Getting Shady with Latrice Royale

by Steve Duffy

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday March 13, 2019

"I am Large and In Charge, Chunky Yet Funky, Bold and Beautiful," writes Latrice Royale as a way of introduction on her website. She is easily one of the best-known alums from RuPaul's Drag Race, having placed fourth on the show's fourth season, as well as appearing on Seasons One and Four of "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" and "RuPaul's Drag U."

AKA Timothy Wilcots, she came to the Drag Race universe on a dare from a friend in 2011 and submitted an audition tape. Though she didn't win, viewers voted Royale Miss Congeniality for the season. Since then she has made a successful recording career, sung with Jennifer Hudson, appeared in an Off-Broadway play, married and started her own management company. She is currently touring the country as part of the Haters Roast: Shady Tour, which is headed to venues in the South over the next few weeks.

Additionally Royale will be appearing at the 2019 Mr & Miss Pride South Florida Pageant on March 18, 2019, before heading for appearances in London and Berlin in April. For more information about Royale's upcoming appearances, visit her Facebook page.

EDGE spoke to Royale about the tour and her career.

The scariest thing

EDGE: Tell me about the Haters Roast?

Latrice Royale: Well, this is the third year in a row that I have toured with this show. The team Murray and Peter Present brought this concept together, and the first year, I was like, ok, this is kinda nerve-wracking because I had never really done stand up before. Like, I knew I was funny and I KNEW I was shady. Now, as I have gotten to watch girls come in and out of the cast, I got to see some do really well and some just BOMB, I'd say I'm one of the seasoned veterans now!!! We read each other for filth, it's hateful, awful, and offensive, and we had a great time.

EDGE: When did you first decide you wanted to do drag?

Latrice Royale: I started doing drag in 1993 as a dare and then it just stuck. It wasn't until 1999 that I really decided to give up my "day job" and do this full time. But I've been at it ever since!

EDGE: For you, what was the scariest thing about coming out as a drag queen?

Latrice Royale: Telling my Mother! OMG it was so important that she understood that what I was doing, is Art! In no way did I want her to get the impression that I was transitioning into a woman. I'm very comfortable in my skin and always had this strong affinity for womanhood! My mother is where that developed. Watching this strong, single Mother of five pull us through the toughest of times, inspiring to say the least.

'No one like me'

EDGE: What sets you apart from other queens?

Latrice Royale: There is just no one like me. I've always had to create my own path in life. Taking the "roads less traveled" to get where I am today. Everyone has a story and past, I choose to live my truth openly and celebrate the lessons learned throughout this journey.

EDGE: Since appearing on Drag Race, what has been the biggest change in your life?

Latrice Royale: The biggest change has been my entire life. But that's the point of going on a show like Drag Race — to change your life. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But for me, I was SO ready for change, and I had been working really hard to make changes in my life. So when it happened I was READY. From owning my own business, to meeting the man that became my husband, to traveling the world, and everything else. Some people can't accept change very easily, but I embraced it, learned from it, and hope to see more of it.

EDGE: What are the biggest inspirations for Latrice Royale's style?

Latrice Royale: I love beautiful, sparkly, shiny things! Lots of glam with some regal touches here and there.

EDGE: Do you think drag provides a link between the trans and gay communities?

Latrice Royale: Well to be honest, in my experience, the Trans community has ALWAYS been a HUGE part of the drag and gay communities. I don't know when we separated into all these different divisions. Division = divide in my opinion. My drag career started because of a Trans woman who was an entertainer, that did Drag. So I hope we can get back to those basics and just realize that we are all of one...HUMANITY, love and compassion should be top priority.

Getting married

EDGE: Congratulations on recently getting hitched. What was the best part about your big day?

Latrice Royale: Thank you!!! I think the best part was seeing all of the people that we love and who love us in one room at the same time. Most of our families hadn't met each other, much less all our different social circles. Our travel schedule keeps us on the go all the time, and that's wonderful. But you don't get much time in any one place or with any one group of people really. So to have one night where we could really see everyone at one time and they could get to know each other was really incredible. Oh — and the CAKE!!!!!

EDGE: What compelled you to start this management company?

Latrice Royale: I've always said that it was born out of necessity. I was very skeptical of the managers I was hearing about in my early days after filming Drag Race but before touring. Several girls had money go missing, false ads, all that nonsense, and I just didn't want to go through that. So I partnered with someone initially, which worked until it didn't. Then when I finally created LRI Talent & Management I felt like I had really taken the bull by the horns and had the opportunity to see my vision through. The company is based on and functions on my experience in the business. Not everyone has to see things the way I do, but I know what I have learned and enjoy getting to share it with clients of all varieties in the business. Getting to work in every aspect from talent, promotion, legal, travel, all of that — really gives me a way to share what I have learned and hope that it makes things better for myself and everyone else.

For more information on Latrice, visit her website.

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