I prayed to Oprah that it was just an April Fool's joke on behalf of Logo. But upon waking up on Tuesday, the disappointing reality had set in: Milk, who was easily the U in Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent this season, has sashayed away from RuPaul's Drag Race Season Six. What does Milk have to say about her time on the show, her haters and her equally-gorgeous boyfriend? We chatted with Big and Milky hours after her elimination episode aired to find out (and found out she's a big-hearted sweetheart under the Pinocchio nose and baby bump in the process).
Jonathan Higbee: Happy April Fools! I loved your Twitter and Facebook comments last night.
Milk: Why not, right? It fell so perfectly, so I had to take full advantage of it!
What have you been up to since taping the show?
I have been dragging my life up! Lots of travel. Since being on the show, I’ve learned a lot more about my face, about makeup, about paint, so I’ve been experimenting and growing my aesthetic. I think it really has grown a lot since nine months ago.
I love the pictures of you from Iowa last week.
Iowa was really fun! I flew into Cedar Rapids and was just immediately surrounded by fields. Then we drove to Iowa City, which is a big college town full of young, corn-fed boys, so it was fun!
Why do you think you were the one to be eliminated this week?
I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and I can only imagine what is coming for Milk—possibly working with World of Wonder for All Stars Season 2. I mean, they couldn’t have a winner be on All Stars Season 2, so they had to allow me my moment to shine, and then they had to knock me down so that everybody wants me back. And I want to come back!
You said at the end of Untucked that you were surprised at how deeply the elimination was affecting you. Were you being sarcastic or were you genuinely surprised?
No, I was genuinely surprised. I mean, I am an emotional person. I do love a good cry every now and then. I did go on the show to compete in the hopes of winning, but my biggest reason for going on the show was to expose and shine a new light on my version of drag and the quality of drag that I do. So, I was shocked because there was so much more that I wanted to give and to show and it was sad to have to say goodbye so quickly. Then again, what I showed was exactly who I was. Even though I was only there for a short amount of time, I was able to do me and do me to the greatest and fullest.
And then I got my phone back! [Laughs]
If you had to pick a favorite look of yours from the season, which would you nominate?
I would have to say I loved my Tony Awards look. That is just pure camp and you can’t get much more fish than pregnancy, you know? You can’t get more feminine than that. I don’t understand those bitches coming for me. I loved that look with the nails, the ode to Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl.
I know! I love that fan art that you shared that mashed-up this look with the Pinocchio nose.
That was gorgeous right? It’s so surreal and amazing, the amount of fan art that’s come in. It’s just amazing that my art can be an inspiration for other people’s art.
You’re a muse now!
Would you have done anything differently?
No, not at all. I did everything for a reason, and it was just to push buttons and push the boundaries a little bit here and there. Why do on this season what every girl has done on the past five seasons? It’s about setting yourself apart from everybody else and making yourself memorable. I have no regrets, whatsoever.
I feel like viewers didn’t really get to see you connecting with another queen on a friendship level. Did that happen?
I connected with most of them. I got along very, very well with Joslyn, who is an effing sweetheart. I got along with Bianca, Courtney, Darienne—even though she said some shady things about me, that’s okay, I don’t hold it against her. But yeah, they didn’t show it much—there was a lot going on this season, so they filled the time.
Well they at least included a lot of the girls who singled you out and read you in the show…
It’s easiest to single out the one who looks the weirdest, so I can’t blame them. [Laughs]
Who do you think will go all the way?
I’m a big fan of Bianca. She has one of the most hateful hearts in the entire world, but her heart is pretty giant, so there’s a little room for love in there, and I think she does have that. So, yeah, I’m a Bianca fan!
You’re both from New York, right?
Yes, we are.
I met her once. She’s more of an uptown queen, Hell’s Kitchen. I went out looking like a crazy, weird toddler in a tiara. So I went up to her because she had these insane lashes on, like she does. She looked like a clown, so I went up to her and said “Oh my god, you are amazing!” She looked at me, then she went back to talking and totally snubbed me. I was like, “Oh, this bitch. You can’t be wearing those lashes and be a bitch.” But after meeting her on the show, we do have a great relationship. We get along very well.
What’s the origin story of your name?
When I first started doing drag, I had to come up with a name really quick and I had been watching this ballroom dance series on PBS. There was this Latin ballroom dancer and she had a ridiculously stupid name, so I took that at that moment. But then I wanted something a little more special and unique. So, I was at Cheesecake Factory with a bunch of friends, as we do, having a little pow-wow about drag. Somebody tossed out the name Milk—because of my creamy, luxurious white skin—and I latched onto it right away. I wanted a one-name, even though that’s hard to find on social media. If you search Milk you’re going to get a lot of different things! [Laughs] Boobs. A lot of boobs. So, I wanted a one-name, like Cher or God or something. I also wanted it to be pretty versatile. Milk can be pretty, milk can curdle. This was when I was starting to really try my hand at RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Milk came with a lot of puns. Everything dairy. I knew RuPaul and the world could have fun with that. So, that’s where Milk came from. I didn’t want a real girl’s name, like Jane or Maria.
Do you know any Marias or Jane drag queens?
I don’t know, probably not since the ‘50s. [Laughs]
Probably not! Know any Gertrudes? [Laughs]
Do you have any favorite puns of your name from this season?
What’s funny is my Instagram and Twitter and website are “Big And Milky.” I switched it to that after the show. It used to be “Big And Scary.” I didn’t realize the connotation it had. I got it printed on a t-shirt and would wear the t-shirt around. People were like, “What is ‘Big and Milky?' That’s a little vulgar, isn’t it?" Then it became this whole dirty thing, which I quite enjoy.
What was your biggest takeaway from the experience of taping the show?
For me and what people can learn from my time on the show is that as long as you’re staying true to yourself and you’re not hurting anybody, people will love you no matter what. You don’t have to change yourself in order for people to be fans of yours. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed since the show. I have my fair share of haters, but I did me on the show and people loved it, people respected it. I think people can take that into their own world and mirror that.
What’s next for Milk?
A lot of travel. I’m excited to be able to travel all around the world. I think that is one of my favorite things and one of the most humbling things about this experience. People want to see me perform and want to meet me and I want to be able to meet them. Doing that while doing something you love like entertainment and nightlife is the most amazing thing.
Also, I’ll eventually get into music. It’s that inevitability, you know? Every Drag Race Girl—not that they should—but every Drag Race Girl does.
And I’m going to probably work with my boyfriend who is a musical artist, Jbdubs.
We love Jbdubs! We’ve interviewed him and post his new videos when they release.
Yay! That’s my boyfriend! We’re going to collaborate on stuff. I’m very excited about it. He knows what I’m doing, I know a little what I’m doing, so I think it’s a good match.
Any final words, Milk?
My love for all my haters. That’s what keeps this steam engine going!