What is it like to be a drag queen in love? On Saturday at RuPaul’s DragCon, former Drag Race contestants Ginger Minj, Chad Michaels, and Dusty Ray Bottoms appeared on stage with their significant others to discuss how they met, what makes their love work, and whether or not their relationships are open.
At the beginning of the panel, host Alexander Kacala asked the panelists whether being a drag queen ever affected their dating prospects when they were single. Dusty Ray Bottoms said he’d never been a single drag queen and that he decided to start drag while he was with his partner of five years, who was sitting on the panel with him.
Chad Michaels met his husband in 2002 and had been doing drag since 1992. Michaels recalled the pre-Grindr days of being on Men4Men and AOL chat rooms.
“As a single queen, I didn’t have a lot of luck meeting guys really,” said Michaels, who competed in Season 4 of Drag Raceand won All Stars Season 1. “There’s a certain stigma attached to it, but there was lots of sex.”
He added, “They’ll have sex with you, they just won’t marry you.”
Panelists then dished on whether they sleep with fans. Ginger Minj shared a story about a fan who she slept with before meeting her current husband. While having sex, Ginger said that the person said, “I can’t believe I’m getting fucked by Ginger Minj,” which led to Ginger getting dressed and leaving.
“It totally tucked itself at that point,” Ginger said.
The queens also shared stories about how they met their partners. Chad Michaels and his hub met in San Diego, where he was an assistant to another queen. When they began dating, the other queen called him a “star fucker” and Michaels confessed to punching the queen in the face!
Dusty Ray Bottoms and his fiancé met because they waited tables at restaurants across the street from each other. They would take breaks and get drinks together and one day, Dusty awkwardly slipped him his number. They texted for a few days, but it stopped. A few months later, Dusty saw him outside a New York City clubbut he was covered in fake blood. Later, they scheduled a date but Dusty stood him up. They finally went on a date and have been together for five years.
Dusty also talked about being in an open relationship. He said that he and his partner talk openly about everything they do, but that there is a “no fly list” for people they can’t sleep with, which includes friends and co-workersincluding other drag queens.
“Some days I wake up and we want daddy dick,” Dusty said. “If we want daddy dick, we go get daddy dick.” Dusty added, “We’re open, we’re loving, and we like sex.”
To contrast, Chad Michaels said he and his partner are monogamous and he hasn’t “touched another penis in 15 years.” Ginger Minj said they’re monogamous “but we do play well with others.”
In the most touching part of the panel, each queen said what they loved most about their partners. Ginger said she loves that her husband can make her smile. Dusty said that he loves that his fiance is always five steps ahead of him and selflessly thinking about what Dusty needs.
Chad Michaels said of his husband, “When I hear his laugh, I know all is well in the world.”
The queens also spoke about how each of them work well with their partners. Ginger Minj said at first she thought she and her partner shouldn’t work together, which led to months of not seeing each other. After Ginger’s husband, CJ, was booked on a drag tour, they decided to work with each other to get more time together. Chad added that his husband is a self-taught designer and tailor who helps create Chad’s outfits.
The drag husbands also spoke about a group chat they have to talk to each other about the particular challenges of supporting their partners. Ginger Minj added that her partner, CJ, has become a persona and people will ask to take a picture with him rather than Ginger.
Finally, the queens answered some questions from the audience. One person asked them whether they would have sex in drag. All the queens were on the same page: hell to the no.