From the Church House to the Whorehouse with Big Chocolate
by PAUL BELLINI
Latrice Royale is a plus-size black drag queen. She’s hilarious and heartfelt, and now she is also a jazz singer.
Most of us know Latrice from RuPaul’s Drag Race, but her shocking story about spending time in prison is what got my attention. She was pulled over for expired tags with no license or insurance. In her pocket was a tiny bit of marijuana and a Klonopin pill that, to this day, she swears she was holding for a friend. That landed her in the slammer.
“They called me ‘Big Chocolate,’” she remembers. “My size helped. The other prisoners didn’t mess with me. They knew who I was on the outside and gagged at my splits.” As fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race will attest, Latrice Royale’s epic splits are always a showstopper.
After getting out, she became an ordained minister and went on to compete on Drag Race. Though not victorious, the show did thrust her into the public eye, and Latrice Royale was very ready for that big moment. Now she is releasing here’s to life, a CD of jazz standards. “It’s really the soundtrack to my life,” she says. “The good, the bad, and the emotionally-wrecked ugly.
“My hope is that fans will put this record on in the background with a glass of wine and a nice meal with a candle and a lover. It’s very casual listening that runs the gamut from the whorehouse to the church house, so everybody should be able to find something they enjoy.”