Every Jinkx Monsoon fan needs to see this week's Untucked (the half-hour behind-the-scenes sideshow that accompanies RuPaul's Drag Race). Especially anyone who cares about the relationship between adversity and art, between the forces that shape an artist and the artist's work. Jerick Hoffer has said that Jinkx Monsoon is based on his mother, but he hasn't talked about his mother very sincerely, at least this publicly, until this week. It's prompted in this Untucked by all the queens seeing pictures of each other as toddlers. Skip ahead to 12:14 if you're in a hurry.
This is difficult stuff to discuss among friends, to say nothing of discussing it among strangers ON TELEVISION. Over e-mail, I asked Hoffer what it was like watching himself this week. Here's what he had to say:
When I finished filming Drag Race, I was worried how this could affect my mother. Eventually they had her sign a confidentiality form so that I could talk to her and get her consent to be a part of the show... and it kinda made us face a conversation that we had been ignoring for a long time. A lot of healing has happened since I got back from filming.
I was still quite nervous to see the end result, post editing and all that, but I think it was handled with tact and grace.
The moment Untucked was done airing I got on my phone to text my mom "I love you," only to see she had beat me to the punch. I had a text message from my mom stating her love and her apologies, but also how proud she is of me, to say nationally that I forgave her for the hard times and am more focussed on my future than my past.
It was a doozy of an evening. Honestly, there were moments that were hard, but since the episode, the cries of support and the messages that have come my way from people who have similar life stories... that has made it all worth it.
The thing is, my mom and I have a great relationship today. Maybe not always traditional mother and son dynamics, but it works for us.