Drag Race UK's Tayce On Her Biggest Inspirations And Why 'Labels Are Bulls***'

The Drag Race star reveals why Grace Jones is her "queen" – and why her favourite Pride memory wasn't exactly a moment of glory.
Nasty Gal/HuffPost UK

We have to say it – no one has stomped the Drag Race UK runway quite like Tayce.

It makes sense, then, that just months after stealing the show in this year’s finale, she’s already landed a major campaign with the fashion brand Nasty Gal.

The accompanying photo-shoot sees Tayce posing up a storm both in and out of drag, which is something she was “insistent” from the get-go she wanted to be part of the campaign.

“I feel like I’m really trying to push the boundary a little bit,” an energetic Tayce told HuffPost UK. “Clothes are clothes. It’s just fabric that sits on your shoulders, you know what I mean?

“Labels are just bullshit, so I’m really happy that this collection is able to be catered towards literally everyone.”

“If you want to wear a little cropped leather jacket as a guy, do it!” she continued. “And wear it with confidence, and I’m sure you’ll look amazing.

“Because I’ll tell you who does? Me, when I wear it.”

Tayce posed both in and out of drag for Nasty Gal's new campaign
Tayce posed both in and out of drag for Nasty Gal's new campaign
Nasty Gal

On being part of a new wave of drag superstars in the mainstream, she added: “Drag queens are taking over the world, you know? You’re seeing us in music videos, on stage with these amazing artists, on runways, in movies. And that’s where you’re going to see me soon, too.

“I have a lot of big plans. And I’m not going to stop until I get there, mama. You’re going to see me on the runways. You’re going to see me in the James Bond movies. You’re going to see me bring out an album. Just wait and see.”

For our Over The Rainbow interview series, we spoke to Tayce about how David Bowie and Grace Jones have inspired her throughout her life, and why her favourite Pride memory wasn’t exactly a shining moment...

What is your favourite Pride memory?

It would be me being absolutely hungover as shit, the day after a gig at Her Upstairs four or five years ago. I pulled an all-nighter, and I had to go on this Pride float the next day, and the whole way through I just kept falling asleep in front of everyone. Very embarrassing times. I was literally on this float with a big fat dress on, black tinted out glasses just trying to stay awake.

But every Pride is so much fun. I love going out, seeing everyone, just being your authentic self and not giving a crap, really.

Tayce posing for Nasty Gal
Tayce posing for Nasty Gal
Nasty Gal

Who is your LGBTQ hero?

I’m going to go with David Bowie, because I listened to him a lot when I was younger, and he bats for the team, mama. I’ve just always loved people that were enigmas in their own way, and David Bowie is just absolutely fascinating.

And I used to be obsessed with Labyrinth when I was younger – it made me obsessed with snakes and crystal balls! When I watched that I was like, “who the hell is this man?”, and then I got into all his music and his looks. He’s just a fucking trailblazer.

David Bowie in the film Labyrinth
David Bowie in the film Labyrinth
Jim Henson Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock

What is your go-to Pride anthem?

It changes every year, I think an anthem is very of-the-moment or, du jour, if you will. So I’m going to go with Countless Luann, Viva La Diva. Countess Luann is an absolute icon from the Real Housewives Of New York.

This song is really camp, and stupid as hell, but I love it

What was an LGBTQ TV show or TV moment that made you feel represented?

Let’s go with Glee. I’m from that generation, we were all watching that when we were at school and college when that came out. So I do remember being in college doing musical theatre – dancing, singing, acting, tap, jazz, ballet, makeup, all that stuff – and I could resonate with Glee, because I was going through the same sorts of things.

It taught me some life lessons, it was educational and it was fun. And I love it.

Lea Michele and Chris Colfer in Glee
Lea Michele and Chris Colfer in Glee
FOX via Getty Images

Who would be your ultimate queer icon?

I’m going to go with Grace “Queen” Jones. She’s inspired a whole generation of queer people. [People might say] “you can’t say her, because she’s not really part of the LGBTQ+ community”, but she is – because she’s with them, around them, supporting them, performing with them, uplifting them.

And she’s uplifted me, my style, the way I think, the way I feel, for a lot of my life, with her not-giving-a-fuck attitude, her prowess and her power. [She inspires me with] the way she commands a room and commands a stage, and is unapologetic about the way she acts and feels and does.

And she’s a bad bitch, and that’s exactly what I am, so it resonates.

The always-outrageous Grace Jones
The always-outrageous Grace Jones
Scott Legato via Getty Images

What is your message for young LGBTQ people this Pride month?

Stick with your friends, be safe, stay together, have fun, make sure you’re not hurting anybody and... don’t get too fucked up.


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