Unapologetically One's Self — Our Q+A with Pride Luminary Symone
This year's PRIDE Luminary for the Dynasty candle is Symone (he/him out of drag as Reggie Gavin and she/her as Symone). Symone is an Arkansas-born, Los Angeles based drag queen and model, best known as the winner of season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, using her platform to advocate for her community.
SYMONE by Santiago Sierra Soler.
ON DYNASTY — "Dynasty smells like a fluffy cloud, very clean, very supreme. I like that. That's good. That's me right there, that's me in a candle right there. Y'all wanna know what I smell like, get Dynasty, bitch." — SYMONE
SYMONE in as she inhales a bit of DYNASTY. Shot by Santiago Sierra Soler.
In this image —
Pride Dynasty $39
"I think being queer means everything and nothing if that makes any kind of sense. You can just be yourself. Everyone can sleep with who they want to, look like how they want to — anything. It just means being yourself, and not feeling like you have to conform to any norm anymore. Those are out the window. We don't care about those anymore. So 2021 is everything and nothing, darling."
The editorial campaign for DYNASTY. Shot by Santiago Sierra Soler.
What's something you used to be ashamed of that you have overcome?
I used to be very ashamed of being gay and being black, and being other. You know, I was always either too smart, too eloquent, too loud sometimes, could you believe? I was always just very ashamed of being myself. So I've learned, especially this last year, to just embrace it. That's what people like, so just be you, and it's fun. I used to be very, very ashamed to the point of self-hatred, but I've learned to get over it, and let my light shine BRIGHT!
What’s your favorite sinful activity?
My favorite sinful activity, okay. So I like to have sex. I know, it's just — I know, it's just such a typical answer, but I do. I really, really do. I think that's my favorite "sinful" thing to do.
What do you smell like?
You know your favorite smell — that smell that makes you feel so warm and passionate and, you know, a little timid inside? That's me. That's what I smell like. So whatever that is to you, that's me. Do you have any Enchantress, darling?
When do you feel your most radiant?
I feel the most radiant when I'm in full form, when I'm here presenting the ebony enchantress in front of you. Whatever shape, hair color, eye color, whatever it is that day, that's when I feel the most radiant, in control, stunning.
What does community mean to you?
Community means everything. As much as I do like to be myself sometimes, I enjoy the people that I love, and I don't think I would really be where I am without people that I love, and building a sense of community with my friends and family. So community is everything.
And I think that when you have people around you who genuinely care about you and your art, and who see the same vision that you do — that's important. It helps you build who you are, and so you can figure out who you are in that community and contribute to it. It's also a way to help everyone else grow, and hopefully one day be their authentic selves as well. Community is everything.
Why is sharing important?
Sharing is important, 'cause it's not always about you! You know, at the end of the day, we're all connected, we're all one. So sharing is caring. It's just important because some people don't have that — I didn't have at one point, and someone shared with me. Thank god they did, 'cause then I wouldn't be here answering some questions. So it's important not just for them, but for you also, because whatever you give out, you also get back whether it's good or bad.
Who do you fight for — What’s your agenda?
I'm fighting for everyone who ever felt like me — invisible, unimportant, insignificant, people who are different, people who don't necessarily feel that they are worthy of what is given to them. I'm fighting for those people, those people who are in small pockets of the world. I come from a small pocket so I am fighting for those people because sometimes they get lost in the sauce, if you will, and I want them to know that if I can do it, so can you. That's really my biggest reason for doing all this.
I wanna be what I didn't really have. I wanna be there for someone else that can one day come in and really shake it up, you know, so that's what I want to do. That's what I'm here for.
What does indulgence mean to you?
Indulgence is putting your foot in it, honey, okay? That means you go head first, and then your tippy toes, they in it, too. You just go ahead 100 percent — 110 percent. Indulgence is just feeling it, darling. I love to indulge, oh my god — when I allow myself.
What does PRIDE mean to you? What are you proud of?
Pride is complete ownership of oneself unapologetically, and pride is knowing thyself and giving your 100 percent every time, and not being ashamed to do so. I'm really proud of myself. For a really long time, I didn't. But I'm really fucking proud of myself — I made it through a really long and hard journey. I came out on the other side with a crown upon my head, and a fuller bank account, so I'm really proud of myself.
What does PRIDE smell like?
Pride smells like whatever makes you put your shoulders up and bag. Put your little titties out, that's what it smells like.
What does admiration mean to you? Who do you admire?
Admiration is when you love something so much that you can't help but just feel like you have to, in a way, bow down to it. When I admire someone, I am just in complete awe of them — I feel like only that person can do that, and you just have to admire it, and love it, and try and sift it into what you do.
What fuels me is being able to take care of people that I love... I don't even have to be really rich, just being comfortable and being able to live my life, and helping other people that have helped me. That's what I admire.
I admire my mom. She, she went through a lot to raise me and my brother, and I wouldn't be who I am without her, so I admire her a lot, and Tina Turner. I admire Tina Turner a lot — watch the docu!
Originally published —
June 15, 2021