This Dominican-American diva is perhaps best known as one fourth of the hostess team of “Oh Yes,” a popular show at Boxers Washington Heights and later Instagram. Stylish, sexy, and smart, Roqué was born to be a queen… she didn’t even have to change her name! [Cover photo: Jubilee Rogue]
Thotyssey: Hello Ms Roqué, how are we today in this snowy, post-Valentines reality?
Roqué: She’s doing lovely, gal. She’s enjoying herself some 50% off boxes of chocolate (if y’all haven’t gotten y’all some, go do so immediately) and pink moscato–a must for this girl. I do have to say, all tea and it’s going to sound so sappy, but I’m happy. She might not have gotten a good stickin’ (yet!), but she’s got her good judies by her side, and this amazing sisterhood of drag to keep her laughing. That’s more than enough to me.
That’s the best that most of us can hope for in these crazy times… although frankly, things are looking up! NYC is opening a bit, and Rush Limbaugh is dead!
I couldn’t agree more. It’s truly the little things now a days, appreciate every single thing, mi amores.
And are you excited for vaccines?
As I tell everyone who asks me: once I have the opportunity to get it, I’m there first in line with my bum out ready to get that shot. I (and I think most people reading this, would agree) am ready to go out and just get my life. There’s no occasion I’ll be skipping out on from here on out, just know that.
So there’s lots to discuss, but first thing’s first: the origin story! Where are you from originally?
Oh yes, let’s get into it. Roqué is a lovely beauty from the island of the Dominican Republic, home of merengue, platanos and one Kandy Muse. [I came here] at a really young age, unfortunately… I don’t recall my time back on the island. But I grew up in Washington Heights, which is basically the Dominican Republic: the ReUp! And “Roqué” is actually my government name. Why would one get themselves a drag name when their name is that fierce? I thank my mom and pops for that one everyday.
What were you into, growing up?
How she came to be in the geish of it all: I’ve always been obsessed with fashion, hands down. A huge part of me having gotten into drag was that love for clothing. I truly wanted to be those girls in the magazines–and once I had the opportunity to be a glamour girl, I took it. Plus, being on stage is pretty dope. I do like to turn a party, I definitely do.
Do you remember your first time on a stage in drag, and your first ever number?
Yes. Yes I do. The night was June 10th, 2018. And it was at Drag Wars, hosted by one Shequida Hall. It was such an amazing night! I, of course, show up with my glam squad behind me–that being my good, good, good Judy and fellow #271 on the tHOTlist, Jubilee Rogue–and I’m sure I came off like the biggest diva, but I was such a nervous wreck. Before I got on, Ana Valbanana gave me the best piece of advice: shake it off and have fun. So I went out and did so–to a “Be Alright” from Ariana Grande / Cupcakke mashup. I happened to have came in second that evening to the one and only Vinny Gaga, a good good sister of mine to this very day. So what if I didn’t win $100? I won in a sister. That day truly solidified in me that this is something I wanted to pursue.
You and Jubilee joined forces with two other Drag Wars regulars, Boyish Charm and Blue, to form the cast of “Oh Yes,” a weekly show at Boxers Washington Heights! How fun were those days, and how much does it suck that Boxers WH is not reopening?
I couldn’t be happier of the little collective that we formed. We all come from the Bronx, a borough that’s so underrepresented in the NYC drag community (the only names that come to mind before us were Kandy, Catrina Lovelace and Magenta–all icons, by the way), so we made it a mission to show that there’s just as much talent in this borough as in any other.
But when it comes to “Oh Yes,” I think we can all say, we miss it so much. We miss our regulars more than anything; we really did make a special little haven for people on those Saturday nights. Oh, it sucks. Like, it suck-sucks. But as things start to get better, we can only hope that “Oh Yes” will return, ’cause we miss our family so much (we don’t use the word fans in this house, diva).
For a while during lockdown, the four of you were doing Instagram Live editions of “Oh Yes.” That was fun to watch, but I bet in the early months of Covid–when you were all in separate locations signing in and out of Insta Live (which frequently bumps off shows doing licensed music anyways)–it all must’ve been a tremendous difficulty to keep up with.
The moment lockdown happened, we made a promise to each other to keep the show going, and I’m so proud we pushed ourselves to do just that. Of course, the “Live” of it all was such an annoyance, but we just wanted to be there for our family every Saturday night… and we are eternally grateful that they kept us afloat for as long as they did. We were at it for quite some time, too: giving lights, backdrops, smoke machines, mixes, and of course bringing our sisters on board so they could join in on the fun and make some coin. I truly couldn’t have been prouder of us for making our little space in the digital realm.
And we still see you all pop up in various digital shows! Take Friday: yourself and Rayne will be on YouTube hosting a tribute to Kali Uchis. Blue, Essence, Jack Rabbit Slims, Fantasia & Stasi will all be in the cast as well.
Oh, I couldn’t be happier to be coming back from a little break (I grew a beard and had eyebrows again, can you believe) to pay tribute to such a rising star in the music industry that’s so unapologetically latina. I think the cast that Rayne and myself managed to curate for this show represents that, entirely–we are unapologetically proud to be latinx girls in this community. When I tell you, I love each and every one of these performers! Baby, they are the ticket, and I look forward to the day I get to share an actual stage with them. Y’all are in for a show, that’s all I’m saying!
Anything else coming up for you?
At this moment, no; opportunities aren’t exactly there for most us girls. But I will say, I am in awe of the resilience of our community. We are making opportunities for ourselves. I truly tip my wig to all the girls making it happen right now. Keep up with the lives and the digital shows, mi amores, ’cause we will be back soon. I just know it.
But most definitely, follow my Instagram (she’s got her home studio now so good content is coming out); get your styled wigs from @jubileerogue; keep your eyes out for content from @boyishcharmnyc, @rayne.nyc and @sheisblue_ and any other girl mentioned in this interview. Book @stasisucks for all your photoshoot needs!
I of course need to ask about Drag Race. Any thoughts on this nutty current season (or seasons, if you’re following UK)… and I’m gonna guess you are on Team Kandy?
I am such a huge fan of both seasons airing at the moment. We are truly living in a Drag Race renaissance, and it’s a marvel to watch. From the lip sync showdowns to Ginny walking off stage, it’s gaggy moment after gaggy moment. I love, love, love Kandy– I am and forever will be grateful that she’s on that platform, representing not just la Dominicanas, but us curvy girls who love to serve a look. I am also Team Olivia Lux! That’s a very good Judy of mine. and of course, Symone–must I say more?
I think Sherry Pie made her bed and she should truly lie in it. I can understand why some people would want to know what went on in her mind as she committed these horrible things towards these men, but I’m not one of them. She did what she did–it was horrid, horrid, horrid, and there’s truly no atoning for that. I feel for her victims who had to deal with her getting a platform to spew out an apology. Show them a ton of love, for sure.
Heard! Okay, last question that I’m asking everyone: what’s the first real world, “regular person” activity that you can’t wait to do again when the covid crisis is behind us?
This is going to be so left field after this glamour peek into my life, but… I want to get on a rollercoaster with all my sisters. I want to go to Six Flags with all the girls, and get on every ride imaginable.
Perfection! Thanks, Roqué!