Biqtch Puddin: On Atlanta, Drag Bullies, and Becoming Dragula's Reigning Supermonster

 PHOTO: Nathan Noyes

PHOTO: Nathan Noyes

This conversation has been condensed for web. To read the full interview, order your copy of WUSSY Volume 4 featuring original photos by Nathan Noyes. 

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When WUSSY asks you to interview a nationally-recognized drag supermonster, you don’t hesitate, especially if you grew up a closeted kid in rural Georgia, watching Will & Grace, getting crushes on girls in your French class, and having a Scream marathon the first time your parents left you home alone. I first heard of the horror/drag series Dragula when I was eavesdropping on a conversation between a couple friends. I asked them what it was, and they explained it was a reality show that several local Atlanta drag queens were on - including Biqtch Puddin’, one of my personal favorites.

Gay shit, horror, and drag queens are a lethal combination I can’t resist, so I hopped onto YouTube as soon as I got home that night to binge watch Dragula. I had been following Biqtch on social media since meeting her in person one night at Heretic, where she was performing, and I loved her Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent - but that’s a different show. Watching her star rise has been heartwarming, because from that one night with her, I know that she deserves every bit of success - and she’s earned it.

Biqtch sat down with me over the phone (her in Los Angeles, where she now lives, me in Atlanta), to spill the tea on drag, fame, guys on Scruff, and how she used what she was bullied for her whole life to snatch that bloody, bloody Dragula crown.

Read on, monsters:

Anna Jones: You may not remember, but we actually met at a Eureka show here in Atlanta. You hit on my husband, and he was thrilled.

Biqtch Puddin': [laughs] Damn. That was my Kathy number, right?

AJ: Yes! You performed your Kathy Griffin piece that night. I remember thinking, “Okay, this is one of my favorite queens of all time,” because I read Kathy Griffin’s book, Official Book Club Selection, which inspired me to pursue taking classes at Groundlings in LA. I love that you love her as much as I do.

"I love Atlanta, but in [the drag scene], you have to have a very thick skin."

BP: Yeah, she was my everything. I would always go home and watch her specials on Bravo and shit. I didn’t really know I was gay... she was one of the few people on television at the time that was kind of publicly talking about gay as if it was just fucking cool. Until then, there was always a very narrow viewpoint on it. She has a comedic style, but how she was talking about queers, it was like, getting me more comfortable with that concept.

AJ: I was actually shocked when I heard that you were bullied in the Atlanta drag scene and on Dragula [before I watched Season 2], because you were so kind to me and my friends when we met, and obviously such a creative talent. I wanted to hear your side of that.

BP: The Atlanta drag scene is probably one of the best in the country. And how they go about fostering this talent is they don’t necessarily take the “kind” approach. It’s more like, they’ll tell you everything wrong about you, and never take a second to [tell] you when you actually do something good.

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AJ: That makes sense, because I’m originally from the South, and it can be a very judgmental place.

BP: Yeah, it’s a very definitive mindset. In retrospect, I’m thankful for my time in Atlanta. I miss Atlanta, and I love Atlanta, but in [the drag scene in Atlanta], you have to have a very thick skin. There are girls who will make a career out of [this]. Look at girls like Evah Destruction - she hasn’t been on a platform yet - I say yet, because I feel like she will be any second now; if not, then people are sleeping on it. Or, Violet Chachki. Or even girls like Phoenix who came back and established a whole career for themselves. The Atlanta scene has been a dominant one for years.

There was this iconic HBO documentary done in the 90s [Dragtime, HBO Feature Documentary], where it shows all these New York girls, but they spend a whole chunk of it talking about Atlanta, like Charlie Brown’s Cabaret, where it shows like, Shawnna Brooks and Raven, who was this infamous, rebel, fire-wielding, sex-on-heels bitch who kind of burned the place down a couple of times...it’s this mecca, right? When you first join something like that - when you first join a team, you get a little bit of hazing. It’s like a sorority of bitches that put you through it and read you, but if they’re reading you, it’s because they want you to be better - but no one’s going to tell you that. If you can grow with it, you can become a very versatile queen, which is what I showcased on Dragula.

"I had to convince the world who I was [on Dragula]. I had to keep my head down, and it really fucked me up." 

AJ: Absolutely. I was surprised, because from the first episode, they were dragging you. As the backstory of what had happened between you and Abhora came out, it was understandable. But then you apologized profusely for it, and they just kept dragging you, and I’m glad that it seemed to become a redemptive thing for you - not only winning Dragula, but the other girls seemed to really support you by the end, even Abhora.

BP: When that happened, and I got the show, out of all the girls there, I was most excited to see Abhora. I wanted to compete with the best that I knew of at the time. I wanted to have good competition. I know this bitch, I was on cast with this bitch, and this bitch is sickening - she’s a monster.

I knew that [Abohora] had a lot of animosity towards me, and it was mostly because of the show that we were on cast together. I don’t want to spill tea. I want to be respectful. But I had to convince the world who I was [on Dragula]. I had to keep my head down, and it really fucked me up. The second episode was a great example of that. I was really in my head. If I put Biqtch Puddin’ in a western world, she would be a fucking whore. But I didn’t do that. I was like, I need to be this fucking drowned bitch monster that the townspeople drowned in the well, and she was mad about it and coming back to kill everyone, which, no - I should’ve just been over it. I was in my head about the competition, but once I got out of that - you saw the result. I couldn’t have pulled myself out that if it wasn’t for that grueling, sorority-esque mentality that Atlanta gave me. It prepped me for a situation like that. That’s why I’m grateful for how Atlanta raises its queens, because it helped me deal with shit like that. If there had been another girl in that situation, she would have cracked.

AJ: That’s one of the things that I feel helped save you.

BP: Yeah. I was bullied throughout my life, being a Navy brat. And I was a huge, flaming undercover faggot. From the jump, I tried to fight it so long, and people were calling me faggot in 5th, 6th grade, and I didn’t even know what that meant. I was always the new kid in school every two years. I was just an easy target. I thought I had dealt with bullying my whole life in different ways, and I thought, “This is the time. I’m on a show with monsters. We’re queer as fuck - it’s the most queer shit on television right now. If anything, this is a safe place.” And it was the exact opposite. It was the same situation, but here. And I think that the universe prepped me for this in a weird way - putting me through [all this] bullying. I would love to live in a world where I can wear lipstick and go to the club and not have my [identity] questioned. I just want the next generation to not have to be questioned...if you want to wear a dress on a Tuesday, then wear a fucking dress on a Tuesday. It doesn’t fucking matter.

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AJ: What inspired you to audition for Dragula?

BP: I auditioned for two reasons: 1.) when I watched the first two episodes of Dragula Season 1...it was raw, it was online, and I just saw these queer individuals allowed to be themselves on a platform unapologetically. And then 2.) I was looking at the cast, and I was like, “I don’t really see Biqtch existing,” but I feel my mentality might fit in this realm, and I saw the scene where Loris died, like...her fucking death scene where she looks like an eighties bitch-cunt-prostitute -

AJ: Yassss, that’s your aesthetic!

BP: - and I was like, “Oh my God, that’s like - me.” I can see myself in this universe completely. It’s not just my beast mentality as a performer or party energy, but it’s that. They love this shit, too. I knew I had a shot. I went out to DragCon in LA last year - I like Atlanta, but I was ready for the next thing. It’s hard, as a queen, to find the next city you’re going to jump to [especially since] Atlanta pays its queens so, so well.

Dragula has a live pageant. Obviously, they stopped doing the party, but brought it back for DragCon weekend. I thought I would compete, and I ended up being in the Top 3 with Abhora, and I won. But it wasn’t an automatic in for the show. The Boulets were like, “We’ll message you.” I definitely felt like, “This is it.”
 

AJ: Okay, let’s switch gears a bit and do some quick, rapid-fire questions. Favorite horror movie?

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BP: Silence of the Lambs. Without a doubt.

AJ: Greatest fear?

BP: Heights. I don’t know why. There was a person in the 90s who died on a roller coaster, and I was there. But I still ride roller coasters.

AJ: Favorite drag queen (besides yourself, duh)?

BP: [screams] Disasterinaaaaaaa! The first day on set...it was the most beautiful thing on the planet. I bawled my eyes out when they eliminated her, because if I was going to lose to any bitch, I’d want to lose to her or Abhora.

AJ: What is one of the biggest perks to fame?

BP: Getting clocked on Scruff.

AJ: Who did you feel was your biggest competition overall on Dragula?

BP: When I got to set, I immediately was like, “Abhorra,” because she knew what I was capable of. I may not read as ‘monster,’ but I have shit and tricks that I can apply that these girls don’t [have]. But I will say, Victoria, Episode 1 - first day, level awesome. I thought I was going to be the body girl, but I was like, “Oh my God, she’s padded, and her tits look amazing, and she’s scary as fuck.” I was like, “Damn, I’ll be lucky if I make it halfway through.” But then I realized that the girls didn’t have what I have, so I started celebrating that, and that’s when I started kicking ass.

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AJ: Do you have a Drag Mother, and if so, who is she?

BP: [laughs] I don’t necessarily have a correct drag mother, but I do have two mothers that I would like to identify: one is this girl named Kiara - she’s from Virginia Beach. When I saw her perform, I was like, “Drag can be that?” She transformed the whole room to look at her. She was doing this weird song that no one would know, and it was like you were teleporting into this video game world. It was fucking sickening.

In terms of Atlanta, I will say Celeste Holmes really helped me out in a variety of ways, and has constantly been my cheerleader. She was one of the few ones that was like, “Biqtch, you’re sickening, keep going, don’t listen to the haters.” I love her for [that].

AJ: What was the messiest moment on Dragula that didn’t make it onto the show?

BP: It was during the first episode. Shit was being spilled backstage, and everyone was blaming me. So, it was messy with that, but it was also messy when we got to the bottom. It was me, Kendra, Erika, Felony, and Monikkie. Right now, it’s comical, but in the moment, I was like, “Oh my God.” Felony is rocking back and forth and mentally trying to prep herself. Erika is freaking out. Monikkie is like, “James Majesty is in the top? What the fuck?” and through all these interactions, you hear Kendra Onixxx saying, “It’s a Trump America.” [laughs] It was reality gold, and I don’t know why there wasn’t a camera on it. It was messy, but it was really fucking funny.

AJ: Plug time! What’s next for Biqtch?

BP: I’m trying to come up with music. I just want to come out with some honest, fun songs. I’m working with a couple of different artists right now - I don’t know if anything will come of it. I’m launching my Twitch channel around or after DragCon. I’m trying to get DragCon done. I’m going to switch to video games and have fun online. I’m going to do the European tour with Dragula, dates to be determined. I’m very fucking excited about that.

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To read the full interview, order your copy of WUSSY Volume 4
Photography by Nathan Noyes for WUSSY Mag. 

Anna Jones is a writer and producer currently based in Atlanta. She is the proud owner of digital copywriting agency Girl.Copy and independent film production company Tiny Park Productions. She loves a lot of stuff, but mainly: her husband, kid, and cat, writing and filmmaking, coffee and Diet Coke, millennial pink, sushi, gay stuff, and horror films.