The plucky Midwestern gal of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 hit the workroom with a boatload of talent and heart in his back pocket. And while Blair St. Clair came short of taking it all the way, the queen did manage to pull at the heartstrings of viewers with a raw, emotional story from her past.
Hornet caught up with Blair St. Clair (who now calls the Washington, D.C., area home) to discuss how her fellow Hoosier queens feel about her time on Drag Race, what her honesty about her past has brought to her life today and how her brand-new single (and video), “Now or Never,” has more meaning than we may have realized.
You were a true contender on the show this season. Were you surprised when you were eliminated or do you think you had more to show?
I definitely don’t think it was my time to go. I don’t think anyone’s time to go is necessarily when they leave either. I still look at myself as a great contender for the show. I was really proud of what I did, and I think what I presented was strong. I was never in the bottom until I left the competition, and even when I was in the bottom, I was not that harshly critiqued.
The main critique was to speak up more often and be a little more heard. I think that has now become my job today: to speak up more about what we talked about on my final episode. And I think what I did on the show is something to be proud of.
Blair St. Clair was the first queen on Drag Race to hail from Indiana. How does it feel to be the first?
It’s interesting that you ask that. I was so proud leaving Indiana for the show, even though no one could know. I was so proud representing my state, and so excited to be the first girl to represent Indianapolis. Unfortunately. the reaction from the city of Indianapolis has been very split. One half of the community is very thankful for Blair St. Clair, and they are so proud of her, while the other half is very unkind and unloving due to be being on the show.
Indianapolis has turned into a very self-sabotaging drag community. If it wasn’t happening for them, they were mad that it was happening for someone else. It’s been very frustrating and very hard seeing that, because all I have been giving back to Indiana is thanks and gratitude for having a place to start. I thank so many people individually for helping me along on my journey. Unfortunately I have not received that response in return. I would never speak negatively about my city, though. I love it and adore it.
You did have a legal issue that came up while you were filming. Do you think some of the feelings of jealousy or resentment possibly stemmed from that?
I think they were searching for something negative to find, and I don’t know why that is. I think they were not happy for me for their own reasons. And that is not my business. I know for me, that if I was not the one that was cast on the show and it was one of my sisters that I started with, I would have been very supportive of them and been happy for them and supported them on their journey. At the end of the day, when someone succeeds you have the opportunity to succeed as well by helping them flourish.
Is there one queen from the Indianapolis scene that you think would absolutely rock it on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11?
I think my sister Ida Kay would be amazing. She is such a fun and effervescent individual and has been a rock of mine throughout the competition, always checking in on me. She has helped spread so much positivity, love and kindness as well. I think she would rock the competition, but she has also rocked it as a friend to me.
You spoke very candidly and bravely about your sexual assault on the main stage.
In the moment, I had no idea that I would be going home that day. It was the first time I was actually being critiqued. It was not something I was necessarily looking to get off my chest. Beforehand I had never talked to anyone about it, and I wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to bring up in my life.
I have told other press outlets that I think I’ve come to understand that with something as deep as this, you come to a point when your heart is ready to talk before your mind is ready. I hadn’t been ready for such a long time. I think under the amount of stress, exhaustion, pressure — I think my heart was just in a situation of really wanting to scream. I just wanted to open up.
I felt in such a safe space on RuPaul’s Drag Race, especially with RuPaul and the other judges and with my fellow competitors. I think it all just kind of expelled and came out at once. Even there, I was just processing what I had said and I was very confused.
What has been the reaction to your story from fans and the public in general?
I would say overwhelmingly positive. I did not expect a huge backlash of love. I have seen other girls that once they are eliminated, people try to discredit them. We as a society have now [tied] people’s ranking on a television show to [their] worth, and I think that is very unfair. At the end of the day, someone has to go no matter how wonderful a drag queen, artist or entertainer they are. I was a little afraid that people were going to use my ranking on television to depict my self worth.
The past six months I have really worked on my self-love and have been very pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of love I have received from the community for what I have done on the show, what I presented and staying true to myself and my integrity.
One thing you did was put out an amazing music video for your track “Now or Never.” The video is a complete production and even has previous Drag Race contestants Manila Luzon and Jinx Monsoon.
Thank you! It’s huge, yes. I probably could have bought a car with what I spent on it. [Laughs] That piece of art was amazing for me to do. It came full circle for me, really. There is going to be more music for sure. We are working on more now, actually.
I am a singer, and I’ve been trained. I was not necessarily planning on doing it, but it seemed like it was just the right time. I think music needs a purpose. That song, “Now or Never,” specifically had a purpose behind it. The other music I am working on is not going to be out and published fast because I simply can. It’s going to have a purpose behind it.
What’s next for Blair St. Clair? Touring the world, perhaps?
I think the next place you can expect to see Blair St. Clair is on your social media and in a city near you. What I want to do is to spread everything that I preach with as many individuals and reach as many people as possible. We are getting some more tour dates in the mix now. I just want to get my voice out there and spread as much love as I can and as much positivity as I can. I want to share all the love I have gotten as well.
You have inspired people so much with your words and positivity. What is it that inspires Blair St. Clair?
I have been able to turn so many experiences in my life into positive ones, and I have now been given a platform to do that. I have been inspired by so many people myself. First and foremost, my family, my amazing boyfriend. The love I have received inspires me to share that back with the world. I’ve been inspired by this amazing outpouring of love and just want to give that back.