Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race know Shea Couleé as the super fashionable front-runner from season nine who was surprisingly thwarted in the season finale by Sasha Velour’s cavalcade of hidden rose petals. She’s back with something to prove in the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, where many fans see her as the front-runner to win the whole thing.
Couleé is also an outspoken advocate for anti-racist action, civil rights for marginalized people, and just a better fucking world for all of us, okay? Promoting Drag Race at a time when people are marching (and falling) in the streets in the name of justice is a bit of an odd fit—something she mentioned in a great post on her Instagram last week—but Couleé is proud of the work she did on the show, and of how Drag Race in particular brings voices of queer people of color into peoples’ homes every week. The A.V. Club talked to her about the delicate balance she wrote about, her spot on the now-postponed Nubia Tour, and a recent video from Bob The Drag Queen and Peppermint about racist inequality in the follower counts of different Drag Race queens.