What would you do with $100,000?
Monique Heart, aka Kevin Richardson, thinks she might just use a little of the grand prize for a rescue French bulldog. And she has a few other options in mind, too.
Heart will be one of the 14 contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race for Season 10. Within minutes of VH1’s Feb. 22 announcement, Facebook was alive with congratulations for Kansas City’s contestant.
Richardson said, “I’ve grown up knowing about RuPaul my whole life. He was strong, black, a male and technically a faggot. Being from New York, that’s the language. It was his legacy alone of what he has done in his own career, his own personal hurdles and everything, [that] resonated with me as a child.”
Richardson said his own long-term plans reach beyond performing to investing in the community as a businessman.
“I would really, long-term, like to be a corporation. I want to own the stages where people are performing. I want to own property, land, businesses that create jobs. I really want to invest in black America,” he said.
Richardson, who will be 32 in May, said he moved to Kansas City from New York in 2008 for a job at the International House of Prayer in Grandview, Missouri, where he worked in ministry for more than three years. His Christian faith has been an important part of his life.
“I grew up in church my whole life,” he said. “At the time, I was never really out. I slept with a lot of people and have a background in sexual trauma. So you generally either run away from it or run to it. I ran to it.
“I came out and started going to hair school. I graduated at the top of my class. I started going out to Missie B’s in 2010, came out March 2011, and was in drag in October.”
Richardson said that going to Hamburger Mary’s was initially part of his coming out.
At first, he said, he was hesitant to do drag. But “from that first night in drag, I just started hosting and entertaining.”
Richardson credits former Hamburger Mary’s manager Wade De Young for telling him that Monique Heart was a good performer.
Heart quickly became an entertainer at the original Kansas City location of Mary’s and then on to the new location at 3700 Broadway Blvd., where she now performs and hosts Drag Bingo and other shows.
Richardson said his background in full-time ministry has given him insights into how drag queens do their own form of ministry.
“Drag queens have been the pillars of the gay community,” he said. “If you want something done, or you need the word to get out, or we need to raise money, or we need to get the word out about having safe sex, you call the drag queens.”
Richardson said that for him, “My faith is everything. I think for a lot of gay men, it’s very difficult to reconcile Jesus and the gay.”
However, he said, “I beg to differ. For me, I go, ‘There’s no way that God himself, as Jesus is God … would, say, pay such a high price to save you.’”
Of Monique Heart’s performances, he said, “I love to say that I went from being on a platform, saying ‘Hey, the Father loves you’ to wearing platforms and makeup and saying, ‘Hey, the Father loves you.’”
Richardson said that all of the RuPaul episodes for Season 10 – expanded this year from an hour to 90 minutes – have already been filmed except the finale. So at this point, he is just as unaware as everyone else about who won.
Nevertheless, he said, the most difficult part about the competition is that contestants have to keep everything secret. “You’re not really even allowed to talk to the contestants unless you’re on set. The isolation and competition is intense for six weeks.”
Heart’s best advice: “Just tune in and watch the show.”
As far as that French bulldog or pug, even if Heart wins the grand prize, “We’re going to get a rescue, since they’re a little cheaper. Save a life.”
Where to Watch
- See Monique Heart’s promotional video at: https://goo.gl/euBHtT.
- Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22. The after-show, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked, will premiere immediately following at 8:30 p.m.
- Premiere episode at Hamburger Mary’s Kansas City, 3700 Broadway. All other episodes at Woody’s Classic Sports Pub. 3740 Broadway, and other local Gay bars.
The Official Bios
The 14 queens competing to make their mark on the historic 10th season are:
Texas is back in the house. A formidable competitor on the pageant circuit, Asia won Miss Gay America the first time she entered. Multi-talented, Asia has a costuming business on the side, designing for color guard teams and ice skaters.
Aquaria already has a big reputation preceding her into the competition. At just 21, Aquaria has been photographed by Steven Klein for the pages of Vogue Italia. Confident and at the center of New York’s Drag Scene, Aquaria has the support of some of nightlife’s biggest legends.
A small-town girl with big city dreams, Blair St. Clair is a Broadway baby at heart. Combining her love of musicals with her passion for drag, Blair plans to sing, dance and act her way across the finish line of the competition.
Self-described as “dark, glamorous and trashy,” this punky queen defies categorization. Look for the queen with the signature dotty-faced makeup. A Kentucky native who moved to the Big Apple to pursue acting, Dusty channeled his desire to perform into drag.
She’s back! Season 9’s Southern belle departed way too soon after injuring her knee. But Eureka is back following knee surgery, and hungrier than ever to prove herself the second time around.
Kalorie’s infectious giggle might be the first thing to enter a room, but it’s her gravity-defying ass that has all eyes on it as she leaves. This twerk queen proudly flaunts her curvaceous body in daring sexy dance performances.
You’re equally as likely to find this tattooed muscle queen down at the gym pumping iron as you are to find performing at her local drag bar in Nashville. Deliberately intending to capture strength and beauty, Kameron Michaels is the body builder Barbie doll.
Mayhem enters the competition with big expectations, as the sister of Drag Race alumni like Raven, Morgan McMichaels, Delta and Detox. Mayhem dazzles her Los Angeles audiences with polish and sass.
Proud to call Bob The Drag Queen her drag mother, Miz Cracker began doing drag as a member of Bob’s Marches for Equality in Times Square. Pretty and witty, Miz Cracker captures you with her beauty, and then surprises you with the belly laughs.
Monet blurs the lines of comedy, performance and New York City grit. A degree in Opera Performance means she’s the singer of the season, while her bright colorful street style ensures all the judges eyes will be on her.
A creative well-rounded queen who knows how to do hair, makeup, dance … and make an entrance. A devoted Christian, Monique enters the competition hungrier than most to win, and with a promise to live up to her moniker as the “Heart of Season 10.”
Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, The Vixen combines elements of political art and protest into her performances. This vocal, woke queen brings both activism and fire to the stage – and is not about to take on her competition lying down.
Get these cookies, baby! Drag Race Season 3 and All Stars Season 1 star Alexis Mateo’s drag daughter brings electricity to the stage, with her high-energy dance performances and winning personality. Will Vanessa finish the job that Alexis Mateo started?
Originally hailing from China, Yuhua moved to Manhattan’s Chinatown when she was seven. Now a sickening seamstress by day and a hard-working queen by night, Yuhua regularly sews gowns for New York royalty like Peppermint and Bob the Drag Queen.
For more information on RuPaul’s Drag Race and up-to-date news, go to https://goo.gl/xbbNXU and follow @RuPaulsDragRace and #DragRace across all social media for all the latest news.
– from VH1