Kyne
Credit: Courtesy of Bell Media
Canada’s Drag Race
9 min

After the sashay: Kyne speaks out about the way she’s portrayed on ‘Canada’s Drag Race’

The TikTok math queen talks about the show and the challenges of being a queen of colour on Drag Race

Two Toronto queens ended up in the bottom on another episode of Canada’s Drag Race. Drag legend Tynomi Banks and TikTok sensation Kyne battled it out to “If You Could Read My Mind” by Amber, Jocelyn Enriquez and Ultra Naté. Unfortunately, it was Kyne’s time to exit the competition.

For this week’s “After the Sashay,” we spoke with Kyne after her elimination about her time on Canada’s Drag Race, her background as a YouTuber and her polarizing presence on the show.

What did you learn from your time on Canada’s Drag Race?

I learned that you can’t always get what you want and you can try really hard for things and you can try your best to impress people but some people just won’t be into it. Some people just will not like it and that’s okay.

You know, I really wanted to go really far in the competition. But I think if I did make it to the end, if I won the whole thing and if I achieved the glory, I wouldn’t have learned that lesson. I’m happy with how everything played out and I feel relieved.

You were a YouTuber prior to joining Canada’s Drag Race. How is doing YouTube tutorials different from Drag Race?

Tutorials on YouTube have a very chill atmosphere and I’m very much in my comfort zone. But Drag Race is a competition and I think people don’t know this about me, unless they know me in real life, that I’m a very competitive person. I guess now, the whole world knows that. I’m somebody who’s very ambitious, I’m very driven, and I’m very unfiltered. I wear my heart on my sleeve and, at times, I think the competition got the better of me.

And you don’t think that being a YouTuber was a disadvantage?

I don’t know, I feel like, for one thing being on camera, it teaches me the responsibility of having a platform and being a role model to people, because even before Drag Race I already had a bit of a following online so I felt that prepared me for the post Drag Race world. But in the competition, I feel like, no, it did not. I mean you guys saw how that turned out for me.

What was your reaction watching the first episode and hearing that some of the judges thought your background as a YouTuber might be a disadvantage?

It was disappointing to me because I sort of feel like “social media queen” is just a buzzword now on Drag Race and it never turns out positively for the queen. The judges never use it in a positive way. It felt like they did not want me to be funny, they didn’t want me to have a sense of humour because I tried cracking jokes, I tried impressing them any way I could, but I think if they already sort of had a sour taste in their mouth before I even got up there then that is unfortunate. But they’re judges and that’s their job and as I just have to accept it.

Speaking of the judges, we saw your exchange with Brooke Lynn Hytes in the werkroom this week. How did that exchange unfold?

She tried to bring up the fact that I was in the bottom and you guys saw it, I think it was pretty truthful. She talks about what I would do differently and if I would learn from that, and I did. I tried to apply the critiques and I didn’t bite back.

When you saw me saying “I forgive you,” obviously, that was just a joke made in jest. That is just my sense of humour, to use sarcasm and very dry comedy to sort of break the tension.

You’ve turned into a polarizing character on the show and you brought up an interesting point on Twitter about how Drag Race fandom tends to treat POC queens differently. What do you mean by that? 

I just noticed a pattern in all the shows’ “villains.” You notice that if a queen is chaotic and messy and overconfident. In some cases, it works out well. On episode one, you saw me going in very confident, really feeling like I could just bulldoze my way to the top because I was going off of what I know and in the past seasons. Violet Chachki came in like that, The Vivienne went in like that, Gigi Goode went in like that. And I don’t think they got many eye rolls or shade from the other queens, it turned out all positive for them.

I kind of thought that was the path that I was going down and to sort of just fail the challenge was definitely embarrassing. I definitely had an egg on my face there. It’s just unfortunate because you know, with other queens, people are like, “Oh my god, Derrick Barry is giving us such great television today!” and it felt like those same people didn’t give me that same treatment.

Looking back at your Drag Race journey, would you do something differently?

Honestly, no. I’m so proud of everything I did, I really gave the judges 110 percent me. It wasn’t a good fit, they were looking for something else and that’s all right.

Now that you’re unfortunately out of the competition, if it can’t be you, which queen would you like to see you win it all?

I would like to see Tynomi Banks make it far because, if I had to lip sync against her and lose, I’d like for it to have been worth it. Also BOA, she’s a queen that I really love and admire. She can always take a good joke. And also Jimbo, I’m loving Jimbo. She’s just everything.

What’s next for you?

I love to pursue what I’m doing on TikTok with all the math education because that is something so new for me that I just started doing in quarantine, and I have gotten such a great response from people saying that it’s got them more interested in math and more eager to learn which I think is great. I think it’s something that our schools are failing to teach the children, the beauty and the elegance of this discipline.

To close the interview, what’s one word to describe your time on Canada’s Drag Race?

Chaotic.