Tia Kofi explains why her Drag Race UK win is ‘significant’ for the franchise

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World season two winner and Queen of Clapham Tia Kofi has reflected on becoming the first person of colour to snatch Drag Race UK crown.

Last week, the 33-year-old drag queen and “Read My Lips” singer fought off competition from Hannah Conda, Marina Summers, and La Grande Dame to secure victory.

Despite Drag Race UK existing for five years across seven regular and international seasons, Tia became the first person of colour to bag the crown, and only the fifth person of colour to make it to the final (after Tayce, JuJubee, Mo Heart, and Black Peppa).

Speaking exclusively to PinkNews following the big win, Tia explained why it “means the absolute world” to be a Black Drag Race UK winner – even more than being the first in the UK franchise to take home a £50,000 cash prize.

“It’s more important to me that I’m the first UK winner of colour, because being able to represent people who haven’t seen themselves reflected on Drag Race UK is a privilege and an honour,” she says.

“It’s something that I hope I do well and I hope I do, not only people of colour, but everyone, very proud as the queen of the mothertucking world.”

Tia Kofi being announced as the winner of Drag Race UK vs The World.
Tia Kofi won RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World season two. (BBC)

In addition to being the first Black UK winner, Tia Kofi is only the second Black queen in all of the European Drag Race franchises to win, after Drag Race France season two star Keiona took the crown home last August.

“Seeing Keiona win Drag Race France was an amazing moment and I think you can all see that in Keiona’s reaction. It’s so emotional,” Tia reflects.

However, having a Black queen win in the UK feels extra “significant” for Tia – though there is a bit of pressure that comes with the title, too.

“[There is] maybe a little bit of pressure to uphold myself to a standard, because it does sometimes feel as a person of colour you do have to work twice as hard to be seen on the same level,” she says.

Tia’s win is a huge leap forward for the UK franchise, considering less than a quarter of the show’s contestants have been people of colour. For Tia, increasing representation doesn’t start and end with people of colour either; she’s keen for more trans contestants and cisgender women to appear on the show, too.

Drag Race UK vs The World season two winner Tia Kofi holding her sceptre in the air.
Tia Kofi is the first Black winner of Drag Race UK. (BBC)

“Victoria Scone is the only AFAB representation that we’ve had. We’ve been fortunate enough to have trans contestants, Dakota [Schiffer] and Cara [Melle] who have appeared on seasons of Drag Race, and I think it’s really important to showcase that.

“Of course, I’m never ever going to argue with people making representation on screen [and] on stage more diverse.”

Despite her historic achievement, Tia has had to endure a wave of abuse from so-called fans who have denounced her win. However, the queen isn’t letting it get her down.

“I kind of anticipated some negativity, but overall, the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” she urges.

“It’s so wonderful to see so many people reach out, like past contestants, past winners, people who feel that they can see themselves reflected on screen.

“One of my favourite tweets I saw was someone saying, ‘Finally, Black, lanky, awkward girls are seen’. And I was like, yes! I will continue to be all of those things at 200 per cent to drown out the haters.”

Tia has previously shared with PinkNews a poignant message for her haters, about how she hopes that “whoever has mistreated them, or whoever has taught them to behave like that, isn’t in [their] life any more”.

However, her message following her win is a little simpler.

“It was a lot of noise, and it did get to me to some extent, but I’ve actually got an amazing support network and really wonderful people around me,” she says.

And to the haters? “Like, suck a d**k.”

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