Talking Pride Month with Scarlett Bobo!
Happy Pride, everyone! 🏳️🌈
It’s that wonderful time of year where we all show our LGBTQ+ friends, family (and selves!) a whole lotta love–even if things feel a bit different than they used to. We’re staying home and doing our part, but that doesn’t mean that our Pride is any less powerful. Across the country, our LGBTQ+ communities will always find ways to fly their colours, connect with each other, and push for progress.
The LGBTQ+ community is, for so many, a lifeline—being able to gather with people who relate, understand, and celebrate who you are is not only a breath of fresh air, but a way to find love in all forms. In a year where gathering hasn’t been possible, the community has adapted, reached across digital spaces, and sent love where it’s needed most. We’ve seen that even in adversity, the community will always find ways to support each other.
During these many months of gloom, our local LGBTQ+ creators have brought light, bringing us together and warming our hearts. From Club Quarantine to distanced outdoor dances to streamed children’s book readings from drag queens, we’ve been reminded every single day how lucky we are to have a community that brings us so much laughter and love.
To all of our LGBTQ+ staff, friends, and family across the country, we’re wishing you a happy, sunny, and fabulous pride. Whether your Pride looks like a day at the beach decked out in rainbows, a dinner with your partner, or a cozy evening in with a book, we’re wishing you the best one possible.
But enough from us: you saw the header, and we know what you’re here for!
For this year’s Pride, we wanted to speak to one of the incredible creators that has been bringing us joy every single day. Without further ado, let’s hand things off to someone with oodles of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent—drag icon Scarlett Bobo!
Who is Scarlett Bobo?
Scarlett Bobo is a Canadian drag performer based in Toronto. For over 12 years, Scarlett has slayed and sashayed all around the world—and also appeared on the first season of smash-hit Canada’s Drag Race!
With a style based on Hollywood Golden Era icons and 21st century pop vixens, Scarlett has wowed audiences around the world with her aerial silks, fire swallowing, and celebrity impersonations of beloved stars like Cher, Liza Minelli, and P!nk. A fan of all things comics, Scarlett shows her love through intricate and stunning cosplay looks such as Rogue, Cat Woman, and of course, Harley Quinn.
Wherever there’s attention, Scarlett craves it—and commands it!
Happy Pride, Scarlett! What does Pride mean to you?
YAYYY Pride Month!!
To me, Pride means living your truest most authentic self, every single day, 365 days a year HENNY! Being yourself is the best medicine anyone could ask for. It’s also such a bad-ass thing to do. Showing the world that you don’t care what they think and shining brightly for everyone to see.
Pride Month is a time to recognize our privilege while fighting for what’s right in society. In Canada we’re lucky to be able to walk down the street holding hands with our partner. Recognize that, and realize that isn’t the case for everyone. We won’t stop being loud until everyone in the world can be themselves, freely!
It’s been a tough year for LGBTQ+ people around the world. How are you going to show your Pride this year, when gathering with the community is so limited?
This year, like any year, I’m going to be as queer, as non-binary, and as beautiful and loud as possible! The good thing about online events is you get to share your pride around the entire world all at once. I want to encourage people this year and every year to be themselves and to stop living in fear of what people might think.
This life isn’t that long, so now is the time to stand up and be yourself and let your presence be known. Take up space!
Do you have any funny Pride stories from your life or drag career that you want to share with us?
OOF. SO MANY! I don’t know how many of them are interview appropriate!
I guess one of the funny ones was me, hungover, trying to make it to Yonge and Dundas for the Guinness Book Record for most performers on a stage (or something like that!). I threw on a wig and sunglasses and red lipstick, ran down the street, and jumped on stage not knowing any of the choreography and ran around being my usual wild self in front of thousands of people. It was pretty funny. You had to be there.
What made you choose to become a public performer? How did you start doing drag?
I started drag back in Ottawa! I kind of fell into drag to be honest. Once I did I was like, wait a second. This is so fun! I started performing here and there and took it more seriously when I moved to Toronto.
Being a public queer performer has honestly given me SO MUCH LIFE! To have a bunch of people who feel the same way you do, cheering and chanting you on is the most beautiful thing. It’s a high that no drug can ever give you.
What have you done over the last year to connect to your community, with everyone so far apart?
I’ve been doing my part in raising funds and awareness for our BIPOC family, friends and community. I’ve been doing as many virtual events as I can and can handle. It’s a nice way for fans to connect to you in some way and it’s nice for people who aren’t local who can tune in across the world and live for you!
It’s been hard to connect from afar, but you can’t keep a drag performer down for long! I love how resilient we are.
What part of your drag career are you especially proud of?
I think my outreach is what I’m most proud of. I’ve been working very closely with Rainbow Railroad for the last few years, and last year we ended up helping three queer refugees safely find a new home in Canada.
Through my competition “Absolut’s Empires Ball,” we’ve managed to really push groups of incredible and diverse performers to the forefront of drag, and we’ve been able to highlight them in an incredible way. Doing what’s right for your community and for others will always be the best part of my job and doing drag.
We have to ask about Canada’s Drag Race! How has your life changed since appearing on the show?
WELL, it’s definitely been a wild ride! Miss Rona had its way with us and tried to mess up our plans, but like I said, you can’t keep a good bitch down!
Honestly, the amount of incredible opportunities that have been coming in and continue to come in is beyond. I’m so grateful for every little thing that comes my way, and now I have a completely new outlook on life and performing. Drag Race taught me a lot about myself as well, and the type of person and performer I am. It showed me how to be better—not only for myself, but for others.
What do you like to do, apart from performing?
Honestly, nothing, haha!
I like to smoke weed and lay on a beach somewhere with friends—and if I’m not doing that, I’m definitely smoking weed and playing video games. Most likely Fortnite! 😉
Is there an LGBTQ+ charity or organization that is close to your heart? How can people support it?
YES! Rainbow Railroad! This incredible organization helps queer refugees safely find a new life here in Canada where they can be themselves without fear. I’ve met individuals from this organization who have come to Canada and hearing their stories and learning from them is so powerful.
$10,000 is approximately the cost to give someone a future full of love and acceptance. Please please please visit their website and open your hearts and wallets and donate today!
What’s next for Scarlett Bobo? Any fun plans or exciting projects you can share with us?
OUUU HENNY! She’s about to have the hottest girl summer!
I’m prepping for my tours this summer and fall. Absolut Empire’s Ball is coming back stronger than ever. I’m working on a docu-series with my sister Quanah Style, finishing my album, and starting to write my tell-all book! So, I think I’ve got my work cut out for me!
What message do you have for the LGBTQ+ community across Canada?
Times will always seem difficult when looked at through a negative lens. Throw on those rose-coloured sunglasses and smile. Uplift your brothers and sisters. Reach out. Listen. Respect each other and please … be kind to each other. We’re in this together.
All the love and bad-assery!