Yuhua Hamasaki: “I’m still in the competition. Every week I just morph into a different piece of furniture. I’m still in the work room. I was never eliminated!” (Photo by Preston Burford)

Yuhua Hamasaki, the Asian sensation from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, will be bringing her talents to Splash Bar in Panama City on Saturday, July 14. Just after the taping of the reunion show, we sat down with Yuhua for this exclusive Hotspots interview.

At what age did drag become an interest?

I used to be scared of drag queens. My Asian culture taught me that drag queens were mentally ill. When I finally experienced drag, I fell in love with it.

How did you pick your name?

Yuhua is my given name, and I really admire the Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, so I took her last name.

How many times did you apply to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race?

I auditioned three times.

How did it feel when you found out you had been chosen?

It felt amazing! Thousands of girls try out for the show.

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Do you feel additional pressure now that RuPaul’s Drag Race has been on for nine seasons plus three season of All Stars?

Yes, because every year the competition gets stronger and tougher. You always want to do better than the girls before you.

Tell us about your Drag Race experience.

It was a lot of hard work. But I’m very grateful for the opportunity. It’s been very rewarding.

What’s your marital status?

I am very single.

What are you looking for in a man?

I’m looking for someone funny, someone I can relate to.

Tell us something people would be surprised to find out about you.

I’m not a real woman.

How was the taping of the reunion? 

It was fun! It was excellent to see Ru and the rest of girls together in one room again. It’s been forever! It brought back so much nostalgia.

Who do you want to win Drag Race and why? 

Myself! I’m delusional! I’m still in the competition. Every week I just morph into a different piece of furniture. I’m still in the work room. I was never eliminated!

You describe yourself as gender-fluid. Can you explain that for my readers?

For centuries and centuries, society has constructed two genders, male and female, and assigned duties to each of those genders. But not too long ago we learned about transgender, which is transitioning to the other gender.

Gender fluidity is a subject most people have not tapped into, but those who identify as gender-fluid have been around forever. Gender fluidity is when someone can shift between genders depending on how they’re feeling that day, hour, or even moment.

A lot of people get gender and drag confused: Gender is who I am, and drag is what I do. A lot of people wonder whether someone other than a cis-gender male can do drag? The answer is yes. Anyone can do drag: females, transgender, and even gender-fluid and gender-neutral people.

How did “The Ankh Song” come about and how do you feel about the response?

“The Ankh Song” was based on an outfit I made for Drag Race. The song is supposed to be silly and stupid. It’s not supposed to be like Beyoncé or Madonna. It’s a parody of commercials and music videos — and other Drag Race girls who have released videos!

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What should our readers expect from your show at Splash Bar?

As always, a high-energy fierce performance. But when I’m on the mic, I’m a funny person. It shows that I can be serious but also not take myself too seriously when it comes to drag. I’m the first person to make fun of myself because laughter is the best medicine.

It’s my first time in Panama City, and I cannot wait to meet everyone there!

What does the future hold for Yuhua? 

I want to continue traveling the world and performing. Before Drag Race, the farthest I’d ever traveled was New Jersey. Now I get to go places I’ve never been before, and I am very thankful.

I also want to inspire people. When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher. And now that I’m older and given this amazing platform, I want to educate and inspire people to do whatever they want in life. I want people to be who they are; regardless of what society and people tell them. Drag has given me the confidence and happiness I have now, and I want to share that knowledge.

Follow Yuhua Hamasaki on Instagram @YuhuaHamasaki. You can catch her on Saturday, July 14 at Splash Bar (6520 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach). For info: splashbarflorida.com.