There was a COVID-19 outbreak among some of Canada’s most high-profile drag queens.
During an appearance this week on comedian Nicole Byer’s podcast “Why Won’t You Date Me,” Canada’s Drag Race season one winner Priyanka, whose out of drag name is Mark “Suki” Suknanan, revealed that she had COVID-19 earlier this year — and she says she got it from a fellow queen.
“I got COVID because Brooke Lynn Hytes gave me COVID,” she said, before joking that “white people ruin everything.”
The pair toured across Canada earlier this year after the show’s first season. Hytes appeared on season 11 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and was one of three judges on the Canadian version of the reality competition series. Alongside several other queens from the show, they participated in drive-in shows.
Hytes tested positive in late September after finding out she had been in contact with “a few” people with COVID-19 and did not participate in the show’s last few episodes.
Priyanka said she had no symptoms, but her partner at the time had “all the symptoms.” The Toronto-based queen warned that she was lucky to come out it the way she did, and reminded everyone that it’s important to follow COVID-19 safety guidance.
“Put your f**king mask on and wash your hands. I’m lucky I didn’t get bad symptoms. I have asthma too, so I could have been not like Canada’s Drag Race Superstar, I could have been dead on the floor,” she said. “You don’t know how it’s going to hit you, you don’t know how it’s going to hit your parents. There are so many things that can go wrong.
“I feel like people, when they go out into the world fearless as f**k, they’re like ‘maybe I’ll just be asymptomatic’ and like, why would you want to give it to someone?” Byer said.
“Put your f**king mask on and wash your hands.”
Priyanka is the first winner from RuPaul’s international franchise of Indian descent — specifically, its first Indo-Caribbean drag queen winner. During the podcast, the pair also discussed how the queen’s life has changed since winning the first season of “Canada’s Drag Race.”
She talked about how peoples’ embrace of her persona out of drag allowed her to believe in herself more and have more confidence.
“My life has changed in a way that I just believe in myself more, as me, as Mark,” she said.