Drag queens’ names are an important aspect of the persona they portray on stage! Sometimes they just pop into their mind and sometimes there’s a whole story behind it. So we’ve rounded up a list of some of our fave queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race and our local girls and the stories behind their names.
Trixie had a rough relationship with her stepdad when she was younger. When she would dress or act effeminately, he would call her a ‘Trixie’ as an insult. At 18 years old she had to cover for someone in her school’s production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This character just happened to be a drag queen called Trixie. And so, she began performing as a drag queen under the name Trixie. She eventually adopted the last name Mattel as an homage to Barbie, who everyone likened the look of her drag persona to.
Detox originally began as Dita, because she loved Madonna’s Erotica phase and her alter ego Mistress Dita. But then Detox would regularly get drunk in clubs and her friends would call her Detox because she was always on a detox. And so, her name was born.
Most of the drag queens Manila knew back in her home state Minnesota were either black or white. So, she chose the name Manila to honour her Filipino heritage. Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Her last name, Luzon, is the name of the island that Manila is on.
Courtney Act started drag aged 18. Her name comes from a play on the words ‘caught in the act.’
Australians like word play!
Shangela’s name actually came from an angry phone call her friend Brad had. He worked in telemarketing and really struggled with one caller’s name. In rage, she shouted down the phone ‘Let me tell you something, my name is Shangela Laquifa Wadley and don’t you forget it!’ … and Shangela was born.
Farrah Moan comes from a play on the word ‘pheromone.’
Inspiration for the use of ‘Farrah’ also came from actress Farrah Fawcett.
Raja’s friend helped with the choosing of her drag name. The friend was working at Disneyland at the time and the Disney movie Aladdin had come out. The tiger in the movie is called Raja. This name in Indonesia means ‘king’ and she liked the irony of a drag queen named ‘king.’ Raja was also born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger.
Raja also liked the idea of a singular name like Madonna or Cher.
Her full name is Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova. It is a composite of generic Russian women names and the last name of one of her favourite Russian gymnasts Elena Zamolodchikova as she is obsessed with gymnastics. She chose a long name that would be difficult for people to spell or pronounce.
Her original drag name was Blair. She then changed to Violet after watching Jennifer Tilly in the movie Bound playing a sexy money hungry lesbian rocking Christian Louboutin’s and Chanel. She loved how devious and mysterious her character was. She wanted her drag character to have a nod to mid-century women, dark and mysterious, and beautiful to look at. That’s where Chachki came from which is the slang spelling of tchotchke, a Yiddish word for a strictly decorative object with no function.
Nicole Paige Brooks
She started as Nicole Page (initial spelling) with Porsha as her first drag mother. Nicole is the name of a girl in high school she had a crush on and dated (but she just really liked her hair). Page is from Bettie Page as she thinks of herself as a dirty housewife that you can always see through the window but really can’t ever have. Brooks was added later when she moved to Atlanta from her drag mother Shawnna Brooks.
Sophia comes from her sister’s middle name; Sophia wanted a name to reflect her love of space and doctor who, so when her dad suggested “Sophia Stardust” she had to have it!
You may also know this queen as “the beast from the southeast” but, Vicky chose her name based on her love for Victoria Beckham, she wanted to use the phrase “miss carriage of justice” so changed the pronunciation by adding an accent. Thus, the VC was born.
Deliliahs name comprises of 3 letters from her name out of drag! She originally was going to be called Delilah Heckles but decided to change it in favour of the last name Tickles!