Christopher Hamblin, the husband of celebrated drag queen Latrice Royale, discusses what it’s like being married to one of the biggest stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, navigating life in the spotlight and launching his new show all about the partners of drag queens, called All The Queens Men.
In 2012, Drag Race fans across the world were introduced to the incomparable Latrice Royale, who dazzled audiences with her warm persona, witty one-liners and unforgettable performances.
Latrice went on to star (twice) in RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, firmly cementing her place as one of the show’s most beloved cast members.
Eight years ago, Latrice (Timothy Wilcots) began dating musician Christopher, who would go on to become her executive personal assistant and a pillar of support for her behind the scenes.
Now married, and with years of experience under his belt assisting his partner at numerous shows and on transatlantic tours, Christopher is launching a new programme, All The Queens Men, offering Drag Race fans a fascinating insight into the realities of being married to a famous drag queen.
During a recent chat with Metro.co.uk over Zoom, Christopher recalled first meeting Latrice during one of her drag performances in Knoxville, Tennessee, when he stepped in to help assist with a meet-and-greet which ‘wasn’t going very well’.
As the music director at a gay church in the city and the artistic director of the Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus, he felt it was important that Knoxville left a good impression on Latrice, which is why he decided to lend a helping hand.
Christopher admitted that while he and Latrice started flirting at the event, he didn’t take Latrice’s advances ‘seriously at first’.
‘And now here we are, eight years later, married,’ he added with a smile.
Christopher was already a fan of Drag Race before meeting Latrice, looking up to several former contestants as sources of inspiration.
‘I had been at a really low point in my life when the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race began,’ Christopher said.
‘When I started seeing people like Ongina and Jujubee and Manila Luzon and Raja being so fully out and themselves, it was very inspirational to me in Tennessee at that time.’
Having first met Latrice at a drag show, their relationship came full circle in 2016, when Latrice proposed to Christopher at a show during Seattle Pride, the audience screaming with excitement as the drag queen got down on one knee.
A video of the proposal was posted on YouTube, garnering more than 328,000 views.
Not only was the proposal a spectacular show of love, but it was also a particularly poignant moment, as it took place shortly after the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, where 49 people at the gay nightclub – including a friend of Christopher and Latrice – were killed.
‘It was very emotionally overwhelming at the time. But it also came at a time right after we had lost a good friend of ours in the Pulse Orlando shooting,’ Christopher said.
‘I felt like at that moment, our world needed some good news. And my husband has impeccable timing. He knew exactly when to do that, and so I was really honoured to be a part of something that meant something to some people.’
Christopher added that gay marriage was ‘kind of new at that time’, having become legalised across the US a year earlier.
‘It was a very new concept to my mother, who had not yet really gotten to know Tim or Latrice, and so that definitely took some sorting out,’ the musician recalled.
However, by the time their nuptials came around in September 2018, Christopher’s mother ‘definitely walked down the aisle and was overplanning our wedding for us’, he stated.
Being in relationship with someone who is in the spotlight can be a daunting prospect. One of the most important things you need to do if you find yourself in a similar situation, Christopher stressed, is to ‘really know who you are in yourself’ and to not feel insecure by the lack of attention you may receive.
‘You have to sort of have your own idea of yourself. You really can’t look to the scene to provide you any of your self-confidence,’ he said.
‘You have to know who you are – that you’re going to be Mr Royale – and that nobody really cares that you’re there. You’re going to have to elbow teenage girls out of your way at meet-and-greets, and sometimes that’s going to be your experience. You’ve got to really be able to know who you are in yourself.’
A few years ago, Christopher came up with an innovative idea to connect with other partners of drag queens going through similar experiences to him. And so, a ‘secret Facebook group for boyfriends, husbands and assistants of famous drag queens’ was created.
While Christopher admitted the group initially started off ‘as a joke’, it eventually became a ‘sort of support group’, which consequently led to the creation of All The Queens Men.
He explained that while the members of the group ‘didn’t get to spend a lot of time together in real life’, they know each other’s lives ‘very well’ because they work with the ‘same venues and face a lot of the same challenges’.
‘So I started it sort of as a joking support group, but in truth it really was. And out of that was born the idea that maybe we could share these stories on a little bit of a broader scale,’ Christopher said.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Christopher has created All The Queens Men, a show produced entirely throughout lockdown, which sees him interview fellow partners of famous drag queens about their lives.
In an exclusive clip shared by Metro.co.uk, Christopher can be seen chatting with Mic J Rez, otherwise known as Mr Manila Luzon, and CeeJay Russell, otherwise known as Mr Ginger Minj, about how they’ve been spending the past few months at home with their spouses.
Quarantining at home definitely hasn’t stopped Christopher from being productive. Having recently launched a single Give Me A Holler, he and Latrice are currently preparing for a virtual Christmas show, a revival of a production called Why It Gotta Be White Christmas? which Latrice performed a few years ago at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York City.
As busy as they are, Christopher is evidently enormously proud of the work he does to help elevate Latrice’s platform as one of Drag Race’s biggest stars, describing being her partner as a ‘unique experience’.
‘I think being Latrice’s partner is very specific, because even though there are a lot of very talented [queens] from the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise and otherwise, I think that there is no other Latrice Royale,’ he stated.
‘Being able to help amplify that voice has been one of the greatest joys of my life.’
All The Queens Men premieres exclusively on WOW Presents Plus every Monday at 8pm GMT from 23rd November. Subscribe now for as little as £3.49 p/month and check out some of the fabulous additional content on the leading LGBTQ+ streaming service here.