Inspiring Lessons From "Drag Race PH" Alum Eva Le Queen
At the recent She Talks Asia Summit 2023, the "Drag Race Philippines" Season 1 finalist and Drag Playhouse PH founder shared some lessons to live by
Drag Race Philippines Season 1 finalist and Drag Playhouse PH founder Eva Le Queen took center stage as she carved out some life lessons from her bunker of experiences. At the 2023 She Talks Asia summit last March 25 at The Globe Tower, BGC, the drag queen graced the event as one of the speakers. She used the platform to share her stories and spark relevant conversations about gender, women empowerment, and doing things with intent and integrity.
Along with She Talks Asia founders Iza Calzado, Bianca Gonzalez, and Lynn Pinugu and other inspiring women from various platforms, Eva participated in holding a safe space for women and allies to continue birthing progressive ideas and beliefs through a collective exchange of intimate and insightful life encounters through her segment “Life Lessons From a Queen.”
During her segment, she shared tips on how to be a queen. Eva Le Queen talked about self-worth, sharing this eye-opening quote: “No one will ever hate you with the same intensity as you hate yourself. That is why you should take your time to build your self-worth.”
She went on to share three things on how to build self-worth: “First, you do things with integrity. Integrity is the concept of doing things that you say you will do... When you say 'no' to something, you say it with firmness and sureness. No is a no...
“No. 2: you do things with excellence. Now excellence, to put it bluntly, is you trying to do things right. You always try to do the right thing. Easier said than done, pero you know, when you try to do it one step at a time, you will come up with a better sense of self. ” Eva Le Queen cited her lyrics from the song “Pop Off Ate!” (“The things you can't do are not the things that define you”), saying “So the question is, what are you defined with then? You are defined by the things that you choose to do... you are defined by your choice to do the right thing in every way, in every action... that is excellence. Always try to do your best every time. Do what is right. Why? Why is it important to do that? Sabi nga ni Oprah, 'Let excellence be your brand.'
“Last but not the least, you do things with intent... Find the purpose in your heart and nothing can stop you... So I encourage all of you to always be aware and be clear of why you do what you do.”
“Probably, I don’t even know of another drag queen who’s been invited because of what they have to say rather than the performance. Normally, we’re invited because they want to see us perform pero to be in a summit—in a plenary like this—na people are looking forward to what you have to say about female empowerment, women empowerment… parang feeling ko, I’m breaking glass ceilings,” Eva shared with Metro.Style.
“It’s an honor talaga to be here, to be able to share my piece of consciousness. This is something that we never did before—we rarely do—so to be acknowledged, to be even considered to be someone that has something valuable to share is already a big win. I did it with pride and honor talaga on behalf of my drag sisters,” the queen continued, highlighting that gracing the She Talks events as a speaker is such a jewel that she will treasure.
In a sit-down talk with Metro.Style, also, Eva imparted a handful of personal life lessons that she has earned throughout her drag pursuits. Scroll down to read more about our chit-chat with the drag queen:
1. Always look your best.
Being a drag queen requires a lot of witchcraft—mixing and matching tops and bottoms, fitting into corsets, accessorizing from head to toe, and other excruciating details that none of us really go through on an everyday basis. From heavy up-dos to feet-crushing footwear, mastering the tricks to look their absolute best comes with a price: time.
“I really want to make sure na buo, walang kulang—not a nail out of place. Dapat laging buo, mabango,” she continued, revealing that she would usually take at least three hours to doll up and get everything done—from toying with cosmetics to layering up for a dress-to-impress mentality.
Every piece of garment from a queen’s wardrobe is tagged as “fashionable,” and Eva is no exception to the rule. “For me, I want to take my time kasi now. Hindi na siya katulad kasi before na you go to a club and minsan kahit hindi pantay ’yung kilay mo, okay lang,” she reasoned out, when asked about her usual getting-ready routine.
“Sometimes, now, we are seen on TV, and alam mo ’yun, patuloy tayo sa advocacy to elevate the level of drag in the Philippines,” she said, putting emphasis on how an overall look becomes the overall package. “Just every stroke talaga is already work. It’s art and it’s work and it needs focus,” she added, telling us that she is fond of listening to instrumental music, too, and avoids any distraction whenever she’s working on a look.
“‘Diffuse Negative Energy’—’yun ’yung pangalan ng playlist [na pinakikinggan ko] sa Spotify. Before I go to shows, I need calm as I do makeup,” she told us.
2. You’ll never know when someone will be inspired by the things that you do.
On the subject of standout fan encounters, Eva Le Queen swam deeper in her thoughts. Suffice to say, with more than 60,000 followers on her Instagram account alone, Eva has generated a significant social media following. It turns out, though, that it is not only in cyberspace that she has accrued such a number, but in the real world as well.
As to what fan experience is her most unforgettable, she replied: “There are a lot. You know, when people write to me, I keep them in a tin can. Nandu’n lahat ng letters. Mayru’n akong parang shrine,” she shared with us. “One—probably—that stood out to me was Ray.” A woman that she met last year while she was in Cebu, Ray is the one fan that the drag queen will always save a spot for in her heart.
“Ray has kasi [a] brain tumor and for the two times that I’ve performed, she [would] always cry. Hindi ko naman alam ’yung background niya. I realized na what she was going through—she is in physical pain all the time pero makikipagsiksikan pa ’yan para lang pumunta du’n sa concert just to see me,” Eva narrated, mentioning that Ray even went to Manila recently just to catch her in a show.
“I checked on her. She told me na her doctor said that they will not do the operation on her because the complications might lower the chances of survival,” she continued. “For me, why [do] I do what I do? Self-serving siya in a sense, e. I do what I do because I want to live my best life,” she persisted.
“I want to live my life na wala akong pagsisisihan, na-try ko lahat—na-try ko ’yung mga teleserye; na-try ko ’yung ‘Drag Race.’ I do things with intent and talagang I want to live my best life,” said the The Write One star. “To know na in doing so, you are also giving ’yung mga taong nanonood pala sa’yo [ng inspirasyon]. Hindi mo alam kung sino ’yung na-i-inspire mo and by doing your best, you’re also giving others permission to do and live their best life kasi nakikita ka nila, e.”
“Imagine, someone in pain? Na-o-overcome ’yung pain because of the inspiration na ibinibigay mo,” Eva Le Queen pointed out. She also took it as a responsibility to make sure that in each act she does—in each stage performance—she doesn’t give anything less. “Sayang naman ’yung chance. Ang dami nang nanonood sa’yo.”
Although she sometimes doubts herself and is clueless of how she can affect somebody else’s life, Eva confronts her fears with her head held high, doing her best with all her might. “Ano bang ginawa kong tama? But then, whether you understand it or not, you inspire people. So, you just keep doing it.”
3. Choose happiness.
Nowadays, choosing happiness over a multitude of emotions may seem quite selfish and would most likely only benefit ourselves, but to Eva, being happy is at the core of being human.
“Today, I choose to be happy. That’s happiness,” she mulled things over, when asked what her favorite self-affirmation statement is. “When you choose to be happy, you realize that your happiness—hindi ’yan naka-depende sa circumstances; hindi ’yan naka-depende sa pera na mayru’n ka at this moment,” she laid down.
“Naka-depende siya, ultimately, on the choice that you make. And when you’ve already made that decision, you will be happy and nothing can ruin that,” the queen said.
Lead photos from @eva_lequeen