On September 3rd 2020, South Asians across the country had a reason to celebrate, as Drag Queen Priyanka hailing from Toronto created history.
Priyanka is the first ever queen to win Canada’s Drag Race, and her title brings multiple other big wins, including an increase in Queer POC representation on mainstream shows.
2020 was the opening season of Canada’s Drag Race, and amazingly, a person of Indo-Carribean descent took home the national title. This was a special moment, as it was the first time in the entire history of the Rupaul Drag Race franchise that an Indian person won -- taking home a crown along with $100,000.
As if things couldn’t get any better, Priyanka wore a gorgeous white and red lehenga in the final episode, which served looks as well as highlighted the striking beauty of South Asian culture and fashion.
Throughout the duration of the show, Priyanka would ask, “What’s my name?” and the finale revealed that Priyanka did this so “people would know there is an Indo-Caribbean, West Indian queen coming on stage.”
Priyanka consistently made it known that her goal was to show that “a girl named Priyanka can be successful.”
Her fierce personality and confidence has helped her to win not only this competition, but also be voted Toronto’s Best Queen in Now’s annual reader poll in 2019, and win numerous other drag titles including Miss Crews and Tangos 2018-19, and Woody’s Queen of Halloween in 2018
However, at a certain point in time, Priyanka’s drag persona was kept a secret, and she became the self acclaimed “Hannah Montana of Canada.”
Priyanka dabbled in drag alongside maintaining her television personality as Mark Sukunan, a.k.a. Mark Suki. Does that name sound familiar? You probably remember it from YTV’s The Zone and The Next Star, where Priyanka was a television host.
Priyanka states in an interview with Flare Magazine that she gets messages from her YTV fans saying “they grew up watching the show and now the person they watched as a host in their childhood is a drag queen,” and “it’s so cool.”
It’s vital to see Queer POC being recognized and validated on a large platform, as it paves the way for continued representation and shows that everyone has a place in this world.
On September 18, Priyanka alongside 10 other RuPaul Drag Race contestants, including Canadian season 1 finalists Rita Baga and Scarlett BoBo, will be taking part in a tour across Canada. Starting in Calgary, and stopping over in Toronto, Saskatoon, and Montreal, “Canada’s Drag Race: Live at the Drive-In!” will definitely be one to remember!