By Joey Nolfi
March 27, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT
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Credit: VH1
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  • TV Show
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  • VH1
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Underneath the death drops, tongue pops, and spectacular veneer of RuPaul's Drag Race lies a show about chosen family, sisterhood, and the resilience of the LGBTQ community — an element perfectly communicated in this exclusive sneak peek (below) at tonight's new episode of the Emmy-winning reality competition series.

As the remaining ladies of season 12 gather in the Werk Room to discuss how their mothers inspired their performances in this week's acting challenge, Jackie Cox looks on in somber silence before opening up about her personal experience with an unsupportive parent.

"My mom, all that ever mattered to her, like so many immigrant families, is, you move to this country because you want your kids to have a better life, and for her that meant education, getting a good job, and doing something respectable," the New York City-based queen says through tears, referencing her upbringing in a Persian family. "For so long, my mom was just against every choice and every instinct I had. I didn't want to be a doctor. All I wanted to do was sing and dance. I never got to take dance classes because she didn't think that was something that boys should do."

Cox then drops a bombshell: "She doesn't even know I do drag… I'm terrified that she's going to see this and it's going to be like all of her worst nightmares about me came true because I'm not what she dreamed I would be."

Without missing a beat, fellow contestant Jaida Essence Hall offers up some maternal support.

"Success is success, and she can see [this show] and see that what you decided to do with your life led you to a way where you can take care of yourself and be happy," Hall says. "That's usually what parents want for us. Sometimes they just think they know what's best. Sometimes they just have to see it lived out and see the reality of what it really is."

Later, in a confessional, Cox describes feeling like she was "never enough" for her mom throughout most of her life, and placing unrealistic expectations on herself as a result.

"I can't allow her disapproval to define me," Cox concludes. "I hope that when she sees this, she'll know that this is what's made me happy, and that I want her to understand that part of me."

RuPaul's Drag Race season 12 — which last week notched its highest-rated episode (0.60 rating in the 18-49 demographic) in two years as more viewers tuned in via digital group sessions amid coronavirus quarantine — continues tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on VH1. Watch EW's exclusive preview above.

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RuPaul's Drag Race

RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who's in and who's out.

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  • TV Show
seasons
  • 11
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  • VH1
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