Miss Envy Peru stars in the ‘Hit Refresh’ campaign. Image courtesy of Lot 42.
Drag Race Holland winner Miss Envy Peru speaks to PinkNews about family, her queer identity and making Ru girl herstory.
Fans rejoiced when Envy earned a guest judging slot on Drag Race España, becoming the first-ever contestant to be invited back to Drag Race as a guest judge.
Since, there have been growing calls to make her a permanent fixture on the panel.
“I was actually so insecure,” Envy tells PinkNews of her appearance. “I speak Spanish with a strong Dutch accent and thought viewers would totally read me for it!”
As the first Peruvian queen to compete in any Drag Race season, Envy – whose parents relocated to Holland when she was “4 or 5 years old” – felt determined to “represent South America in the best way possible, and to respect and honour our culture.”
Her mum in particular instilled strong pride in her roots, which became evident throughout the show.
“When my mom appeared on the ‘Family Resemblance’ episode, it was the first time she had been in a television studio,” Envy remembers fondly. “She was so innocent – the moment before we all lined up to go out on the runway, she was greeting every single cameraman. It was so cute!”
Having won Drag Race Holland in the middle of a COVID lockdown, it’s only now that Envy has been able to start fulfilling her promise to champion issues she believes in with her hard-earned platform.
Most recently, she teamed up with premium hard seltzer Lot 42 for a film that’s all about connection and togetherness.
The film follows Envy’s transformation into drag, journeying from the city into nature, and the shoot allowed the queen to truly feel her fantasy. “I got to have my Priscilla, Queen of the Desert moment,” she laughs.
Better still, it’s a campaign with heart – Lot 42 is donating 4.2 per cent of its profits throughout the year to the charity Rainbow Road, which does vital works to relocate and resettle LGBT+ people escaping persecution.
Kimahli Powell, Rainbow Railroad’s Executive Director, welcomed the partnership in an official statement: “Thanks to the support of Lot 42, we will be able to help more LGBTQ+ people escape persecution and violence, and find safety and the freedom to love openly and without fear.”
The shoot itself was a family affair, as Envy was able to recommend her friends to dance in the video.
“The video was all about friendship, and you can really feel that by watching,” she said. “It was so amazing to work on this project together, it just became a case of friends working together to create something beautiful.”
Drag Race Holland winner Miss Envy Peru wants queens to be shown respect
Since lockdown lifted, Miss Envy Peru says she’s had chance to both celebrate her win and see the impact the show has had on the Netherlands drag scene.
“When I started doing drag, we had the older generation queens, a few fishy queens and the occasional club kid – that was it,” she explains.
“Now you see bearded queens, club kids – there’s such beautiful diversity, and Drag Race is a kind of motivation now for them to get on the show.”
Your follower count or a blue badge don’t say how great of a queen you are.
Envy encourages support for queens who don’t end up on the show. “Your follower count or a blue badge don’t say how great of a queen you are – there are fabulous girls here in Amsterdam that aren’t on the show, and they deserve the same respect.”
This is especially true in the midst of a pandemic, which has decimated the income of so many talented performers reliant on club gigs – Drag Race queens included.
“During these pandemic seasons, they invest so much money to go on the show and then it’s just done, you know? Luckily we have live-streams and online campaigns, but after five live-streams I had already had it. It was a creative solution for sure, but it’s very different to actually being in crowds and seeing people’s reactions.”
When we speak over the phone, Envy is still riding the high of a recent performance at Amsterdam’s Pride Park – her first live gig in six months. Her face is ready and prepped for yet another performance that evening, a pre-show for US season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio.
“This is why I do drag – to see those happy faces, hear the applause and feel that connection with the audience.”
As hinted at in the campaign video, there’s a deeper story behind Envy’s love of drag, too. “It made me the man, the human I am today,” she concluded.
“When I was very young, I struggled hugely with my self-esteem; I genuinely didn’t want to be queer. Now I have drag, and that’s what truly helped me to celebrate all sides of myself.”