LGBTQ+ icon Michelle Visage opened up about her first experience with ballroom culture and the new competition series Queen of the Universe.
Since making her debut as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Visage has captured the hearts of viewers around the world.
Her hilarious interactions with Mama Ru and no-nonsense critics have become a staple for the popular franchise.
In a recent interview with them., the 53-year-old discussed the moment she was introduced to LGBTQ+ culture.
“When I first moved to New York City from New Jersey, I wanted to be a movie or Broadway star. I got there, started college and realized – as I did in high school – that I didn’t quite belong,” she told the publication.
She went on to say that her mother encouraged her to attend nightclubs and bars to get discovered.
With her fake ID in hand, Visage said she stumbled upon a nightclub called The Underground. There she met her late friend David and the House of Magnifique.
“What I discovered were 20-30 of the freakiest, fiercest, most flawless people I had ever laid eyes on and they welcomed me with wide open arms,” she revealed.
“I had been brought into the House of Magnifique, and it all started that night. We lived, loved and laughed for years, hitting ball after ball, supporting one another.
“The mentality of those days is something we could use now: forgiveness, love, acceptance and tolerance. You could always sit with us.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Visage opened up about her latest series Queen of the Universe and her goal as a judge.
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The show features some of the world’s fiercest drag performers as they sing in front of a live audience and the “Pop Diva Panel” of judges – which include Visage, Vanessa Williams, Leona Lewis and Trixie Mattel.
When asked about the similarities between the two shows, Visage said: “The singing comes first; then performance and, finally, drag.”
She continued: “The common denominator happens to be drag, but that’s where the similarities end, in my opinion.”
In terms of her judging style on the new series, she said it would be no different from judging on other shows.
“My goal on every show I judge… is to help the contestants be the best form of themselves when they are out there putting it all on the line,” she explained.
“Nothing makes me happier than to see an artist achieve something they didn’t know or believe they could.”
Visage is set to have a busy 2022, with the upcoming premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14.
Last month, World of Wonder revealed the new batch of queens battling it out for the crown.
Mama Ru and company also revealed the season’s guest judges that include Lizzo, TS Madison, Taraji P. Henson, Andra Day, Dove Cameron, Loni Love, Christine Chiu, Nicole Bye, Alec Mapa, Dulce Sloan and Ava Max.
Unlike past seasons, which have premiered on Netflix in the UK, the upcoming season will exclusively premiere on WOW Presents Plus – the streaming platform for all-things drag that houses the biggest library of LGBTQ+ content in the world.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 will premiere weekly from 4AM GMT on Saturday 8 January 2022 exclusively on WOW Presents Plus.