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'Drag Race' winner Tyra Sanchez on being a father
NUNN ON ONE: FILM Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2012-12-19

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RuPaul's Drag Race winner Tyra Sanchez stars in the upcoming documentary Drag Dad. It is the story of his relationship with his 6-year old son, Jeremiah. Having a child at age 17 and being homeless at the time made life interesting before Sanchez's rise to fame on Logo Television.

Gay filmmaker BjÃśrn FlÃ"ki directed the feature, traveling from Brooklyn to Atlanta, to shoot the man behind the makeup: James William Ross IV.

Nunn talked with the other Tyra while the movie was still in the process of raising funds.

Windy City Times: Hi, Tyra. Last time we chatted it was backstage at your show at Spin Nightclub.

Tyra Sanchez: Oh, wow; it has been awhile. That was in 2010.

Windy City Times: Tell me about this new project. It is in the process of being made?

Tyra Sanchez: It is being filmed in August. It is a documentary that shows how to be a parent and be strong, and what to teach your children.

Windy City Times: You were a young father when you had your son.

Tyra Sanchez: Yes, I was 17. It was the first week of my high school year. It was a Friday: Aug. 12, 2005.

Windy City Times: That must have forced you to grow up quickly.

Tyra Sanchez: It made a way for me to have to grow up faster. It taught me in advance to what was coming next.

Windy City Times: I asked you about spending your money on dresses when you won RuPaul's Drag Race, but now looking back you must have to spend it on family first.

Tyra Sanchez: As much as I wanted to spend all of my money on dresses, I had to take care of home first. It wasn't about me wining the Race for me it was about me winning the Race to help other people. I wanted to take care of my son and help those that helped me.

Windy City Times: Where is your hometown?

Tyra Sanchez: My hometown is in Orlando, Fla. I live in Atlanta. My son lives with me and he is back and forth with his mom on weekends or holidays. We get together for family outings.

Windy City Times: Does he travel with you for appearances?

Tyra Sanchez: Actually, this weekend was the first time he was able to travel with me. This was the first summer that I was able to take more time off.

Windy City Times: How old is he?

Tyra Sanchez: My son turned 7 this August.

Windy City Times: I heard the director of this film wants to adopt kids, and this inspired him to make the movie.

Tyra Sanchez: He wants to adopt kids and show that we are all equal. Through my story and history I know it can change the way that world views gay parents. It can even change the way gay parents are parenting. It can benefit everyone and change the world.

Windy City Times: What has your son taught you?

Tyra Sanchez: My son teaches me emotions. With my family they didn't show affection. We didn't hugs and stuff like that. If we did it was an awkward hug. My son taught me how to do it naturally. It should come to you and not be forced. It should be something that you want to do.

Windy City Times: Kids understand what is going on around them younger than people think they do.

Tyra Sanchez: Yes, and with me I think I knew. I kind of wondered. I think it is the same thing with Jeremiah. I prefer to talk to him about things so he knows what is going on. I don't like him being in the dark.

Windy City Times: I really liked the trailer for the film. You are still raising money to get it made, correct?

Tyra Sanchez: Let me check online right now. We need 38 more dollars on the kickstarter campaign.

Windy City Times: That's great. I will give you the money right now!

Tyra Sanchez: Thank you. Looks like we will be filming soon.

Windy City Times: The word must have been out about making this movie.

Tyra Sanchez: It has definitely brought attention back to Tyra. I think it is just the right time. It is a time where I got to travel the world and learn so many things from different people and things that have happened since I have won. It has really fallen in line with everything else.

Windy City Times: Your website—theothertyra.com—you are still working on?

Tyra Sanchez: I am working on it. I am doing it myself so I did the design of it. All of the content on it is from my heart. It is from the person that I am and what I have been through. It is my message to the world. That is why it is taking a little more time than scheduled because I am making sure down to the last detail that everything else is okay. I want it to be perfect.

Windy City Times: What's the goal of Drag Dad?

Tyra Sanchez: They have mentioned film festivals. There has been talk about a few of the networks picking it up. In my honest opinion I think it should distributed online. It could be a YouTube movie or something like that. I want people to be able to download it. If it is on a television network then it will only be in that area. Online, we could get it to more people.

Windy City Times: Did you watch this last season of RuPaul's Drag Race?

Tyra Sanchez: I watched bits and pieces. It was ruined for me because I heard things. That kind of tarnished it for me.

Windy City Times: When you have been on it, I am sure it is not as magical as well.

Tyra Sanchez: The girls that were on it is what attracted me to it.

Windy City Times: Well, come back and visit Chicago.

Tyra Sanchez: I have my team working on it so hopefully you will see me around Labor Day.

For more information on the movie, visit www.dragdad.com .


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