PRINX CHIYO THE PRINX OF PROVCATION
Chiyo Gomes, otherwise known as Prinx Chiyo is the afro-latinx trans drag artist taking the world by storm. The award-winning, self-proclaimed ‘prinx of provocation’ is a beacon of light, challenging gender norms, normalising the sex work industry and re-arranging our societal concepts and ideologys on what gender and drag is.
We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with one of London’s most exciting trans drag acts and discuss Rupaul’s drag race, the under-representation of drag kings and the wonders of gender euphoria.
We will start with the most important, how are you and are you feeling good?
A. Hey Charlie! Thank you for asking, I’m buzzing. Feeling fresh and healthy.
Do you feel with the likes of Rupauls drag race and the importance of drag queens in pop culture, drag kings get under represented?
A. I don’t want to say I “feel” like they get underrepresented.. I know they do. It’s statistical fact. Name one King that’s been on Drag Race? Name more than a single digit that has been in a music video? We need to stop creating the narrative that Kings, Things, Trans performers, womxn, etc. “feel” like there’s an issue. There’s an issue. Let’s, as a community, acknowledge that.
Good answer. You've been very vocal about the feel of representation in Rupauls drag race, do you hope for a show with more inclusivity?
A. I guess so... but I think I’d rather just see the show get scrapped all together. When you go through 12 seasons, plus multiple abroad, plus 5 “All Star” seasons, and your platforming sexual predators and folk with r*pe accusations before uplifting Trans performers and/or womxn, you’re really scraping the barrel. The show is a capitalist scheme keep the gaytriarchy intact. And whilst I’m in no position to really make comments about how good it’s content is (I stopped watching after they completely gaslit The Vixen), what the show actively continues to do is deny certain bodies and identities from appearing on/benefiting from it. What That’s straight up discrimination and I’m tired of seeing cis gay men and other performative allies say they notice the gate-keeping and denial of our work, without actually doing anything about it.
You recently had surgery, how liberating was this for you?
A. Well, gender euphoria feels amazing. I’m really grateful and blessed to be in a position where I had a platform to raise money for myself. It’s been a long process and right now, even though I’m on a 6-week work hiatus in order to heal, I’m just tired. It gets worse before it gets better.. That’s something that really isn’t mentioned online when you research beforehand... I’m really just excited to finally be able to take my compression binder off and start living my life again.
You are very honest with your following about all your experiences with your identity and mental health on social media, do you wish you had someone who was doing the same when you were younger?
A. Oh definitely! But also, I’m still quite young and stability is still something that doesn’t seem quite plausible - sometimes I wonder if it ever is. So having people online now, from all walks of life, actively and unapologetically sharing their mental vulnerabilities is something I take comfort from quite regularly. I feel like performing involves having to compress socialising and working into one mode, so I don’t really have many friends when I’m not on stage/at a venue. I’m quite a loner and sometimes that can be quite detrimental to my mental health (though I do love my space). Speaking to people so openly online and having folk speak back to me, sharing experiences, telling different truths.. there’s something really warm, helpful, and soothing in that (for me).
Whats a piece of advice you would give your younger self?
A. It doesn’t get better - better is subjective.
It gets different.
Whats been a highlight for you on your journey as a queer artist?
A. Ooooo there’s been so many! I’ve done some phenomenal gigs but a recent highlight was not a show, but a single moment. Travis Alabanza, someone I draw such strength and resilience from, saw me doing spoken word recently and praised me as a Poet. Burlesque and Drag is something I find comfortable doing but I dropped out of University and I have no idea what the f*ck a Haiku is, so to have them commend my spoken word really made me feel held. Being uplifted by your friends is always the best!
Are there any stereotypes within society that particularly upset you/offend you?
A. Lots. I talk about them very often and they fluctuate. People should check out my Instagram or come to one of my shows if they want me to get emotive.
What got you into drag?
A. Sex work. Curiosity. And realising gender is wild.
Interview by Charlie Long -
You can follow and join Chiyo on his thrilling journey by following his instagram - @prinxchiyo