“Racism is rampant in the LGBTQ+ community and Grindr is just the place where people can firmly do it behind their phone screen.” Professional body builder and drag queen, Rock Evans weighing in on discrimination in the queer community. We talk Bushwig 2018, what his drag persona, Miss Toto’s protein shake would be called and being babysat in Maryland by a trans-woman.
YOUTH and ROLE MODELS
Growing up in Maryland what was your relationship with queer culture and if you could have chosen, who would have been your Drag Mother?
The extent of queer culture that I had came from my baby sitter, that I didn’t know was a trans-woman, and the drag queens that often frequented my house. I never knew that these performers doing shows in my living room were actually drag queens, so I was never aware of my early exposure to queer culture. Also, there is no one that I remotely saw or looked up to in Maryland, in the sense of drag, so no one!
A formative year in your youth that set you on your unique career trajectory?
It seems like all of the things that I have done have cultivated to this. I was always in theatre, musicals and the arts so being in front of people, doing shows and interacting is all second nature at this point.
Grindr recently launched a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination. What has your experience with the app been at the intersection of your identities as a Black, body building Drag Queen?
The app is trash. Grindr, as a company, is trying to do the right thing by fixing all of the blatant discrimination that exists but I feel like it’s far past the point of fixing it. There is nothing on my Grindr profile that says I’m a drag queen (because what does my drag persona have to do with me sleeping with you) and I already have a hard enough time talking to people on there because I am black. Racism is rampant in the LGBTQ+ community and Grindr is just the place where people can firmly do it behind their phone screen.
Your Go-To track to workout to (not including WTP)?
I love anything by Die Antwoord or Azealia Banks.
Do you have a thotty gym story you can share with us?
I try to not be thotty in the gym because I work in the gyms that I work out at!
“I do believe a stigma exists mainly because there is this idea that drag needs to be hyper feminine and that having muscles makes you masculine.”
BODY BUILDING and DRAG
“A moment” and a drag queen from Bushwig 2018?
My favorite moment would have to be meeting Hungry because I have been low-key obsessed with her for a LONG time, even before I started really getting into drag. My favorite drag queen from Bushwig would have to be Magenta. I have followed her online for a while and actually getting to hang out and party and be loud with her was so much fun!
If Miss Toto had a protein shake, what would it be called?
As a competitive body builder and personal trainer, do you believe there’s a stigma against muscle body queens and why is it important to push the boundaries in the drag community?
I do believe a stigma exists mainly because there is this idea that drag needs to be hyper feminine and that having muscles makes you masculine. I think it’s personally important to push the boundaries as a “muscle queen” since I am on the more extreme side of it by actually being a physique competitor versus just a normal boy who works out. I also try and push myself as far as makeup, looks and performances so that I can be viewed as an entertainer and not just as a “muscle queen.”
Describe Miss Toto’s aesthetics in three words and what competitive edge does Miss Toto bring to your body building competitions?
Gorgeous, powerful and hilarious. I am naturally a show-girl so being on stage, even in at these shows, it’s very similar so I know I have that advantage…in addition to my back pose being a show stopper.
A fundamental exercise from your “Build a Booty” program?
Barbell Hip Thrusts!
Are there any young queer athletes or artists that make you excited for the future?
Queer artists that I love watching are my daughters, FKATwink & Satana Rituals and my step-daughter, Morphine Love. Honest Henry is a growing queer photographer in Florida and he and I have worked closely on my in-drag and out of drag shoots but I love watching his work improve over time. His aesthetic is so unique and he has such an eye for beauty. Last but definitely not least is Devan Shimoyama. He does INCREDIBLE paintings and portraits and has even done some of me (one which is going in the Warhol Museum for a bit)!
Drag in mainstream pop culture is at it’s peak. What do you think the future of drag will look like?
I’m not really sure. For me, I’m just going to keep going with the flow and working my ass off and seeing what happens. I see queens stepping into other realms like creating makeup lines that are of actual quality, fashions, hair, etc. I think everyone will be doing drag to some extent in the future!
What would you graffiti on the back of a toilet door?