Banksie’s drag name was inspired by her surname (Banks), but no one would fault you for assuming she took it from the famed graffiti painter, because she is — without question — a drag artist.
Banksie, a member of the iconic house of Gorgeous, quickly became a fan-favorite on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK thanks to her fashion-forward runway looks, dry humor, willingness to engage with her fellow queens, and her vulnerability in the Werk Room. While this week saw her sashaying away after a lip sync against DeeDeelicious, there’s no question that she made a huge impact during her time on the show.
PRIDE caught up with Banksie to talk about a handful of her biggest moments this season, and where she stands with her sisters today.
World of Wonder
PRIDE: Congratulations on your incredible run on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. I know it probably was not what you envisioned going in. But you made a huge impact!
BANKSIE: You know what is funny is that ... I said to my partner, when I left, I was like, ‘I can get to halfway, I’m happy.’ Halfway and a badge, that’s all on want. So technically, I did exactly what I wanted. I wish I’d said, ‘Four badges and make it to the final.’ I really did manifest that, didn’t I? But at the end of the day, it’s just been the most dreamy experience of all time. I got very emotional last night because I was just like, ‘It’s the end. It’s just done.’ This was a year in the making for us. I’m no longer on Drag Race now. It’s done, finito, done, dusted.
That’s so interesting because I feel like you’re just getting started. A whole world of people now know you and love you and can’t wait to see what you do next.
The Drag Race door has been left ajar and now the Banksie Supremecy begins. Let’s see how it goes.
World of Wonder
Well, I for one look forward to your world domination. You embody the tenents of Drag Race, you are charismatic, unique, have nerve, and are talented. But I wonder if there is any one moment from your time on the show that you are most proud of?
The conversation with Vicki in the mirror about my partner, and trans love. It’s very cathartic for me to do, but also I was missing [my partner] terribly, and talking about her really helped me out that day. On top of that, the love back from that conversation [in the] conversations I’ve had with people around the world about being in similar situations, or them figuring out by my conversation, that they can continue loving their partner. It made a difference and that’s all I ever want to do with that.
I love that! Your love story is incredibly powerful and not a trans story that we get to hear very often. So many people are on a gender journey and if they are in a couple there is a fear that it means their love may be doomed but your story tells a different narrative that they can relate to.
People think that trans people... are always gonna be alone, or that we do our journeys alone. Being trans is a lonely thing to be. That was the only reason I said all of the things I said was to prove to people that you can be with someone you can have support, you can have a journey, and whether that’s a friend, a partner a group of people who support you. There are plenty of trans support groups around where you can meet people who are also trans to do the journey together because it’s not by yourself. There’s a whole community, it takes a village.
How was it for your partner to see you tell that story and to speak so lovingly of her?
Well, the annoying thing is that she was at a burlesque gig, so she was there stripping while it was on. She messaged me when the episode finished and was like, ‘I skipped forward, It’s really good, I’m really happy.’ Did the whole lovey-dovey shit. She just said that it was well laid out, where it wasn’t all just bound in emotion that there was thought behind it. It was supposed to be said because it meant something to somebody out there. But she’s just as much an activist as me. She’s a very public figure in the trans community in Manchester. She fights for trans rights every day of her life.
That’s beautiful. As I was watching the show and that scene with you and Vicki I was thinking about how meaningful those mirror chats are. I’m convinced it’s why the right is targeting drag queens because those moments are such empathy bombs and so humanizing.
Yeah, they can’t make you into this narrative of what you might be because you’re showing them you’re a very multi-layered person. You’re not just one thing, and they can just mark it out as terror.
World of Wonder
I totally agree! Okay, let’s be a little messy. You, Cara Melle, and Vicki had a very tense moment on the mainstage and in Untucked over feeling like they threw you under the bus. I am curious when you got to see it all play out again on screen did it change your perception of it at all?
It did. I was in those big earmuffs and I thought I made it all up. I couldn’t remember if I had heard what was right or wrong. I very much wasn’t expecting that to happen on the main stage. So I kind of blurted out ‘lamb to slaughter.’ Then when we go to Untucked and we’re all very ‘up here’ the only thing that’s going to happen is an explosion. And we did. I was just so underwhelmed by it because I’d spent nine months stressing about it and watched it on TV, and it was alright. It wasn’t like a murder had taken place. It was just we had a disagreement.
Did you feel a little validated when you saw it play out?
A lot of people have said ... ‘you’re always apologizing for something that you didn’t do.’ That’s just proof that I thought I was in the wrong. I thought I had done loads wrong, which is kind of what the definition of gaslighting is. I don’t have anything against either of them now, we’re very good friends they’re my sisters. That’s what sisters do, we fight we make up. But I can see now looking back when when you see it in black and white on the screen, and the timeline of what it was that actually yes, I was kind of gaslit.
World of Wonder
I am really glad you see that now. The fans are going to miss you so much in the Werk Room this week, and whenever you send a fan favorite home the fans get upset. Do you have a message for your fans who may be being hard on DeeDeeLicious this week?
In about three hours DeeDee is taking me for tea. She’s taking me for dinner to apologize [for] sending me home. That’s what a true sister does, okay? She is my friend, she’s my sister, I value her completely. Did she deserve to win? No, but it’s fine. [Laughs] But honestly if anyone is out there trying to say anything mean to DeeDee then you’re basically saying horrible things to me as well. If you really are a fan of mine you wouldn’t spread hate because that is something that I don’t do.
Ok, last question. Because we’re always so curious, who were you planning to play in Snatch Game?
I was gonna be the artist Bansky. Nobody knows who Banksy is. It was a multi-layered character where I, Banksie, was playing Banksy, who was being played by Lorraine Kelly who’s a news reporter. If I know anything about RuPaul she loves the weird ones. I had a balaclava so I had a reveal as well. I was going to revealed to be Lorraine Kelly in the middle of it and take over hosting the gig from Ru.
I love it! Your mind!
I’ll do it in All Stars babe, don’t worry!
Listen, if All Stars casting is listening right now: We want more Banksie! This is my official request!