, calling you a “low-rent” version of herself?
At the times when she did, I was really hurt hearing such cruel things from someone I idolized, but it was mainly because I was constantly comparing myself to Courtney throughout the competition. As I gained confidence and solidified my place in the competition, Courtney's opinion of me didn't matter anymore.
You told Boston Spirit in a past interview, “I play dumb and come off as stupid, but my secret power is that I’m smarter than I seem.” How do you think this secret power helped you in the competition? In life?
It's certainly not a conscious effort, but it's how I've been all of my life. I'm much smarter than I seem. My personality is all about lighthearted fun and seeking the best out of life. I know that it helped me in the competition, because it humanized me and reminded the girls that we were all in it together. Yes, it was a competition, but we could still treat each other with respect and enjoy each other's company. I also know that my childlike naïveté and eternal optimism has helped me and my family to get through the passing of my nephew, and, more recently, my best friend. Sometimes you have to focus on only the positive, because the negativity will get you nowhere.
You were critiqued in last week’s episode for bringing up a sensitive topic with Cher’s mom, Georgia Holt, on the subject of abortion. Do you wish you could “turn back time”?
I have zero regrets about my time in the race. Everything I did, good or bad, was a learning experience and made me the person I am today. Chaz and Georgia couldn't have been more receptive to my contrition. They told me that the only reason they wanted me to know how off-putting my question was was so that I wouldn't make the same mistake again, because they thought I had a career in the talk-show business. I really thought that the question would either win or lose the challenge depending on its reception. It wasn't until the runway that I had realized my blunder.
How did you respond to Logo TV’s recent apology for airing the controversial “Female or Shemale” mini-challenge?
I never really thought of the offense it would cause, being a fan of the show for so long. It was when I saw the backlash of it and people saying how "oversensitive" the transgender community was being over the situation that it really began to bother me. I don't think it is fair for gays to criticize the trans community about hot-button words. It seems to be very hypocritical. It has always been a worthy fight to me to stop people from saying words like "fag," "gay," "homo," etc. ... so why is this any different? Of course, there is no harm meant by words like "she-male" on a show like Drag Race, but using it so casually only empowers the word to be used in a hateful, derogatory way.
I hear you’re a DJ. What are some favorite tracks you’ve been spinning?
I honestly haven't been DJing as much as I was before the show. I strayed a bit to focus on my drag career and haven't dove back in just yet. I've done a few private parties since filming the show, but I absolutely cannot wait to get back in the clubs and tour the country as a drag queen who DJs — the best of both worlds.
What first attracted you to drag, and what inspired your drag name?
I got my start DJing drag shows and I knew I had to have a taste. I did my first show with the name Billie Wicked. The other queens performing said, "No way, we're giving you a better name!" The whole bunch of them stood in a circle throwing names around, and the first name unanimously agreed upon was Joslyn. At the time, these queens knew me as DJ Patrick Allen, my first and middle name. It was a total coincidence, and I saw it as fate. Fox came from a friend who saw me walking a sidewalk and texted me saying that I looked like a "stone cold fox" and I loved how much the word “fox” could mean. It's just the perfect word for enigmatic sexiness that can't be forced.
What should a drag queen always keep in her purse?
Duct tape, nail glue, lip gloss, bobby pins, and a mirror. I've been known to be called the MacGyver of drag. There's nothing wrong with being prepared for anything and everything.
Swimsuit season is fast approaching. Where would you recommend shopping for a bikini (or eight!)?
My closet. I have a lot to get rid of.
Who is your role model?
Myself. I go after my dreams and goals in all aspects of life, always staying true to myself, and through it all I am able to learn from my experiences, good and bad, constantly growing and ever changing.
What’s next after RuPaul?
I want to conquer the world. I don't know, it worked for Madonna. I really want to do it all though. I'd love to record music, act on screen, and in the theater, write a book, open businesses, get married, have kids ... The world is my oyster, and life has handed me enough lemons to take a big bite.
Why did the drag queen cross the road?
Because a drag queen can always stop traffic.
Thanks, Joslyn! RuPaul's Drag Race airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern on Logo.