Trinity K. Bonet: Atlanta’s Newest ‘Drag Race’ Star Talks Inspirations, Drag Segregation, and the New Season
There hasn’t been an Atlanta queen on the hit TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race in two seasons, and that is just way too long! Season 2, there was Sonique Love and Nicole Paige Brooks, representing Atlanta, Georgia. In season 3, we had Phoenix and Mariah Paris Balenciaga. This go ‘round, the Atlanta queen selected to compete for the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” is none other than Trinity K. Bonet! We caught up with Trinity to talk about the new season, her start in drag, and much, much more!
David Atlanta: Where are you from?
Trinity K. Bonet: I was born in Jacksonville, Florida but was raised in Miami. I’ve been a resident of Atlanta for 7 years now!
DA: Where, and when, did you start doing drag?
TKB: I started doing drag when I was really, really young. I’ve always played in my mom’s clothes growing up, and I was a theater student. The first time I did a show, my mom actually paid for all of my stuff! I think I was probably about 14 years old and it was a Halloween party that my mother had. My mother is actually bisexual, so she’s really supportive of my drag career. She’s Team Trinity all the way! (Laughs)
DA: Why did you decide you wanted to be a part of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
TKB: My mom, and my ex-boyfriend at the time, convinced me. My mother actually got really sick and was in the hospital for a while. It was one of her wishes to see me succeed and you never see as much in yourself as others do, you know? So, she really pushed me to follow my dreams. I never thought in a million years that I’d be the one selected out of all the candidates in Atlanta, but I did.
And my boyfriend was the same way. He saw so much in me and helped me prepare for it. We watched the last two seasons together and I just stepped on a limb. RuPaul must have seen something, honey! (Laughs) I mean, everyone that has watched my tape has been completely supportive and they’ve all thought it was done well. Even in the parts that I thought were kind of corny and silly, they still enjoyed it and they could tell I was a real person. That’s my thing: I like to keep it real. I don’t like to sugar coat things. I’m not a character – I’m just me!
DA: Who are your inspirations? Who helped mold you into who you are today?
TKB: My inspiration would have to be my mother, of course. She’s always been supportive and, even though she knows nothing about drag, she’s always able to give her two cents about what I’m wearing. (Laughs) She’s a woman; she knows what looks good!
I would honestly say my biggest drag inspiration is Mrs. Carter herself, Beyoncé. I have patterned my whole career and mindset behind things that she has done. And as we can all see, she’s the biggest name in music right now. So, just doing things to be a trendsetter; standing out. It’s all about re-invention, and topping yourself. You always need to push yourself to top what you have previously done. I’ve been known in the community for my productions and my Beyoncé illusion. So, I always have to revamp myself and find new ways to wow the audience.
DA: Who was your favorite girl from this season’s cast, and why?
TKB: There’s no way I can pick one! That’s hard! I’ll do two. My two favorite people on this season are Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano. When we first got together this season, Bianca and I couldn’t stand each other. And it was that kind of tension, you know? Throughout the show, we were paired up together, so that we’d either eat each other up or we’d learn to love each other and it just went the way it was supposed to. She’s so supportive and sweet and would always tell me how proud she was of me and all this. She’s just great.
And then I love, love, love Adore because she’s just a fucking rock star, you know? We partied together, and she became my sister. After the show was over, we would talk on the phone every day and we just became really good friends. She and I were, I think, two of the realest people on cast this season, and she had her struggles just like everyone else.
DA: Were there any “bad guys” this season? Any Phi Phi’s or Roxxxy’s?
TKB: There weren’t bad guys; there were bad actors. There was a lot of over acting, and people trying to play a part. Everybody meant well, they were just trying to figure out where they stood. And build fans! Everybody was pretty much just trying to build fans and get their names out there, however, there were only a few that were there to win.
DA: You’ve been here in Atlanta for seven years now, so you’ve seen a lot, I’m sure. What do you like, and dislike, about Atlanta’s drag scene?
TKB: I like the fact that Atlanta gave me an opportunity to do drag and showcase my talents. That means a lot to a girl like me.
I do not like the fact that you’re not appreciated by the audience unless you are a veteran. I do not like the fact that I have to travel outside of my own city to make money; good, quality money. I do not like the segregation of it. I don’t like the fact I can come to one club on a certain night and I don’t see a single Caucasian person there. And, in order to build my fan base, I have to travel all over the place. I don’t do well with segregation at all.
DA: Can you tell us anything about the challenges from this upcoming season?
TKB: (Laughs) You know I can’t! But just to let you know, this is the best season; the most talented season thus far. The queens this season absolutely kill it. There will be no disappointment when it comes to talent because where one contestant lacks, another one gains. That’s how it’s always been on that show, but this season…bitch, it’s sick!
DA: If you don’t win season six, who would you like to win?
TKB: Oh, you bitch! (Laughs) You know what, if I don’t win, I would like to see my sister, Adore Delano, win. She’s young, she’s fresh, she’s funky, and she’s so energetic and full of ideas and she knows what she wants. Plus she likes to party! We’re very similar in that regard. I like the fact that that she enjoys life. Yeah, we are in a competition, but everything doesn’t have to be a contest. Let’s just drink, have fun, do the show, and enjoy getting to know each other.
To answer your question, I would love to see her win. But we do not know who wins until the finale. We know nothing.
DA: Like you said, some of the contestants on the show adopt characters. What are the judges like in real life?
TKB: You know that glow that RuPaul has on the show? She has that in real life.
DA: Is that a medical condition or something?
TKB: I don’t know what it is, but it’s amazing. She glows like the Muses from “Hercules”; she’s absolutely gorgeous in person. Of course, you can’t really hold conversations with her because you don’t want anybody accusing anyone of favoritism, but everything was pretty much what you think it would be. Everyone was nice and gave their opinion like they do. It’s just TV. It goes a lot faster when you’re watching it at home than it is actually being a part of it.
DA: What’s a normal day on RuPaul’s Drag Race like for you?
TKB: Well, your long days are judging days cause you do the runway thing and it takes all day. But if you have a challenge, half of that morning you spend finding out what the challenge is and preparing for it, then you get into drag, do the challenge. Nothing crazy; just long days.
DA: You’re the first Atlanta queen to be on the show since season three. How does it feel to be part of an elite group of performers from Atlanta that have been part of that show’s history, like Nicole Paige Brooks, Phoenix, Mariah and Sonique?
TKB: It feels right. I feel like this city possesses tons of talent but I really think that I’m one of those charms on that bracelet of talent that just happened to get picked. I think any one of us could have gone, but if we were trying to find someone worthy enough to represent this amazing city, I think I was a good choice, amongst others who could have. I think it feels right, and I represented Atlanta well. I hope I didn’t say anything that would make anyone upset, but that’s just my opinion! (Laughs)
DA: What are you most excited about when it comes to being on season 6?
TKB: Traveling, traveling, traveling! I hear it’s gonna wear me out but I just know that entertaining is what I like to do. I’m not a singer, I’m not an actor, but bitch, you put on a CD and I’m gonna go off. I just wanna travel and showcase my talents and meet people. I wanna go to places I’ve never been. I wanna go to the smallest, countries cities you can think of and just turn them out. I wanna go to Kansas and places like that and meet THOSE fans. I’ve been to the big cities, I wanna go to the small ones. Also, I want someone to cry for me. (Laughs) I want someone to come up to me, with tears in their eyes, and do the whole “Oh my God, I’m such a huge fan!” thing. (Laughs) Who knows? Maybe it’ll happen!
I like to call my fans “Transformers” because of the transformation that I do; I go from looking like a guy to looking like a girl, so it’s just fitting. And I’m so excited about meeting my Transformers all over the country!
You can find Trinity on Facebook under Trinity Kardashian Bonet (anywhere else she don’t use “Kardashian” for legal reasons), and on Twitter and Instagram under Trinity K Bonet. Be sure to tune in to Logo every Monday starting this Monday, Feb. 24, for the newest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race!