Trixie Mattel was eliminated TWICE from RuPaul’s Drag Race! However, condragulations are in order for the entrancing drag diva—also known as Brian Firkus when not performing—as Trixie’s YouTube series UNHhhh that she cohosts with Drag Race eliminated alum Katya Zamolodchikova (Brian McCook) has been picked up by Viceland and renamed The Trixie & Katya Show. The show format could be categorized as a talk-show implosion in that the drag queens riff to each other about the episode topic (i.e. “Hooking Up” and “Death”).
Brian and Brian first met as competitors on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and although they were both eliminated Trixie Mattel (who brings to mind a tastefully presented Pamela Anderson crossed with Mothra) and Katya Zamolodchikova (lucid but still crazed version of Joey Heatherton) were fan favorites on the competition for their over-the-top presentation and hilarious humor. Their chemistry melds perfectly in this unique series that proves laughter can be the great unifier.
GQ recently published a glowing profile on Trixie, which goes into fascinating depth about her and the origins of Brian Firkus. Brian was born in Wisconsin, is half Ojibwe, and loves Barbie hence the drag surname. “Trixie” is the name an asshole stepdad would call Firkus when he was acting “feminine.” After college in Milwaukee, the Barbie-themed Trixie Mattel emerged to fulfill an illustrious drag destiny!
Firkus is candid about all the time and suffering put into the fulfillment of a larger than life (6’4″ in heels) drag persona day after day.
“My eyes will get irritated from wearing so much heavy makeup and adhesives all the time.” Firkus explained to GQ’s Caity Weaver. “I go through black gel eyeliner at least once a month. I wear 14 to 16 strips of lashes at once. I stack seven pairs on top and wear one on the bottom. Lashes are basically strips of hair glued to your eyes. My fingertips get irritated from [fake] nails.”
On Trixie’s double-D silicone breasts, which are worn as an eight-pound bib around the neck, Firkus fesses up about the burdens of performing.
“It’s a lot. But it becomes a white noise of discomfort. I don’t really feel my lashes because everything hurts so much. Everything hurts at once. Also, weirdly, it’s that pain that makes you feel beautiful, because you know how impactful the imagery is… You know that when you walk into the room, you take the air out of the room. In a good way. People are like, Your waist is beautiful. I’m like, It feels beautiful. It feels like my ribs hurt if I sit down. I don’t dress up as a woman, I dress up as a caricature of a caricature of a woman. Out of drag, I’m full witness-protection program—like I witnessed a murder, nobody knows who I am—because I look so different. I look like Forrest Gump.
“When I’m in drag, I don’t always want to be spoken to, but I love being looked at. Nobody puts that much work into how they look to be ignored.”
Between the burgeoning success of The Trixie & Katya Show and UNHhhh receiving millions of views on YouTube, it is clear Trixie Mattel is not being ignored.