Queen of Hearts

After representing Kansas City on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Monique Heart prepares for her PrideFest homecoming




Justin Curto

   Monique Heart began her performance at last year’s PrideFest by leading the audience in a prayer: That she’d make the cut for season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” When the minister-turned-drag queen returns to Pride this year, she’ll have an answered prayer to celebrate.

  Heart, born Kevin Richardson, is part of Drag Race “Herstory.”

    She’s the first queen from Kansas City or Missouri on the drag competition show, where she quickly stood out for her personality. “I’m built for the stage and I’m built for television,” Heart says. “Put a microphone in my hand and watch me work.”

   435 caught up with Heart after she finished high on episode 5 to talk about her drag, her faith and this year’s PrideFest performance.

435: How is it being back in Kansas City as people are watching you on the show?

Monique Heart: Not that much different. Those that know me still love me and those that don’t — you just get ready for the “Hi, can we take a photo?” and those things.

435: When did you get started in drag?

MH: I became a drag queen Oct. 14, 2011. It was a job and I needed the money. I was a server at Hamburger Mary’s and they said they needed a drag queen. I was joking, saying I would do it. They said I would be perfect, I was like, no. And they came in the next week and handed me a check and said, “Get what you need.”

435: And where did things go from there?

MH: I started hosting my own show called “Boy Bar” and hosting charity bingos and filling in and hosting drag brunch at Hamburger Mary’s. My career generally has been at Hamburger Mary’s just because they paid the most.

 435: Before drag, you worked in ministry and religion has come up a few times so far on the show. How do you see your faith and drag fitting together?

MH: There’s no way in the world that you can tell me that God doesn’t love his children. Coming out of full-time ministry, I feel that for so long, there has been this accusation from pseudo-Christians that God hates the LGBTQIA [community]. I feel like that’s b.s. I feel like God’s going to use me as one of the ones that say, “Hey, he really loves you.”

435: What has it been like to see people writing and talking about you online?

MH: I don’t pay attention to it. Nothing has changed over here — I tell my friends that all the time. They’re like, “Oh my god, you’re famous.” Like, girl bye. I just have a few more followers on Instagram.

I’m definitely not going to be the person that you can’t come up to and be like, “What’s going on?” I have people right now that write me online, “I’m going through this, can you pray for me?” Yes, I gladly will. That’s real, and that’s what I want to be.

435: What can we expect at PrideFest?

MH: It’s going to be a small one-woman show that will be accompanied by a friend on piano. I’m just going to tell a story, sing some songs, have a few little video clips to keep the entertainment going while I’m doing a quick costume change. It’s going to be very full circle. It’ll be real cute.

435: On the show, you have this catchphrase of “mother darling.” Where did it come from?

MH: In the history of the [gay] ballroom scene, you see gay men take on the roles as mothers and fathers. I have been one in full-time ministry before I came out, and clearly after I have come out I have been a mother, a father, to younger and older gays. They know that I’m that place of love, refuge, hope and safety, so I just refer to myself as mother darling. Sometimes I’ll call you mother darling. When I do that, I’m speaking to the part of you that I see is great, and I’m calling that forward.

 

Monique Heart headlines PrideFest on June 3 at Berkley Riverfront Park.