“I’m one of those weird queens where there’s not a definite line between my drag persona and me as a person,” says Ginger Minj of how her drag incorporates itself into other parts of her life and career. Since appearing on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race back in 2015, Ginger has become one of the most successful queens from the franchise – with accolades including three studio albums, a thriving acting career and even an upcoming book.
Now, as 2021 draws to a close, Ginger is showing no signs of slowing down. She stars in The Bitch Who Stole Christmas alongside an array drag legends such as Brooke Lynn Hytes and Peppermint, which she said is a Christmas movie “for all of those queer people out there that feel like they don’t fit in”. Ginger also recently completed the first leg of her Winter Wonderland holiday tour with shows in cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles and Portland. If you didn’t enjoy the show? Her message is simple: “You’re probably Ebenezer Scrooge and you should go home and get ready for the ghost to visit.”
In a recent interview with GAY TIMES, the two-time Drag Race finalist up about how life has treated her since her run on All Stars 6 and what fans can expect from her in the near future.
Obviously, you just released Sisters with Gidget Galore. Tell us about the track!
Well, first of all, her name has never sounded so fancy as when you said it – Gidget Galore, it makes her sound very small and trim and lovely, she’s the opposite of all those things. So, Gidget and I, you know, she’s been my best friend for years and years. During quarantine, we got together and we started like, putting on shows every week. We were putting on like, three or four shows, and of things that we found in the garage. And it kind of led to like a Christmas in July show because we had run out of every other box of decorations and we started like putting together all these songs from, like all the Christmas movies we loved growing up and Sisters was one of those. So, we wanted to do it.
We were so surprised there was not a drag version of it anywhere in the world, and we thought, ‘Hey, we might as well be the ones that do it.’ So, we worked on it for a year because those harmonies, I think, I’ve sung my whole life, I’m really good harmonies – that one stumped me. It took me a long time to learn and we said, ‘You know what? The world is opening up. We’re going back on tour and we’re going with this song.’
Your style is usually quite upbeat, happy and camp – did you find that recording during COVID made you want to do something that was a little bit more lighthearted and enjoyable than something a bit darker?
I think that you would think that my style is very bubbly all the time, and I think that’s because that’s my personality, that’s my sense of humour. But when it comes to music, I tend to go towards the darker, slower, sadder, more torch song kind of things. I think it suits my voice more. But with this, we were like, you know, we want something that is fun. We want something that is recognisable even to people who don’t necessarily know the song.
I think everybody’s probably heard the song at some point, and we wanted it to be non-denominational. We didn’t want it to be like, ‘Here’s a Christmas song!’ My husband’s Jewish, I wanted him to enjoy it. We have a family who celebrates anything and everything. We wanted everybody to kind of be able to sit down and listen to it and get in the spirit of the season without necessarily worrying about Christmas trees and Santa Claus.
Do you ever find your drag factors into songs like this or others like Gummy Bear or do you see your music and drag as quite separate?
I mean, I’m one of those weird queens where there’s not a definite line between my drag persona and me as a person. I got into drag through theatre and this with the way that I was always taught in theatre class, like you find the part of the character that is you any kind of build around it. So I approached Ginger from that aspect when I was creating her, I wanted to like, the heart and soul is me and it’s just kind of the little things around her that kind of vary from who I am.
So with me, every part of that is just an extension of me. And Ginger is the fun in me, you know, and I believe she’s the part of me that doesn’t have to worry necessarily about the things I dealt with when I was growing up or the business side of it, or the stress of every day. She just gets to put on her high heels and dance around with feather fans and it’s lovely.
Is there anyone that you haven’t collaborated with, and this doesn’t have to be from Drag Race, who is a drag artist that you would love to do a song with and if so, who and why?
Well, I feel like Lady Gaga is definitely under the drag umbrella. I think we all want to work with her because she’s just such an artist. You know, everything that she does is so personal. Even when it doesn’t kind of make sense to the rest of the world, you can see that there’s so much heart and thought behind everything she does. I would love to be a part of that at some point.
And I also just really, I’ve loved Lady Bunny for forever. We did collab on the crowdfunder song for Gummy Bear, but it was such a quick thing, and I would love to be able to sit down and really just write something new with her and do it. I have to tell you quickly about Lady Bunny. You know, I’ve known her for a while, of course, but she’s the one person in the world that I’ve noticed, we could sit down and have this long, lengthy, very deep conversation. We get interrupted, and then two years later, we see each other again exactly where we left it off.
Do you find then that you work better with people that you don’t see as often, but when you do, you have that kind of chemistry compared with people that you see all the time and are used to being around? What’s your dream type of collaborator in that sense?
Um, I like to work with anybody who understands where I come from, but offers something totally different because I feel like it would get really repetitive and kind of redundant if I was just working with people who did what I do and do it over and over. I don’t want to do what I do over and over. I really want to find new ways to make it fun, fresh and interesting.
You recently signed a book deal for your upcoming release, Southern Fried Sass. What can we expect from it?
Oh, so it’s kind of a new concept. It’s a hybrid, it is my life story. But I have learned as I traveled the world like food is the universal love language. You know, everybody, if I can’t understand what you’re saying, I can understand you a little better by sharing some food with you, you know? So we are writing my life story, but every chapter ties into different recipes that I’ve picked up around the world, through people I’ve met and mostly, when my grandmother passed away, you know, she didn’t have a lot of tangible assets, but she left me all her recipes because we used to cook together. So, she is like the heart of the book. And then, it’s just really, it’s so interesting the way that we sit down and it kind of evolves into something, and it’s really beautiful. I think people are going to love it. There’s tons of pictures. Tons. And that’s coming out this coming year.
The first leg of your holiday Winter Wonderland tour just took place. You’ve touched on it a little bit, but tell us more about it.
It is so good and it’s driving me crazy. That’s why I look like this right now, because I’ve been up for two days. There’s 20 costume changes and so we are literally down to the wire just making them. There’s magic tricks in the show, it snows over the audience, there’s tons of songs that people know done in a very new way. I mean, it’s so fun and there’s literally something for everybody. And if you come to the show and you can’t find one thing that puts you in the holiday spirit, then you’re probably Ebenezer Scrooge and you should go home and get ready for the ghost to visit.
What else can fans look forward to from you before the year is up?
I starred in How the Bitch Stole Christmas, which [came] out on December 2nd.
What excited you most about appearing in that?
I’m really excited to do some real acting. You know, I mean, of course, a lot of the press hasn’t really focused on the girls, it just keeps saying, ‘20 Drag Race girls!’ but Peppermint, Jan, Brooke Lynn Hytes and myself – we’re like the stars of the movie. So it’s the four of us and we’re doing some really great acting, there’s some really funny bits, there’s musical numbers. It is everything you love about a Christmas movie turned upside down. So it’s very familiar, but very new, and it’s for everybody. But I feel like, you know, us as queer people, we never find our place in the holidays until we get older and we get to start like surrounding ourselves with the people who actually love us and make us feel grateful. And I mean, this is for all of those queer people out there that feel like they don’t fit in as far as, like holiday movies, all that – this is one for them.