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Beyond the Norm: Ana Spiral's Journey in Defying Drag Stereotypes

A drag queen with red hair shows her big smile to the audience

In the realm of drag, Ana Spiral defies stereotypes, challenging norms, and sharing a unique journey that transcends conventional boundaries. This interview delves into the challenges faced during Ana's drag transformation, navigating the complexities of being a queen born in a female body and presenting as female. Breaking away from traditional perceptions, Ana Spiral emerges as an empowering force, providing a platform to express diverse aspects of identity and share impactful stories. From the behind-the-scenes camaraderie during the Drag Heals journey to the birthplace of Ana Spiral as a character, this conversation offers a glimpse into the nuanced world of drag that goes beyond the spotlight, offering authenticity, self-discovery, and laughter.

What challenges have you faced during your drag transformation, and how have you overcome them?

I think one of the biggest hurdles for me was being a queen born in a female body and still presenting as female (some people call us hyper queens). There is little to no representation for us in the world of mainstream drag, but there are so many of us! I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be a drag queen for a long time because of this. I didn’t want to take up space in a community that wasn’t mine. But then I thought, well, I’m a non-binary queer person, and this is my community too. It helped to see other queens like me in the village in Toronto. I still get judged for how I am perceived sometimes, but I have been feeling much more secure recently.

How has drag provided a platform for you to express aspects of your identity or share important stories?

I was turned off by the idea of presenting in a feminine way for a long time and pushed away things that would make people see me as a girl. But there were elements of that I really missed. I now know that gender is fluid and doesn’t have to be one thing or the other. I can still be non-binary and have an appreciation and a draw to feminine things. Ana Spiral helped me decipher that. She was an outlet for femininity in a safe way that helped me better understand who I am and my own gender identity. She is a place where I can play with the parts of womanhood/girlhood that I still deeply resonate with, even as someone who doesn’t identify as a woman.

Can you share a behind-the-scenes moment or a lesson you've learned during the Drag Heals journey that viewers might not be aware of?

One of my favourite parts of this process was how much fun the cast and crew were having together off-camera. There were nights when the whole cast would go perform at an open stage and just experience each other’s drag and support each other. I really felt like we were a team working on building each other up. And on set between takes, we were always having so much fun. Everyone was so supportive and sweet, and I felt so taken care of during the process. It was so nice to be able to mingle with such a fun group and get to know some really lovely people. I can be a little nervous in large groups of new folks, but by the end of day one, I was so comfortable on set that I didn’t feel those nerves in the same way.

What inspired the creation of your drag persona, and how does it reflect your personal identity or artistic vision?

Honestly, one day I saw a meme that said, “God sends his toughest battles for his sluttiest clowns,” and that was the birthplace of Ana Spiral. I had known I wanted to do drag for a while but wasn’t sure what my niche was. I’m not super versed in exuding the confidence and unapologetic sexuality that so many queens pride themselves on. And I didn’t know how to channel that. But one thing I do know is how to be silly goofy. So I loved this idea of taking a clown (the most unsexy thing I can imagine) and making her slutty. I think that’s so ridiculous and hilarious. But it’s also helped me feel more attractive in and out of drag because even if I’m a clown, the two fundamental qualities of Ana are clown and sexy. So I simply have to be both, or Ana can’t exist. She has really helped me on my journey of getting to know and love myself better.

Is there a specific drag queen or performer who has influenced your style and performance? How have they impacted your drag journey?

Jinkx Monsoon is a big one for me. She showed me that drag can open doors to so many things. You can sing, perform on Broadway, do comedy, write your own shows, and do it all in a wig and heels. I was really fascinated by how being a character instead of myself as Callan would influence me as a performer, and it has made me so much more confident on stage. I feel like I get to let my guard down a bit and still do all the things I love. Seeing how Jinkx has been so praised for this made me feel validated in my own style of drag performance, even if it isn’t the one we see most frequently right now.


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