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Monét Makes the World Go Around

by Steve Desroches

Perhaps no other art form is better designed for the element of surprise than drag. Throughout the ages drag queens have dropped down from the ceiling, leapt off a six-foot platform landing in a death drop, and untangled a wig to reveal a ten-foot-long braid only to begin skipping rope with it. Drag is a multidisciplinary art form pulling from most every form of creativity there is. So never, ever underestimate a queen, or do so at your peril. That moment of “oh no, she just didn’t” surprise came in high-art form when during a talent show challenge on season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, fan favorite Monét X Change took to the stage and belted out an operatic aria. Long known for her comedic chops, scene-stealing mischievousness, kind ways, radiant smile, and a penchant for pussycat wigs, Monét grabbed the opportunity to show the world just how deep her talents run.

Having appeared on three different incarnations of the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, winning Miss Congeniality for season ten and then sharing the crown with Trinity the Tuck for season four of All Stars, Monét knows the power of television and the opportunities it can provide. And now she’s joining the relatively small legion of Drag Race alums that are shedding being just a
“Ru Girl” and becoming a stand-alone star touring the world. While talented, focused, and ambitious, her celebrity and success are a bit of a surprise to her. She started drag not to get famous, she says, but rather she found that the art form allowed her to use “all the crayons in the box,” enabling her to take all she was passionate about and utilize it as a creative and personal exploration of herself. Everything that has come since that first time in heels has been a bedazzled adventure. And that moment singing opera in drag on TV is the most recent trip to wonderland.

“I never thought I would open my mouth and sing an aria and have the crowd go wild like they were at a Renaissance Beyoncé concert,” says Monét. “I was performing in Australia not long ago and the crowd went nuts everywhere when I sang opera. I never, ever could have imagined that.”

Speaking from Madison, Wisconsin, where Monét is performing standup at Comedy on State, her thoughts are here on the Cape tip as this Fourth of July weekend she’ll be making her Provincetown debut at Town Hall Sunday night. She’s still riding the wave of attention that comes with appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, most recently when Monét was runner-up to Jinkx Monsoon last year. 2022 was spent touring the world, recording music like her single “The Big Opening” and the Italian opera piece “Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni,” running her award-winning podcast she co-hosts with best friend Bob the Drag Queen, as well as appearing on television shows like The Kelly Clarkson Show, Trixie Motel, and the instant Halloween cult classic Huluween Dragstravanganza (which she says she’s in talks to star in another this October.) It’s all been a thrill, but that kind of LGBTQ representation is vitally important, especially considering the cultural and political climate with the right-wing going into overdrive attacking drag, transgender people and children in particular, as well as the LGBTQ community in general. Monét knows the importance of the platform she has and finds not only solace, but inspiration at most every stop on her tour.

“Queer people for decades have had to be responsible for each other and support each other, and now is no different,” says Monét. “It is frightening at the moment. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous going to perform in North Carolina or a small town. I’m nervous protestors are going to show up or that someone would come into the show and do God only knows what. But I can’t live my life in fear. If I Iived in fear I’d never leave the house. I’d never perform again. These are scary times, but what I see and remember is how much love is out there, too. I’ve just performed at Pride events all over and you can feel the energy. People are responding with love. It’s like Ru says, ‘Everybody say love!’”

Monét will be spreading the love here in Provincetown, where she made her first visit last summer on a mini-getaway. And then it’s on to shows in Los Angeles and then the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland where she will debut a brand new solo show for an 11-engagement run, followed by a show in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to close out summer. She sighs with contentment and strength as she thinks of all that is ahead of her, including her Town Hall show where she will present all that her talents have to offer. Her star power only continues to grow. But of all the things Monét has created and achieved, one thing remains stubbornly popular, almost as famous as Monét herself: the infamous sponge dress. The creation of a design challenge in season ten of Drag Race, the judges thought it was a “boot,” but the dress itself has entered Drag Race lore amongst Lil’ Poundcake and Ornatia. So just where is the dress these days?

“The sponge dress is in my storage unit,” says Monét. “It might be a little moist and a little mildewy, but it’s there. I saw online that someone in Florida made a replica and was passing it off as the real one. But unh-uh. I have the real one. So if you had your picture taken with the sponge dress in Florida, it’s a fake.”

Monét X Change performs at Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St., Sunday, July 2 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets ($50-$150) are available at the Art House box office, 214 Commercial St., online at, and at the door the day of if not sold out. For more information call 508.487.9222.

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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