In an exclusive interview with GAY TIMES, Ginger Minj reveals what competing on each of her three Drag Race seasons was like.
Ginger first appeared on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race back in 2015 and has since become one of the most well-known queens from the franchise.
Just a year after her debut, the queen returned for the second season of All Stars – the only one of her appearances in which she didn’t make the final.
“Season seven was the scariest time of my life because I didn’t know what I was getting into,” she tells GAY TIMES. “Season two, All Stars 2 was the worst time of my life, and All Stars 6 was the best.”
“So All Stars 2, I was in a relationship for 11 years that ended very, very badly and very publicly,” she continues.
“My grandfather died the week of the season seven finale, the audience was very split on how they felt about me. They either really loved me or really hated me.”
Ginger explains that being thrust into the public eye after appearing on Drag Race was no easy feat and something she struggled with for a long time.
“I felt like I was kind of thrown to the wolves a little bit, and I had to figure out how to navigate that in my life,” the 37-year-old tells GAY TIMES. “So, that was really scary.”
This factored into why All Stars 2 was so hard for Ginger, as the queen adds that she felt the pressure of “fan perception” more than ever.
“And then when I went into All Stars 2, I was holding on to that so much, like the fan perception, that I was never able to just kind of be in the room,” Ginger says. “You know, I haven’t talked about it a lot, but it made me very depressed, made me very suicidal and I was really happy to be eliminated. I just wanted to not be there.”
Five years passed before Ginger’s next Drag Race run as she returned for a third time on All Stars 6 in 2021.
“So it took me a while to go back for All Stars,” she explains to GAY TIMES. “They called me for four and five and I said no, not no forever, it’s just no for now until I can get myself to a place where I need to be.”
Ginger says that “doing drag from the waist up for so long” because of the COVID-19 pandemic made her ready to “have a new experience.”
“So I felt like there was never one single day where I went to set, even when I wasn’t excelling particularly that week, I wanted to be there,” she continues. “I wanted to keep trying. I wanted to rip apart my dress and start over. It was just really creative and really fun and it came at the right time.”
In returning for the sixth rendition of All Stars, Ginger made herstory as the first queen to compete twice under the format of the queens sending each other home.
She says that experiencing this once before “didn’t factor in” to her decision to come back, but that the way she was eliminated by Alyssa Edwards changed how she played the game the second time around.
Ginger adds: “I didn’t want to be there, but just from a competition aspect, I don’t feel like my elimination was particularly fair, so I didn’t want to ever make anybody else feel that way.
“So my biggest goal was if you’re ever in the position where you get to choose who goes home, you make sure that you weigh all of the facts and you make sure that you make the most informed and fair decision that you can.”
The decision on who to send home, which Ginger had to make twice during All Stars 6, weighed so heavily on her that she “would lose sleep just sitting there making checklists” about her competitor’s track records on the show.
“And so you just go back and you weigh all of these things trying not to put any kind of personal opinion into it,” she tells GAY TIMES. “And then people still get mad because everybody is a favourite to somebody.”
To read Ginger’s interview with GAY TIMES about how she keeps her career ‘fun and fresh’ after Drag Race, click here