Drag performer and one of the contestants of the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Elektra Fence, chatted to us ahead of her performance at The Great Estate Festival from 2-5 June. We talk pride, heroes, bad advice, and of course, the electric fence that started it all…

 

We’re chatting ahead of your appearance at this summer’s Great Estate Festival, what can we expect from your performance?

Expect the unexpected. Expect me to make people laugh and to have fun along with the audience. I’m going to be dancing, I’m going to be kicking, I’m going to be splitting, I’m going to be slipping… I’m doing it all.

 

Do you like the festival vibe?

Oh my God yes! I just read that it’s 10,000 seat capacity so I’m going to have so much fun. I love the atmosphere of the festival and The Great Estate Festival looks incredible it looks like it’s going to be so much. I can’t wait to be in Madame Wong’s House of Wrong.

 

As atmospheric as they can be, UK festivals do often come with a little bit of mud and just general grimness. What’s your worst festival experience?

That’s a good question. I once lost my shoe in the mud and had to carry on with the festival with no shoes. I just had the dirtiest socks – imagine it, like the mud going into your toes. Ew.

 

When and how did you first get into drag?

I started drag in 2014 when I worked in a bar, it was a Eurovision night and they asked us to dress up in drag and I was like yeah sure. The manager loved me so much when I was in drag that he gave me a slot one night a week at a bar in Soho and ever since then it’s just started, and it’s not stopped. It’s been so much fun and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

You acquired your name, from a viral video of you getting struck by an electric fence – would you ever create a look inspired by the fence that struck you or do you have a difficult relationship with it?

Me and that fence… we are still in a relationship, we’re good friends still. Maybe that fence will make an appearance soon, you never know. That fence could be a look actually that’s a good idea – oh my god I could go cut the fence down and use that material.

 

That would be iconic. 

I don’t know how I’d turn the fence off though.

 

You have to credit me for that look if you use it.

I will, I will credit you don’t worry.

 

What makes you most proud?

What makes me proud is where I’ve come from. My parents inspire me so much – they’ve never taken the word no, they’re fighters that’s where I get it from. I’m also proud so to be in the LGBTQIA+ community, they have done a lot for me, and I want to do a lot for them too because we need to keep fighting. The fight’s not over, we have to keep fighting for what’s right.

 

Especially because of everything that has been coming out recently about the trans conversion therapy…

Exactly. I went to the protest the other day on Downing Street in London and it was amazing, I think around 3,000 people turned up and we fought and it was beautiful. I saw a lot of friends there which was lovely. There was me Charity Case, Ella, and we were all just fighting for what’s right because we’re all a family, including the trans community. There’s no ban unless we ban conversion therapy for trans people as well, it needs to be stopped. I think it’s so stupid that in this day and age, the government do this kind of thing – why can’t we allow people to just be themselves?

 

Who is your hero?

My mum is my hero. From day one when she was born in 1950 the doctors said to my grandma, “You may as well put her away and throw away the key, she’ll be nothing in life because she’s disabled.” My mum was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors told my grandma she “didn’t need this in her life.” My mum proved those doctors wrong by having three able-bodied boys, I’m doing this for her. I’m doing this to prove those people wrong. She just inspires me she’s always proved people wrong because she’s a fighter and I get that from her.

Is she a big fan?

Oh god yeah, she loves it. She loved Victoria Sponge – I think she prefers Victoria Sponge to me! Which is sad…

 

Are you planning to attend lots of pride events this summer, and do you have a favourite or a recommendation for our readers?

I’m going to be at most pride events. I’m doing a show at Worthing pride so that one’s going to be the best one because I’ll be there. I’m going to the pride awards in Manchester, I’m waiting for London pride to book me, but I’ll be there. I’ll be at all of them. I want to be there because we’ve got to do it – it’s what matters.

 

What else has 2022 got in store for Elektra Fence?

Well, I’ve got quite a lot coming up. I’m doing my Hoopla, I’m hosting a Proud City event at Proud Cabaret in London which is every Saturday so come along. I’ve got the Drag Race tour coming up, and you can expect some music coming from me… actually you can expect everything. This is the best year of my life because without drag race I wouldn’t be doing this.

 

What’s the best and worst piece of advice you have ever been given?

The best advice is never say no. I’m a grafter; when I was a kid, I had a paper round and my side hustle was selling crisps at school, so I’ve always been like, ‘gotta make money, gotta keep going.’ Also though, I’m a big believer in standing up for people because at school I was bullied and I didn’t have people to stand up for me. Always stand up for what’s right and use whatever platform you have. I’m working with some charities that I stand by like Scope (a disability equality charity) and Terrance Higgins Trust (a British charity that campaigns about and provides services relating to HIV and sexual health). If you’ve got a platform, use it for what’s right – it’s not just about looking pretty.

The worst advice I’ve been given is probably ‘Stop acting like a girl.’ That was from a teacher at school – I got an apology from him in the end, but he pinned me up against the wall and said, ‘You’ll never be anything with the way you act, (meaning gay).’ I went to an all-boys Catholic school so you can imagine.

 

I went to an all-girls catholic school, so I can definitely imagine!

Oh, right well you’ll know what I mean then. He told me that ‘I would never get anywhere in life, so stop acting like a girl.’ I was like okay; I’m going act like a girl even more now. Look at me now… I think he’s dead now. My mum and my cousin went into the school, and they went off and made him write a letter of apology and they got him suspended. I proved him wrong and through ‘acting like a girl’, I’ve got a platform to do the right things with.

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