Culture

Bimini Bon-Boulash: ‘I'm not sure whether I'm even doing drag anymore’ 

The Drag Race UK star on how they got into drag and people's perceptions of it.

Bimini Bon Boulash. Image: Supplied

Bimini Bon-Boulash – known offstage as Thomas Hibbits (they/them) – is perhaps Britain’s best-known drag queen. But the 27-year-old author, model, and musician has now questioned whether what they do still is drag.  

In an interview with musician Yungblud, who is guest editing this week’s Big Issue magazine, the Drag Race UK star said: “A lot of the time now, when I think about what I do, I’m not sure whether I’m even doing drag anymore. I feel like I’m just doing me.” 

Bimini started doing drag when they moved to London. “I think I got into it because drag was a culture that I was around. It was a gateway into an exploration of my own gender, my sexuality, my identity,” they said. 

“I was 19 when I first went out in a club. I was wearing fishnets and a fur coat and I had like a wig on. I remember someone come up to me, he was like a big drag queen on the scene. And they were like, ‘What you’re doing isn’t drag’. 

“I remember being taken aback because they were someone that was quite well known and respected. I thought there were rules to drag.” 

“I went away, I did some travelling. When I came back and I got into it myself, I realised that there are no rules. Drag isn’t a uniform, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. 

“As soon as I learned that, that’s when it all changed for me.” 

The pair also discussed people’s perceptions of drag, with Bimini saying people want to put others in a box.

They added: “I remember when I would go to club gigs back before I was on [RuPaul’s Drag Race UK]. I would get the train or the bus to a club. And if I was in, say, a tracksuit and a full face of makeup, I would get more shit shouted at me than I would if I was in a full look. 

“Because I think people can then put you in a box. If I was in a full look, they’re like, ‘OK, that’s what that is.’ But when I was in makeup and a tracksuit, people didn’t get it.  

“I think we need to get rid of these labels.” 

To read the full interview, pick up a copy of the magazine from your local vendor.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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