Picking a drag name isn’t always easy, the queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” can attest.
TheWrap’s Lawrence Yee caught up with the Season 13 contestants ahead of the premiere, which airs on New Year’s Day, where they shared the origin of their current drag name and their original drag names.
Some queens took the simple route and stuck with their boy names, like Joey Jay and Elliott With 2 Ts. Others, like Tina Burner and Kahmora Hall, were inspired by celebrities they admired.
Many had different drag names at the start of their careers.
Kahmora Hall (the drag sister of Season 12 winner Jaida Essence Hall) was originally known as Yoko Tsumani, but her drag mother — the legendary Tajma Hall — disapproved.
Denali is a professional figure skater (you can see her routines on Instagram) and was briefly named Tonya Hardon, a play on disgraced ice skater Tonya Harding.
Gottmik, the show’s first trans male contestant, is a play on the slogan “Got Milk” and her dead name (the name a trans person is called before transitioning).
Check out the video above for the hilarious stories behind their drag names, and find out which queen dared to name herself Beyonce before quickly changing it.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” premieres Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on VH1 and will be simulcast on The CW Network, MTV, MTV2, PopTV and Logo.