EW chats with the RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 champ about her fight for trans rights, her subversive finale dress, THAT slip, and leaving fate to God and Lady Gaga while wearing Willam's A Star Is Born wig.
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Kylie Sonique Love is celebrating her RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6 victory on the floor.

No, like, really. She's on the floor as we connect via phone, moments after her crowning. Her dress is dirty — before rolling around at everyone's feet in pure ecstasy, a bear hug from fellow finalist Eureka left a slick of makeup slathered over the white material she slipped into for the occasion. But, as the AS6 finale proved, Kylie is no stranger to making it work from down below — whether it's gracefully recovering from a mid-lip-sync tumble with an expertly improvised somersault, or clawing her way from the bottom to the top in the fight for trans rights.

"It's a new story for a trans person. There's been a lot of tragedy for trans people," she tells EW amid a year that's seen a record number of anti-trans bills introduced throughout America. And she hopes her ascension to the highest throne in queer culture as the U.S. edition's first trans winner (Drag Race Thailand season 2 champ Angele Anang remains the franchise's first) can serve as a guiding light for others like her. "This can be a success story."

After finishing season 2 of Drag Race in 9th place, her remarkable redemption as the winner 11 years later is one of the most impressive full-circle success stories in the show's history, and she made sure to make her every move on camera a step forward for her community. Like, she says, the American flag-inspired dress — inspired by the Confederate flag look RuPaul sported in the classic film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar — she wore to tape her coronation episode.

"Being a trans person and wrapping myself in an American flag in a country where we're all supposed to have equal rights and be free, at the end of the day, that's not how it is," the 38-year-old says. "Taking that and saying 'F--- you, I'm here, too, and I'm going to shine and be just as great in it as you think that you are,' it's taking back this country and making it stand for something that we can be proud of."

RuPAUL’s DRAG RACE ALL STARS
'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6' winner Kylie Sonique Love
| Credit: Paramount+

Below, Kylie explains how she plans to represent the community under her reign, her slip-up on the runway, and leaving fate to God and Lady Gaga while wearing Willam's A Star Is Born wig during a herstoric RuPaul's Drag Race run.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Kylie! How are you feeling?

KYLIE SONIQUE LOVE: Oh my God, I can't believe what just happened. I was rolling around on the floor. I'm excited because I'm your new queen, honey!

You've always been the queen, let's get that straight! You just have an extra crown now.

[Laughs] Oh my goodness, yes. I'm here for it.

Congratulations, this is so well deserved 1,000 times over.

Yes, please! I'll sit here and listen to it. Thank you so much. I can't even. I can't even. I can't even! But, I'm gonna!

But, that wasn't a joke earlier? You were literally rolling around the floor when you found out?

Well, I mean, I'm wearing white, so I tried to be respectful. I jumped into the air and Eureka caught me, so I probably have their face on my dress right now, which is okay.

Yes, who wouldn't want Eureka all over them! That's a prize in itself.

One hundred percent. I'm going to sell it on eBay.

What did you do as soon as RuPaul said your name while you watched the finale?

It's so weird! Everything is going in slow motion. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew that there was a chance. It sounded like a different language, then everyone screamed my name around me. It hit me. Oh s---, it's your turn! It feels good and I'm excited. I knew, regardless of what was going to happen, that I wanted to work hard and keep chasing my dreams and trying to do the best I can, not only for myself, but for people who need people like me to show them how to do it.

They're lucky to have you as a guiding light. Is it difficult to put into words for people what this feels like, after 11 years of waiting and working to get to this point?

I've been working hard at this, not expecting anything. I grew as a person and an entertainer. There have been so many times that I sacrificed a lot because I love drag so much. Drag doesn't always pay the bills, but you do it because you love it. You have to enjoy and take the good with the bad. Win or lose, I was going to be the same. As long as you're following your heart, you'll never go wrong. Stay true to yourself and people that don't want to listen to what your dreams are and support those dreams, you should find a new circle. Even if that circle is just you. Do your thing, do it your way. You're only here once.

Winning a show like Drag Race often comes with responsibility. Especially in a year where we're seeing a record number of anti-trans bills introduced around the country. How can winning a title on this platform in the mainstream help the community in this climate?

It's a new story for a trans person. There's been a lot of tragedy for trans people, and this can be a success story. This can be a story that a lot of people can relate to in life, not just a trans person: Going through hardships, pushing through, and staying true to yourself and not looking for permission to be who you are. You do what makes you happy, as long as you're not hurting anyone. Trans people are no different than anyone else. We have our awkward moments in life, we have our fabulous moments in life, we all come from somewhere. If we took time to get to know each other, we'd realize we have a lot more in common than society wants us to think. To have people like me striving and succeeding not just within our own group, but with everyone outside of the community. That's what Drag Race is all about: Letting the outside into something we've celebrated for so long, and now they want to celebrate with us. Now that they're with us, they can learn about all of our stories.

That ties into the statement for equality you made on the runway with the American flag dress. Can you elaborate on the comment you tried to make — other than being the sexiest thing on the runway that day because points where points are due!

It was an homage to RuPaul in the movie To Wong Foo. She comes out of the ceiling in a Confederate flag dress. She lived in Atlanta at one point in her life, and coming from the South, I was raised seeing that flag. As I got older, I realized the negativity that flag represented. RuPaul came out as a big "f--- you" wearing a flag that discredits [Black] and queer people, and [I loved her] being liberated in that while looking f---ing sexy. Being a trans person and wrapping myself in an American flag in a country where we're all supposed to have equal rights and be free, at the end of the day, that's not how it is. Taking that and saying, "F--- you, I'm here, too, and I'm going to shine and be just as great in it as you think that you are," it's taking back this country and making it stand for something that we can be proud of.

That's a beautiful message. Speaking of beauty: How many times have you turned around backward and looked at yourself in the mirror today?

I did! But I cried so ugly after I won! I looked like a Garbage Pail Kid! I can't remember the last time I had that emotion so strong, where I just lost control. It was a good thing. I was crying out of happiness and just letting go. I remember being tossed around from Ra'Jah to Eureka. I need to reapply this makeup. I think I used a non-waterproof mascara today, which was a mistake on my part. But, as queen, I promise I'll make better makeup choices!

Yes, your first order of business in office! Let's talk about that final lip-sync moment where you almost tripped and turned it into a somersault. Was that planned or was it a genuine slip?

Absolutely not [planned]. I thought, when that happened, that I was done. I felt it happening, and my whole life went into slow motion. You know when you see a movie and someone gets knocked out, they're almost floating in space and able to think, but everything is moving slowly around them? It was like that. Then I was like, bitch, you did gymnastics your whole life! Roll out of this and be fierce! It hit me. I rolled out, and I was like, now, bitch, f---ing pose and let them have it.

Kylie Sonique Love tripping
Kylie Sonique Love falls during the 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 6' finale.
| Credit: Paramount+

I love that this final lip-sync was to a Lady Gaga song, because you were eliminated on season 2 playing Lady Gaga in Snatch Game, and then you win the crown as Kylie lip-syncing to a Lady Gaga song. How did you feel knowing the final song was a Gaga song, given your history with her on the show?

It felt good knowing that, yes, I might've done a bad job doing Lady Gaga, but this time I can redo it and perform it instead of having to use my own words. That famous quote from Morgan McMichaels: "It's a lip-sync competition, not a gymnastics competition." I'll tell you one thing, those gymnastics paid off, because I was lip-syncing and I tripped, and my gymnastics saved my ass. That was what I wanted to prove.

Fans tried to clock Gaga connections throughout the season. I believe Willam helped with some of your runways, right? Did Willam also lend you her A Star Is Born wig for your Dolly Parton Snatch Game?

Oh my God. I didn't know that was the wig, but it is! I didn't realize that until now!

Gaga blessed you on set through the wig.

It feels pretty damn good, honey. I can't wait to show you guys what I can do next. I'm so f---ing happy right now, I'll probably go to my hotel room and jump on the bed and scream and hug my dog.

Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including our new season diving into all five All Stars seasons, featuring exclusive interviews with Jujubee, Alexis Mateo, Shea Couleé, Alaska, Detox, BenDeLaCreme, Kennedy Davenport, and moreAnd be sure to catch up on our BINGE recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race seasons 1-13 with Symone, Jaida Essence Hall, Trixie Mattel, Katya, Peppermint, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour, and more!

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