Izak Hannard chats to Aunty Ginger
Drag artist Aunty Ginger has been crowned Miss Drag UK and is flying the colours high with her new title. The event received tonnes of press coverage on the night, all while raising money for Sands stillbirth charity and Dorest Children’s Foundation. Aunty Ginger chatted with us about the shock of winning Miss Drag UK and what we can expect now that her reign has begun.
How does it feel to have won Miss Drag UK?
I am grateful to be given the opportunity to represent Miss Drag UK. When they announced my name, I swear it probably took about an hour before I even understood what happened. Never did I expect to come first and it is the most amazing honour.
What inspired the name Aunty Ginger?
A night of bad choices haha! I remember joining a girl’s night out once as the only guy and chose to wear a ginger-ish wig to ‘fit in’ and my friends kept calling me Ginger. Aunty came later, its more how people describe my personality.
What can we expect from your reign?
My main goal with the reign is to grow Miss Drag UK as a brand, to continue to grow and connect bridges between the UK Drag and Pageant World
I feel like there’s a lot we can learn from each other and we should be closing the gap between younger and older generations, teaching each other skills, performing together, educating new generations and diversifying ourselves to become more rounded artists. I know the things I do in my reign and beyond will be geared towards this goal wherever possible.
How will you go about bringing generational diversity into drag?
I am running Vintage and Old School charity drag events now in Manchester. The first one was in February and raised £942 for Alberts Kennedy Trust and the next one is in July.
The key point of these events is to celebrate pre-millennium content, however I’m not just using artists from a particular era, I want a range of different artists from all over the UK of different abilities and with different talents, the only rule is that they appreciate the old school nature of the events and put on acts to deliver that.
Do you feel more confident after your big Miss Drag UK win?
My confidence continues to grow, I feel like each year I do it I get better, and I don’t feel like I’ve anywhere near peaked yet.
Learning makeup skills continues to be a challenge, as I’m not really trying to female impersonate but really to be an exaggerated idea of an old campy woman, so I don’t want it to be perfect, but I’m not great with a makeup brush so I do think about this quite a lot.
Are there any drag queens you are inspired by?
I am a big fan of Drag Race and love Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon, BenDeLaCreme, Nina Flowers and more. I am inspired by them for all kinds of reasons. Oh, and I’d also love to be on Drag Race, if anyone could make that happen that would be ace thanks!
What advice could you give to aspiring drag queens?
The people who I work with, say yes to, spend time with and the people I book for my show are people that above all things are; nice, easy to work with, on time and fun! If you can get those things right, you’ll go far! I pride myself on being reliable and nice, it literally costs nothing, and people don’t forget it.
What’s next for Aunty Ginger?
Look out for my old school charity drag shows as I want to get to running a few a year, plus all my Miss Drag UK appearances, I am SO excited to crown next year’s winner and see the competition goes from strength to strength. Beyond that, who knows!