Kerri Colby is living her full Oprah fantasy in her new WOW Presents Plus series.
Aptly titled Kerri Kares, the wholesome, agony-aunt style show follows the star as she candidly touches upon a variety of topics, from confidence to relationships and relevant LGBTQ+ issues.
Kerri has recruited a fierce line-up of guest stars such as fellow Drag Race alumni Ongina, Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Mayhem Miller, as well as model and actress Arisce Wancer.
Hailing from the legendary Haus of Colby, Kerri memorably shot to fame last year as a contestant on the 14th season of Drag Race.
While the Dallas-born queen didn’t sashay away with a crown, she became an immediate fan-favourite due to her elegance, grace and warm character.
In one of the franchise’s most beautiful moments, Jasmine Kennedie came out as trans to her fellow contestants and cited Kerri’s unabashed confidence as her reason for doing so. With Bosco and Willow Pill later coming out as trans, season 14 was hailed as the most – in Kerri’s word(s) – “trantastic” in Drag Race herstory.
Kerri tells GAY TIMES that she and World of Wonder were dedicated to making the most “authentic and real” series for her fans – who she calls her “Kerbears” – after her highly-esteemed run on season 14.
“I wanted to showcase more of me and what I care about, and a big portion of what I care about is my fans and the people around me,” Kerri says, before explaining that it’s important for her to be the positive trans representation in mainstream media that she once craved.
While she believes in “divine timing” in regards to her own gender identity journey, Kerri admits: “If I had more support, I would’ve done a lot more of my, ‘Duh, just get it over with’ decisions sooner and wouldn’t have been so stuck on the what-if’s.
“[Being that representation] really lets me go to bed at night with a sense of peace and accomplishment. Because I do have a religious background, I want to do something that makes an impact. I want to leave this world better than I found it.”
This month alone in the United States, right-wing politicians have introduced over 120 bills that attack LGBTQ+ people, particularly trans youth, in areas such as healthcare, education, free speech and expression and public accommodations.
With the current anti-trans onslaught in politics, Kerri says it’s ‘never been so important’ to have shows such as Kerri Kares that humanise the trans experience.
“It’s just so strange to me that so many old, creepy, white men have our names in their mouths. We’re relatively small compared to the rest of the world and we’re not fighting to get access to anything that nobody else has access to,” she explains.
“We just want the liberty to be our authentic self, so we can live our life in peace and not be suicidal. Apparently asking for that is so wrong to people? It has nothing to do with them.
“Because I came from an oppressive background, I didn’t want to leave anything for myself and say, ‘No, I’m not gonna share that,’ because we’re living in a time where you have to share your truth. When things go well, share it.
“When things go bad, especially in cases where it deals with your identity or it’s because of people’s ignorance, neglect or lack of care, share it. People need to know. Trans people powering down, keeping our pain a secret and trying to put a smile on our faces, it’s not working anymore.”
Kerri hopes our current political landscape will “invigorate” the LGBTQ+ community and “embolden” them to continue fighting for equality. “We’ve gotten too comfortable and this is the opposite time,” she continues.
“This is the time to be invested and aware. I should never have a conversation with someone where I’m like, ‘Are you aware there’s so many attacks on our legislation?’, ‘Are you aware you might not be able to go to the bathroom at an airport without being interrogated?’ People should not be like, ‘Huh? What do you mean?’”
Kerri Kares “gets very personal” over the course of the season and addresses Kerri’s own journey with her gender identity, she reveals, “and I wanted it to be that way.
“I was coming off of my gender-affirming journey. I was freshly faced and I was truly feeling a million per cent. To be able to be 100% confident, it really shows through on the camera because I’m not second-guessing myself. I’m able to be full Oprah!
“I’m not thinking about stupid stuff like, ‘Does my arm look weird? Does my face look less flattering when I’m looking at somebody?’ Now I don’t give a damn. I’m here to give a damn and that is what it’s about.”
Kerri Kares is available exclusively on WOW Presents Plus; Subscribe now at https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com/