RuPaul’s Drag Race: The Lost Season has reintroduced nine drag queens to the world. Today we are visiting with one of the nine contestants and one of the most talented dancers to have graced the Drag Race stage. Let’s get to know a little more about the multi-talented David Sotomayor, also known as Jade.
Abby: Jade, let’s go way back to the beginning. What was your childhood like?
Jade: It was pretty amazing. I was born and raised ’til 3rd grade in Chicago and I ended up moving to Puerto Rico. So I lived part of my life in the city and then the other part in the country. I’m an island boy. I was there from 3rd to 7th grade. It was amazing to me. I was able to have chickens as pets and bunnies. My best friend had a horse that I used to ride all of the time. So I got to experience that life. Then I moved back to Chicago and had the city life with the buses and trains. I’m grateful that I was able to be brought up that way because it has given me the ability to adapt in any surrounding.
Abby: How old were you when you first used makeup?
Jade: Well, that’s hard to say, because I’ve always been a fan of Halloween and so was my mother. She always had me dress up in all these crazy costumes. So me getting dressed up was just part of life and it was always my favorite thing to do. But if we are talking about female impersonation, I would have to say 13 or 14, and I did it for Halloween.
Abby: Was that your idea or somebody else’s?
Jade: Actually, it was my cousin’s idea. She wanted be like a Chicago old school mobster/gangster. So she wanted me to be her date, girl, with the whole curly hair and stuff like that. It was her idea, but I was all about it. I was still in the closet. I thought that it would be fun to step out of the box and do it. Get it out of my system without anyone really knowing.
Abby: Does that mean that you never dressed in your mother’s clothes as a kid?
Jade: Oh yeah. I would put towels over my head and be in the bathroom and try to put her pumps on. Yeah, of course I did all that, but whatever. Nobody ever saw me. Or I hope not at that time.
Abby: Speaking of your mom, how many are in your immediate biological family?
Jade: Well, my mom was married to my father and they had two kids. My older sister Melissa and me. Then they divorced and my father remarried and had three other kids. Two boys and a girl. We consider each other full blood. Other people do that half-brother stuff.
Abby: Speaking of your family, are you related to the Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor?
Jade: I don’t really know my Sotomayor family. I am assuming that we possibly are, because it is a very rare name, and we are from the same town. And most of my family lives in that town in Puerto Rico and in New York. But I am from Chicago. So I’m assuming, possibly. I will have to get on Family Ancestry dot com and check it out.
Abby: Throughout your life, who have you turned to for help and guidance?
Jade: My mother has always been my backbone. She has supported me in everything I have ever done. She just believes that I am like, everything. She gives me that confidence that has helped me overcome a lot of obstacles.
As it comes to a drag mother, I never really had a drag mother. My biggest influential person has always been Jennifer Lopez. I think she is amazing. Coming from a middle-class family and being able to follow her dreams and do it at such a big level has always given me the drive to continue to follow my dreams. It’s a crazy journey, but, I mean, it’s everything I ever hoped for.
Abby: Did you just do some acting for a TV show?
Jade: Yes. I was cast a couple months ago for this TV show called Deadly Affairs, which is going to air October 26, 2013, on Investigation Discovery. It’s a true love crime show where we reenact a crime scene but in a soap opera way. I got the lead roll, so I will be playing the murderer. It’s a little bit different than reality TV, but I totally, totally had a blast. I was able to act as myself as David and as a female impersonator. It’s narrated by Susan Lucci.
Abby: That’s exciting! We get to see you in and out of drag?
Jade: Yes, you do.
Abby: Are you excited that season 1 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is finally being replayed?
Jade: Yes. It’s amazing. I am so excited! So many people didn’t have the opportunity to watch it. To finally get it and see it now with the original girls and all that. We’re all traveling. We just got back from New York from the premier party. It was great to be back in action and just showing girls that we were the pioneers of this. We started it. So for them to see us is awesome. I loved the way they redid it and how Ru comes out in the little popup video. I think it’s amazing!
Abby: What were your favorite and least favorite challenges on the show?
Jade: The girl group challenge. I was in charge of the choreography. That was a little distressful because I had some girls that weren’t used to that dance style. I knew that if it didn’t work out, it was on me. It was stressful, so I didn’t get to enjoy it when I usually enjoy choreographing and doing those sorts of things. My favorite one was when we had to do each other’s makeup in 30 minutes and they had all of the mirrors covered. That one was fun because I was partnered up with Nina Flowers, who I completely adored. At that time I was still learning to do makeup. I remember she had no eyebrows and I had to draw them on. I had never done that before. She was so cool and she was like, “You got this! Do it.” I mean that is one of the things that I don’t know if people notice on season 1 is that we were really helping each other. We were trying to make sure that we did our best. We didn’t have time to be catty. We didn’t know what was going on. We were just really there to do our best and help each other through it. When I was there, Shannel gave me makeup tips. Tammie gave me makeup tips. We were all there to help each other, which I loved about our season.
Abby: What is your fondest moment of the Drag Race season?
Jade: Fondest. I guess when I won the makeup challenge. That was awesome, you know winning the challenge. It was a little bitter-sweet because it was the episode that I did get eliminated. I had such a great moment and then I was sent home. It was so sad. I still to this day disagree with my elimination.
Abby: On the show Akasha found you very attractive. Was that feeling mutual?
Jade: Well, the thing was that I didn’t really have a drag family. When I got on the show and I met all of these girls and I just wanted sisters. You know what I mean? I wasn’t in the whole dating thing. I was actually just getting out of a relationship. I was not even thinking about hooking up with anyone. No kai kai. None of that.
Abby: Did you keep any of the outfits you made on the show?
Jade: I have them all.
Abby: Wow. Are you going to keep them or will they be auctioned off at some point?
Jade: If it’s for the right cause and it’s something that I feel is definitely worthwhile, then of course. I usually try to do at least two benefits a month. I like to always give back. I think you have to pay it forward and that’s just how it works. I’m a strong believer in karma and I would not mind at all donating it for a good cause.
Abby: I’m going to move to fan questions. This one comes from Mariah Paris Balenciaga.
Jade: My sister!
Abby: How does it feel to be so desired as a man and as a fabulous queen?
Jade: Oh, she should know! Honestly, I’m really honored. I blush every time I see a tweet giving me all these amazing compliments. Yesterday they said the “Man Crush Monday” goes to Jade. All those things to me are still so unreal. I love that people are accepting me and embracing everything that I do. It’s an honor. It truly is.
Abby: The next question comes from Noreen Malarkey. What do you feel is the greatest legacy that the art of drag contributes to the world?
Jade: The message of being yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. Like Ru says, “You’re born naked and the rest is drag.” Everything you put on, it’s drag. It’s who you are. How you feel. To be able to be comfortable in your own skin is probably the best message that drag can give anyone.
Abby: Jarrold Gunn asks, “If you were asked to do Drag Race All Stars would you?”
Jade: Absolutely! I did Drag Race 5 years ago. In 5 years I have learned so much. It’s a blessing that people are getting to see me on Drag Race: The Lost Season. It would be even more of a blessing for them to see how I have evolved and what Drag Race has turned me into as an entertainer and as a performer. Now that I know what the Race is about I’d feel comfortable and be prepared to knock everybody’s socks off!
Abby: Are you single?
Jade: Yes I am. I am very much single! I’ve actually been single since my season aired. So it’s about time. I need to get some dates. Does anybody want to take me on a date?
Abby: You know when this goes out there you will be bombarded!
Jade: I’m taking offers!
Abby: I want to know if we will see you dance on the Drag Stars at Sea cruise?
Jade: Well yes. Absolutely. They actually caught me last year dancing on the cruise. They filmed me and put it on Youtube. I’m so excited this year. I’m like ecstatic. I’m celebrating my 30th birthday on the boat so I would not want to celebrate it anywhere else. It’s going to be a blast! We’re also celebrating Al and Chuck getting married. It’s going to be fun.
Abby: And you’ll be traveling with season 5 contestant Monica Beverly Hillz on the cruise?
Jade: Yes I will. That’s my best friend for over 20 years. She was actually the girl who called me to audition for season 1. We’ve been going through this journey together for a while now. RuPaul’s Drag Race is kind of like a sorority and we all really take care of each other. To actually have my real sister be there with me, it’s just amazing!
There is still time to sign up for the cruise. If you guys haven’t signed up sign up under me. It’s definitely that one event I look forward to every year. You get to hang out with all of us. You think that 8 days on a boat with a bunch of crazy drag queens is too much but it’s not. The cruise ends and you are still left wanting more. It’s amazing! So definitely sign up under Jade Sotomayor and have a blast!
Abby: What is your favorite memory of the last cruise?
Jade: The performances were amazing. I mean like Morgan McMichaels that’s definitely one of the performances that I remember. I got goose bumps. She impersonates Pink and she did such an amazing job. So did Mariah. That girl was twerking and rolling around on that floor. Carmen Carrera could not have looked any more body beautiful. You have the cream of the crop with these RuPaul’s Drag Race girls performing for you. It was a great, great, great show and a great time!
Abby: Jade, I am looking forward to seeing you on Deadly Affairs on October 26 and on the Drag Stars at Sea cruise November 30 to December 7, 2013. Thank you so much for visiting with me today.
Jade: My pleasure.
To find out more about Jade Sotomayor on Facebook