Every week YASS brings you an exclusive interview of the queen who sashayed away last and got closer to becoming Canada’s next Drag Superstar. In the last episode we saw the queens compete for the crown and Kimora Amour was the one who had to leave.
For those who don’t know, Kimora Amour is one of the first girls to come out of the Kiki Ballroom scene in Canada and go mainstream competing in pageants. She is a highly sought-after, award-winning Carnival costume designer. She was part of the designing team for Miss Cayman Islands national costume for the Miss Universe Pageant. While drag is her passion, by day Kimora Amour is a neuropathic pain management procedural nurse and she is also a loving father to a teenage son with a previous partner.
First day out of Drag Race Canada. How are you feeling?
It was good. It was a lot of fun. And that’s just something about me. Anywhere I go I have to have fun or else I’m not going to be enjoying myself. So, it was a lot of fun.
Was the whole experience very demanding or very challenging?
All of it. It was a little bit of all of it. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. You have to remember we don’t only make garments on the show, we might get assistance here and there for a court set or something, but a lot of times we have to do everything ourselves. And we have to ask our sisters to help us, even though it’s a competition. So, it’s demanding, it’s tiring and difficult, but we still try to make it a lot of fun, at the same time.
I made sure I had. Lot of fun in the show. My sister Anastarzia from the previous season of Canada’s Drag race told me to make sure I have fun and not to take it seriously or get emotionally wrapped up in it. And I took that to my heart and I made sure to be the biggest idiot at every chance.
What was the idea behind the slavery message that you would like to share with the world?
I think the message got out very well. I wanted people to see that. There is a different side to drag. It’s not just about the tiniest waist or the greatest fashion outfit. There is an element of drag that incorporates storytelling, and it is an important part of drag to show this. I wanted to show a story of something that has been ugly throughout time and how we, in our current state, still internalise it and still deal with it. It’s a pain that even though this is hundreds of years old, it still has such an impact on who we are as people when it comes to the black community and. We unfortunately carry around that generational hurt. And I wanted to bring it forward to remind people that this is still here. It’s still not dealt with. As black people we are often still misinterpreted because of the fact that we have been through this traumatic experience.
Absolutely. Do you feel that there is enough representation of black talent in the drag scene?
No. The drag scene in order to have us represented we’ve had to make our own; whether it be in the ballroom scene or the pageant scene. There is a black scene that has to basically be there in order for us to have the recognition that we deserve. It’s unfortunate, but it is the reality of it. I want to see more, not just black but people of colour on drag race. I think it’s so important for people to see themselves, not only in the same type of skin tone. I want everyone to see themselves in me. But I want people to be able to do that and see the humanity in me and see that I am just like them.
Do you feel that we’re going towards a more inclusive direction?
I hope so. I think that’s one of the greatest things that Vanity Milan brought up at Drag race UK, about being the only person on this season who was a black person. I was disappointed in seeing it. But I love the fact that they had taken in some other aspects of things like having the first AFAB Queen on the season. There were some great triumphs, but at the same time, I definitely want people to know that we exist and I feel like sometimes when it comes to being or having a black identity, we are sometimes erased or forgotten, even though we are the pioneers and the precursors to many of the things that exist today when it comes to drag.
You are a nurse at the same time. So, I suppose that you are already exposed to things that are far more difficult, demanding and challenging compared to being a drag queen, right? How is working as a nurse and how difficult is it to combine these two careers?
It’s difficult to combine them. However, I love them equally. Nursing is in my blood. I come from a family of nurses. It’s just something that we are a part of. Drag is my passion though, and I want to find ways to bring in my sexual education background in some aspects of my nursing and bring it forward to having conversations with other LGBTQ people. I am slowly finding a way to navigate both of them into each other at some times, but sadly, they’re still quite separate at this time. I do hope that I can find a way to intersect both. I love talking about sexual education, sexual health, and I think taking that forward and maybe bringing that drag aspect of it, is something I really want to look into.
How was the reaction of your son when you announced to them that you are a drag queen?
My son has known for a long time that I’ve done drag, but he’s actually never seen me do it. I used to take him shoe shopping and I’d be like “How does this make my feet look like”? And he was “Get away from me”. He’s managing it. It’s difficult right now, because I’m just I’m travelling so much. But he knows how to shake me for money. So he’s enjoying it greatly!
You have more experience as a drag queen compared to other queens that you were competing with this season. Do you think that this was an advantage for you?
Oh, absolutely. I have been in the ballroom community for over a decade. Some people will say “Oh, well your outfit isn’t that good”, but I reply “Yes, but I sold it”. The difference between me and these other girls is that I know how to sell a garment. I can wear a trash bag and I will sell it to you like it’s couture. And that’s my gift. That’s what I can do. I know how to sell what the hell I’m wearing. It could have a million flaws, and you would never know it. That’s just my gift. Definitely having experiences in other avenues of drag like the ballroom scene does give me a slight advantage. Brooklyn actually told me when we were on camera one time that I had the best runway walks the season! I take a lot of pride in my art. And I definitely show that.
In the last episode we saw you expressing the feeling that maybe it was your time to go home. Do you feel it was really the time for you to go home?
It was hard for me to go, for me personally. It was time for me to go, though. I had checked off all my boxes and the one thing I made clear is I didn’t come here to compete. I came to have the world see who I was. Those girls that were still there were trying to compete. This meant something way more to them than it did for me, and I didn’t want to be able to not sleep at night because I went and took something away from someone who really didn’t want it. My goal was to show everything I had and after that last runway, I had shown everything I had, so I was done. I was ready to go. I didn’t want to be there anymore. I’ve done my job. I set out what I needed to do, which was to show the world who I was and I did that to the best of my ability.
Are you happy? Are you in a happy place in life at the moment?
I am in a content place. I won’t say happy. I say that because with the drag race world come different insecurities that you have to deal with. For example, you look at your other sisters and you’re like “Well, I’m not getting as much followers as them” and you internalise that because I’m on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to following. However, when it comes to TV time, I probably got some of the most. You tend to start to compare things and then you have to remember to remove yourself from that. It messes with you a little bit and you get a little sad sometimes and feel like “Does anyone not like me? Is there something wrong with me?” But then you get into a place of remembering who you are. So, I would say I’m content right now. And I’m on the way to happiness because you just have to take a step back and say “Alright, here we go”!
More of Kimora Amour here: