Kelowna, B.C., drag queen Ella Lamoureux has been a drag entertainer for over a decade. Now, she will make her reality-show debut in the new drag competition Call Me Mother.
“Ella Lamoureux, I always describe her as, she’s poised, she’s elegant with a trashcan mouth,” Lamoureux told CBC’s Radio West on Monday.
The Canadian reality show is hosted by Entertainment Tonight Canada’s Dallas Dixon, and will see emerging drag performers join a drag house and compete in group challenges, ultimately vying for the title of “First Child of Drag” and $50,000 in prizes.
The premise of the show is inspired by drag families, a tradition where an experienced drag performer, referred to as “house mothers” mentors “children” or those who are new to performing.
Lamoureux is one of two B.C. drag queens competing in the show, along with Toddy, a performer from Vancouver.
Out of drag, Lamoureux is Dustin Dufault, which is what he says he views as his “colonial name.” Dufault is a two-spirited individual from the Yukon, a member of the Kaska Dena First Nation who moved to Kelowna where he had a major part in growing the drag scene.
“Two-spirit” refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit and is used by some Indigenous people to describe their sexual, gender and/or spiritual identity.
“Growing up in a small northern town in the Yukon, you grow up with this sense of shame with anything that’s feminine when they’re supposed to be a stereotypical boy,” he said.
When Dufault moved to Kelowna, he tried drag for the first time and fell in love with performing.
“[I] quickly realized that drag isn’t just a separate part of me, but it is who I am. So it’s like two sides of a coin.”
Dufault isn’t the only B.C. drag queen making waves in the reality TV show world. The new show comes on the heels of the premiere of Canada’s Drag Race, the Canadian counterpart of RuPaul’s Drag Race, where four out of 12 drag queens are from Vancouver, B.C., including Gia Metric, Kendall Gender, Synthia Kiss and Beth.
Unlike others, this new show is fully inclusive, Dufault said, meaning all drag artists are eligible to compete, including drag queens, drag kings, and transgender and non-binary performers.
“When I first walked onto this set and I saw the people around me, I was really excited,” he said.
“There were so many different cultures presented in that one room between the 10 of us castmates … This show is breaking ground with the diversity on their casting and it’s pretty awesome.”
Call Me Mother premieres Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on OutTV.