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Sitting Down with Drag Queen, Slutashia

Written by Ella Norton

Cover art by Fran Smith

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Samuel Thrower, also known as Slutashia, to talk about the drag scene in Eugene, and why it holds such a special place in his heart. Thrower first got involved in drag on Halloween of 2015 and has been pursuing it seriously since 2017.

EN: Can you tell me what the drag scene is like in Eugene?

ST: Eugene is a very small community. There have been some really classic queens that have been in Eugene for many, many years. They just do this classic glamour drag. They've always done it and they're so amazing. Recently over the last five years, there's been a totally new wave of queens coming up. There's a whole bunch of more alternative drag in Eugene, there are more drag kings, there are just a plethora of more drag artists now. I love that there are so many artists in Eugene.

EN: Can you walk me through what a typical show night would look like pre-COVID-19?

ST: A typical show night would be maybe having a few cocktails as I'm getting my makeup on, just trying to enjoy the makeup process as much as I can because that's like my little zone-out time before we hit the craziness of the show. So I love to zone out with a good cocktail and a Netflix movie or something. I like to make sure I have my bag packed and head down to the club, whether it's local or traveling. I give my music to the people who need the music and just get ready to perform my ass off and have a great time. That's a typical show night, just showing up and having fun with your friends and meeting new people.

EN: So you said that you've been doing drag since 2015, what is it that keeps drawing you back to drag?

ST: Another layer of drag for me is music. I've been a songwriter, a rapper, a singer, and I've been playing around with that since I was maybe just 12 years old. As I grew up, I really wanted to be a performer but I never had the confidence for it. In 2015 when I started drag, it gave me a sense of extra confidence and extra power to it. So my passion for music combined with drag, which was a new passion of mine, I mended it together, it's everything to me honestly. It's what makes me get up in the morning and be excited about something, it's performing. That's why I stick with it.

EN: What's your style inspiration when you choose your look for drag?

ST: My drag name is Slutashia and I have slut tattooed on my chest. I like stuff that's a little more sexy, a little bit more revealing. I like stuff that makes me look like a bad bitch. That's what I look for, that's kind of my style. I don't do as many gowns or dresses, I like a short little mini dress or a tight jumpsuit with some hair braids and I like to be sexy.

EN: How do you find what you want to wear?

ST: I really enjoy that process, that's one of my favorite things. I like to shop online. I'll shop at a variety of places online and I take things from different websites that I like. I can take a little screenshot of them and make a little collage. I can find a jumpsuit here, I'll find some earrings on Etsy, and I create a collage on my phone to make a full look. Once I'm satisfied and I'm like this would be a look, I'll go ahead and buy it from all the different websites, and now I have a look. That's how I've been doing it for the last couple of years, kind of making little boards of what I want to do and then just order it and then having a look. Some queens make their own stuff, but I don't sew.

EN: How many hours do you think goes into preparing for a show?

ST: Just to get ready for a show, I would say, and this is pretty average for most queens, makeup can last between two to three hours. Some people can do it really quickly but I always try and leave a three-hour window, get everything I want to do as far as my makeup, and if anything goes wrong, I don't have to freak out. About three hours to do makeup. Maybe thirty minutes to an hour to get into my full outfit because I have to put on a fake body. I have to tape different parts of my body up and down, so it can take three to four hours to get from nothing to full drag.

EN: Do you have any role models, drag queens or others, that you look up to for style inspiration and just in general?

ST: As far as for drag queens, I'll say Naomi Smalls from RuPaul's Drag Race, since she's another queen of color, she's been really inspirational to what I like as far as her drag aesthetics. We're two different queens but I get a lot of inspiration from her. In general, I think Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears, those types of pop and hip hop queens that I grew up with molded me into the artist that I am today.

EN: Is there any particular moment of performing drag that you would like to share?

ST: I miss the backstage when you're with the other artist. I would say the best time is after the whole show is over and we're getting our money. Some of us have had a couple of drinks so we are buzzed up and it's like a sense of relief once the show is over, you've done it and people loved it. You have this euphoria from the crowd, you're not nervous anymore, and then you're backstage, talking about the show, catching up. When everyone's not nervous, everything is always low-key, I miss that. That was always the most fun time for me, at the end of the night.

EN: Is there anything you wish people knew about the drag community?

ST: I hope people would understand that it is an art form, it really is art. It takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of courage to do what we do. I think that's really the bottom line. People think it's really easy to do what we do. There are so many types of queens and drag performers, but when a gay man dresses up as a woman and we are out in public we don't know what is going to happen to us. We don't know how people are going to react to us. It takes a lot of courage to go out there and do it.