By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com April 18 2014 5:53 PM ET
This week on RuPaul's Drag Race, the contestants tried their hands at celebrity interviews, having sit-down conversations with trans advocate Chaz Bono and his grandmother, singer Georgia Holt.
Many of the queens learned the perils of live television, which, unfortuntately for Trinity K. Bonet, involved misremembering the first name of one of his guests. For calling Chaz "Chad," Bonet lip-synched against Adore Delano. Despite Trinity's fierce performance, RuPaul chose him to sashay away, after which Trinity spoke with The Advocate about the elimination as well as his new public role as an HIV and AIDS activist.
The Advocate: How did you prepare for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Trinity K. Bonet: Well, luckily, I had all of the things I needed for the show in my closet. Any extra things I needed I ran out to get, and also, I had to mentally prepare myself for the show, which didn't work 'cause I was freaking out as soon as I got there!
Which mini-challenge did you prefer — reading the other contestants, or reading the derrieres of Scruff models in underwear?
Definitely the underwear!
How did you prepare for your interview with Chaz Bono and his grandmother, Georgia Holt?
Well, they gave us bios on both of them, which didn't help because you didn't have much time to memorize and learn everything!
Other than the “Chad” name slip-up, what were the difficulties of a live interview with Chaz and Georgia? (For many of the contestants, it seemed as though they were tough interview subjects!)
It was hard trying to memorize everything at one time. The questions you wanted to ask and then the opening and ending credits. It was a bit much for a first-timer.
Chaz talked about the importance of speaking out on transgender issues. How did you respond to Logo TV’s recent apology for airing the controversial “Female or She-male” mini-challenge?
I think it’s foolishness. There's nothing wrong with "she-male" at all.
What’s your favorite Cher song? Why?
“Welcome to Burlesque”! I think it's fun and it's the most recent I saw, besides her new album.
What inspired your fierce Phoenix runway ensemble?
I just wanted to be very flashy and creative. And I already had the feathers at home.
You consistently had one of the strongest looks and lip-synchs, which at 22 is no small feat! Where did you receive your education in drag performance?
It first started out of Miami and then I moved on to Atlanta, where I got my grooming. I've got a lot of inspiration from girls like Jasmine Bonet, Nisha Dupree, and many others.
Looking back on the episode, would you have done anything differently to avoid elimination?
I wouldn't have done anything differently because I don't think it would have changed their minds. I think it just was my time to go.
Was there another contestant from this episode that you thought should have gone home first? Why?
I do think that Joslyn should have went home the episode that I went home. She had poor runway looks throughout the whole competition.
Who are your favorites among the remaining queens this season?
Adore and Bianca
Your coming out as HIV-positive was a major turning point this season. What inspired you to talk about this issue?
It needed to be talked about, because there's too many people living on this earth who are dealing with the situation and not having the guts to speak about it. If they don't come up with a reason to be honest with themselves, they never will! I thought it was important for me to be the voice for them and, whether it helps or not, it was said.
What has the reaction been like from the public as well as your family?
It's been very positive! My family has always been the biggest Trinity fan, so everything has been a blessing so far.
Name the greatest challenge facing the positive community today.
Being able to tell themselves that they’re positive and OK with it! This is a situation you can't change, so that means you need to be OK with yourself and live your life happily in order to live a long and happy life
You mentioned that your goal is to become a red carpet reporter for networks like BET. How will you tackle the challenges that many LGBTs in this field like trans media personality B. Scott still face?
By being myself! It’s either everybody's going to like what I say and do or not. But for those who don't like it, there are plenty of people who do, so I’d rather stay with the people who will appreciate me.
What first attracted you to drag, and what inspired your drag name?
Women's clothing is what first attracted me to drag. I love women's fashion because you can become any kind of character. And the girl from The Matrix inspired me. She’s badass!
What should a drag queen always keep in her purse?
Who are your role models?
My mother, God, and Beyoncé.
What’s next after RuPaul?
Traveling the world, meeting new people, setting trends, and making history!
Thanks, Trinity! RuPaul's Drag Race airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern on Logo. And watch Trinity's cover of RuPaul's "Cover Girl" below.