Drag

Drag Race royalty Jujubee received disgusting death threats after fellow queen’s ‘degrading’ shade

Gary Grimes March 8, 2022
bookmarking iconSAVE FOR LATER
Jujubee in a gold chain headdress

Jujubee. (BBC)

For Drag Race UK vs The World finalist Jujubee, a certain amount negativity from fans can be like water off a duck’s back.

“I don’t care when the fans are s**ting on me, I get it. It’s very, very emotionally involved,” she explains to us with impressive grace.

What she can not so easily swallow however, is to be on the receiving end of such criticism from her peers. Viewers will remember that Jujubee survived elimination when Pangina Heals opted to send Canada’s Drag Race alum Jimbo home instead of her.

Since being eliminated from the show, the Canadian queen has implied to various publications that she did not believe Jujubee deserved her spot in the competition due to her performance on the runway, telling us back in February: “I was surprised by Jujubee’s costuming choices. Given her experience and, you know, her legacy, I was kind of hoping for ‘next level Jujubee’. But the pandemic was hard on all of us mentally. Our mental health was challenged and our finances were challenged. She tried her hardest and I love her, but I was definitely surprised by what she showed.”

To Attitude magazine, she went a step forward by saying: “I think this might be a product of exhaustion combined with the pandemic and a lack of funds as well as a lapse in judgement, as well as a little sprinkle of disappointment. And I think that she’s trying her best, but her best just isn’t good enough.”

Jujubee
Jujubee. (BBC)

During a time when she was already grappling with the pressure of fan reactions, this lack of solidarity disappointed Jujubee. “To see a Drag Race sister go out and drag you, but not reach out when they have your phone number… it’s really interesting,” she told us.

“Jimbo specifically went out and said some really terrible things about me and was degrading. I’ll always be there to lift her spirit even now, because I’m just a kind person, but because of that headline, I was getting death threats. I was being I was called racist names, you know, and it’s terrible.

“Whenever I spoke out about it, people were like, ‘You just have to be the bigger person. She was just joking. She’s a character.’ I think to hide behind a character makes you a f**king coward,” the finalist lamented.

Despite her obvious hurt from Jimbo’s remarks, she maintained that she wishes the queen well. “I just think that we should support Jimbo. I think they’re really talented. They’ve been kind to me through texts. They’ve asked me to work on music with them… which probably won’t happen.”

Jimbo, a drag queen, painted as a dog with furry dog ears
Jimbo. (BBC)

Jujubee also explained that she knew going into the competition that she was at a disadvantage when it came to her looks due to a number of designers she’s worked with in the past letting her down.

“The most challenging point actually was going in there knowing that I didn’t have the best fashions. We like to say that it’s not about the fashions but it is. You see me spreading light and love in the workroom and everything’s dandy, but then as soon as I hit the runway and you don’t like what I’m wearing, you guys talk a lot of s**t.

“Leading up to [Drag Race], you rely on designers and hair people. I started with four, and three ghosted me so I only had one. That one person, who was working on my last two looks including that beautiful one you just saw, had to take on the other looks.

“I did my best with what I had. And I’m not sure that any of the queens that have said stuff about me could have handled it the way that I did,” she suspected. “It’s a testament to my ability to continue to be a kind person, even though people are s**ting on me.”

Of course, it cannot be repeated enough that whether you’re a fellow drag queen or a fan watching at home, sending thoughtless abuse to queens (or anyone) on social media is incredibly uncool. In recent years, Drag Race in particular has developed a reputation for inciting a nasty response on social media amongst so-called “fans” of certain contestants. Time and time again, competing queens have had to take to social media to defend their on-screen rivals and beg their fans to refrain from sending hate their way.

When we asked Jujubee why she thinks the Drag Race fandom in particular can breed such toxicity, she posited that viewers’ mental health often likely plays a part. “As a person who lives with depression myself, when you don’t treat some things, sometimes you think the whole world is out there to attack you or to hurt you, right? You have nowhere to put your anger or your feelings of frustration.

“So when there are people out there who are a beacon of light for them, they have an expectation. And if it doesn’t meet what they want, then they cry or they get mad – or they tell you to kill yourself or they fat shame you, which is everything that I’ve had the past 30 days.”

The star went onto say that unfortunately, even with many exciting professional projects on the horizon, the negativity online can sometimes drown out the positivity. “All these amazing things are happening for me but the noise from the people who are uncomfortable in this world is so loud.

“It’s like, ‘Wait, I’m a human.’ Baga’s human, you know, we’re all human. And we all have struggles. And just because we put on a smiling face, doesn’t mean that we aren’t hurt by it or bothered. The difference is, I’ve unpacked my childhood trauma with my therapist. I’m not going on the internet telling somebody they should kill themselves just because they didn’t like somebody’s fashions.”

In the face of such adversity, it’s even more impressive how the queen manages to maintain such a serene outlook on life. “In spite all of this, I still shed love and light. Y’all bitches have not seen me once get into a debate or an argument, or tell somebody to go f**k themselves on the internet. I’ve laughed with the people who’ve been laughing at me for an entire month.”

It’s not the first time we’ve seen Jujubee speak out on the topic of mental health. A recent episode of Drag Race UK vs The World included a poignant conversation between Jujubee and Baga Chipz in which the pair discuss their respective mental health journeys and battle with alcoholism, with Jujubee stating that she adopts an entirely teetotal approach to sobriety.

Although she has not yet had a chance to watch the episode herself, she said she was grateful for the “outpour of love and support” she’s received from viewers. “There was a person on Twitter who said they were binge drinking for two weeks straight, and they turned on the television and that was the conversation that was shown.

“I think it’s beautiful. They needed to hear what Baga and I were talking about. I think drinking is a part of the culture in the queer community, especially here in the UK – y’all love to drink, and that’s OK. I’m not here to judge. 

“There’s a stigma that comes with admitting that you have a problem because when you admit you have a problem, everybody else is watching you, holding their drink, judging you. I’ll go out and have like a glass of water, and a drunk bitch will come up to me and be like: ‘What’s in there?’ Like, policing me and it’s so interesting because that’s not your story. I shared that about me. You should be thankful that I spoke about that because you might need that one day.”

Jujubee is undoubtedly one of the fiercest competitors in Drag Race her-story, a literally record-breaking queen who has also enjoyed success in her music and television career beyond the Drag Race universe. This past week has seen her release her first remix album entitled Back For More which includes collaborations with her All Stars 5 castmate Shea Couleé and UK vs The World castmate Pangina.

In spite of her many achievements, Juju’s most impressive attribute remains her startlingly positive attitude, even in the face of extreme adversity such as mental health struggles, addiction, social media hate and grief. “I am the first of three children. I had my parents for just 15 years of my life, which means I’ve been without my parents for more my life than I’ve had them. And I could have gone down the other road but I’m sitting right here doing this amazing interview with you – it’s pretty insane.

“I am on this earth to share the light that I carry and to spread that light. That’s exactly what Ru has done for me. And now I have the opportunity to share love and grace with people.”

When we first spoke at the start of the Drag Race UK vs The World series, she explained her decision to return for a fourth stint on the show by simply stating: “If Ru calls, you answer and you do exactly what she wants you to do!”

And so, we have ask, bearing in mind she told us this fourth experience was “absolutely” the toughest one yet – if Mama Ru was to call her again, is she still going to answer?

“I would. I would answer but I would love to be a part of it in a different way rather than competing,” she explains. “I do believe that there’s space for other talents that have gone through the franchise.

“… And maybe some of the queens are tired of seeing me compete,” she adds with a proud smile.

PinkNews reached out to Jimbo via the BBC for response.

More: Drag Race UK, Jujubee, RuPaul's Drag Race

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...