Here at Faviana we are all about helping women feel their best and drag helps people of all races, genders and sexualities embrace themselves on the inside and out. I made it my mission to find some amazing queens who are taking over the industry and are on their way to becoming superstars. The first drag queen I wanted to highlight was Orlando based queen Chyna Washington. Chyna Washington is taking over the drag scene with her breathtaking numbers and death drops that is keeping audiences glued to the stage. I reached out to Chyna and wanted to learn more about her background as a performer and queen. She was gracious enough to take the time to answer some of my questions and was able to help paint a picture of this incredible art form that is changing so many lives worldwide.
Get To Know Chyna Washington
- When is the first time you remember seeing drag whether it was on television or in person?
I don’t remember the FIRST time I saw drag, but the first time I met a queen was actually not too long ago. I met one at Hamburger Mary’s like three years ago and she bought me a drink. I loved her confidence and it solidified my wanting to become one.
- What does drag mean to you? Why did you decide to get involved in the art of drag?
Drag to me means many things but the most important is PRIDE. Being a queen means being an advocate for the LGBT+ community. I decided to do drag because since childhood I loved running around in heels and makeup, it’s always been so comfortable for me. I also feel most confident after doing beautiful makeup on myself and wearing beautiful hair.
- How would you describe Chyna Washington? What makes her stand out from other queens? How did you come up with her name?
Chyna Washington is confident and humble. She always wins, and not in a cocky way but because she works hard and is passionate. She stands out because she is not only a small, young, pretty drag queen but she also can perform her butt off. She also speaks sign language so she incorporates that into her performances. As well as advocating for the gay community she also wants to bring the deaf world into the drag world because the Deaf want to be a part of the art as well and should have that opportunity. I got my name because when I think of my persona I think of delicate beauty, small size, and intrigue which I think describes fine china (like the special plates and silverware you only use on special occasions. You can look but you can’t touch). I am from Washington state and I love my home state so I wanted to represent it that way.
- Do you have a background in fashion or beauty? Where do you draw inspiration from for your looks?
I have always loved playing with makeup. Although I am new to performing in drag I have been teaching myself how to do makeup since I was very young. I have taught myself everything I know and do as far as makeup and clothing design go. I am currently working on teaching myself how to sew and style my own wigs. I think part of the intrigue of drag for me is getting to make my own things, it makes me feel so proud. I draw inspiration for my makeup from different queens. I have created my general look for Chyna based strongly off of Violet Chachki and Miz Cracker but most of it is just trial and error and what I have found looks best on me. For fashion I don’t like to box myself into one category of drag. I love looking elegant but I also love Campy and dark and silly and sexy. It’s so fun to try new things, why only be one category?
5. What does a typical routine look like? Are there certain mixes you like to use? Do you make your own?
I love making my own music tracks for my routines! I like to pick a tone for a show, or an artist and then pick a few songs that fit in that genre and then splice them all together with transitions, it’s so fun to tell a story with a drag performance.
- Drag queens are performers, so do you have any background in performing whether it be in community theater or on a larger scale?
I have been performing since elementary school in band/musical theater and originally was majoring in musical theater. I love to perform in all aspects; dancing, singing, acting.
- How do you prepare for a performance. Do you work with choreographers or are you putting together the whole act?
To prepare for a performance I will start with deciding on songs and from there I’ll develop the show in my mind and write my ideas down in my “drag journal.” I typically like to have a production so I have worked with dancer friends and choreograph routines. An important part of the process is deciding what kind of outfit do I want, and then comes the creating part. I see/rhinestone costumes and usually will incorporate reveals into my routine. It’s fun to think out of the box and tell a story.
- How do you think drag is changing the way people view members of the LGBTQ+ community?
Drag has opened the worlds eyes in monumental strides in regards to accepting the gay community. We are the leaders in representing and speaking out for the LGBT+ community, which is one of the most important and amazing things about drag. It also brings art, and joy to people which is something I’m passionate about.
9. What advice would you give to people who want to do drag but are worried what others will think?
I will always tell people regardless of whether or not they want to do drag specifically, other people’s opinions of you are just that: opinions. I grew up so scared of what people think of me but as I got older I realized that the only person who has to deal with me 100% of the time is ME so the only person I need to worry about gaining approval from is ME. Drag is scary because we are doing something so against the norm, that it takes A LOT of confidence to do it but like I said, if it makes you happy then why stop yourself from doing it? Also the drag and gay community is so big (especially now) that I always feel very safe when I am in drag, and the confidence comes when you are in your full look.
- Where can people find out more about Chyna Washington?
You can follow me on Instagram @thechynawashington and also on YouTube where I post my performances and am currently working on creating tutorial videos to help aspiring queens.