Scarlett Bobo had been doing drag for 12 years before she was cast on the inaugural season of Canada’s Drag Race. A debut where she proved every bit the punk rock powerhouse Canada knew her to be, making it all the way to the finale without bottoming (on the show, that is).
BoBo is one of the most powerful and recognized queens in Canada, exuding effortless confidence on stage that can only be achieved through years of experience and perseverance. But this wasn’t always the case for the 30-year-old drag queen and circus performer. It’s taken years for Matty Cameron, the non-binary babe behind BoBo, to see themself the way they see BoBo.
“To be honest, I never thought I was sexy in my entire life; I was always really skinny, small, and twinky,” BoBo tells Ride Bodyworx. “It was Scarlett who brought out the sex-positivity in me. When I’m in drag, I feel like a superstar and superhero all at the same time. Which is the opposite of how I felt as Matty.”
In addition to the BoBo persona, they also credit their confidence to the “strong-ass women” in their life.
“My bestie, Tina, was the one that dragged me out of the closet,” they say. “She’s as badass as they come: a strong Afro-Indigenous powerhouse with a potty mouth. She really helped shape me when I was younger, and through them, my mum, and my besties, Scarlett became an absolute badass, which, over time, rubbed off on Matty,” they say. “Now you can’t tell me I’m not the one, bitch!”
Ride Bodyworx chats with BoBo about sex in drag, having their nudes leaked as Canada’s Drag Race aired, and who they think will take home the crown on season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Ride Bodyworx: You’re currently documenting a Canada’s Drag Race re-watch on social media. Having watched it again, how do you feel about the way you were represented on the show?
Scarlett BoBo: It’s so weird to watch it again, but I’m loving it so much because I don’t carry the stress of wondering what I said or did!
I think as a whole I was represented pretty well. There were definitely a few cringe moments, but in general, I’m a pretty awesome/chill person and I think I was showcased as such. My biggest concern was that people see the real me during the show and I think I accomplished that.
Ride Bodyworx: What has changed about your drag most since the show aired?
Scarlett BoBo: Honestly, I finally said “fuck it” and just started doing whatever I wanted and actually not caring. The drag scene can be pretty shitty at times. People want your spotlight, your gigs, and try to change who you are and what you’ve built. It definitely gets to you.
Even on the show, a few of the queens knew me well and knew how they could get in my head, and they did. I feel like I completely broke down on the show and had to rebuild myself.
In doing that, I found a new shiny armor and attitude and I uncovered a renewed love for myself and my drag that I misplaced somewhere along the way. I feel like I can finally say for the first time in my life that I’m 100% my truest, most authentic self and it feels really amazing to finally stand tall and proud.
Ride Bodyworx: Who are your front-runners on the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Scarlett BoBo: Ouu! I love this question. I’m just gagged by Symone and Gottmik. The two of them show such diversity and a level of drag that is so iconic. They’re both proving to the world that Drag is whatever you want it to be and still a political statement. I would be happy if either doll won.
Ride Bodyworx: The Drag Race fandom has developed a reputation for being toxic, whereas Canadians are known for being kind and polite. I’m curious if the Canadian gals were treated as poorly as queens were on other seasons of the show. Were there any standout moments where you personally felt under attack?
Scarlett BoBo: There were definitely some difficult moments. We work so hard to get on the show so that we showcase our drag to the world, but some of these so-called “fans” are truly awful. They aren’t fans at all. They’re trolls. They know it. We know it. If you can sleep at night after telling someone to kill themselves because of something that happened on a TV show… you’re not a fan. You’re just a horrible human being.
It’s especially difficult to hear these comments from queer people. We suffer enough hate as queer individuals as-is, why would you ever want to put that feeling onto someone else?
I got a little bit of hate and tried to ignore it…until my nudes got leaked. That felt like a complete invasion of my privacy and my sexual power. It was pretty shitty knowing people were passing them around like trading cards, but hey, if that’s what you need to get by in the world, you’re just a shitty person. The end!
Ride Bodyworx: Last summer you came out as non-binary, using the pronouns he/him as Matty, she/her as Scarlett, and they/them anytime. Can you talk about your path of self-discovery?
Scarlett BoBo: I never felt like my identity fit in a box. I’ve always identified as queer as a way of bringing power to a hateful word people used to hurl at me. Then when I moved to Toronto, the queer community had more labels than a grocery store. It was confusing. I felt like I identified none of them and all of these at the same time. But when I met some particularly influential non-binary folx I was like: Wait, wait, wait. I’m like you, I think!
It’s really nice to say it out loud and be comfortable in my own skin. I’ve been extremely happy ever since.
Ride Bodyworx: You’re an expert cosplayer, capturing what I’d argue is the best Harley Quinn that drag has ever seen. Given Scarlet Witch’s recent success on the small screen, which other superheroine/villain would you like to see get their due next and why?
Scarlett BoBo: I think Poison Ivy deserves some time in the spotlight. Ever since her moment in Batman & Robin, I’ve wanted more. If Uma Thurman isn’t up for it, I’ve always thought Emma Stone could play a dope younger Poison Ivy. Or Rihanna. I just think her story is so dark and beautiful. She’s such a complex character with so many layers to her powers and her past.
Ride Bodyworx: After a long night of drag, where does Scarlett BoBo go to eat?
Scarlett BoBo: After a show, I need a big joint and then I usually just stumble to the nearest diner to get a massive burger and fries. One that’s really going to mess my lips and makeup real bad. Either that or pizza. Or street meat. Or dick. Honestly, I’ll take any or all of it.
Ride Bodyworx: Sex in drag. Some queens love it, others hate it. Where do you stand?
Scarlett BoBo: Oh boy, there are a lot of funny stories to tell but some might be too X-rated. Honestly, sex in drag can be the worst! There are so many factors to consider. For instance: did I shave all my bits before slapping on layers of tights? After I perform I’m usually sweaty and gross, so a refresh is a must.
Then we get to the make-up. After the drag show is all said and done and the light comes on it’s like––BAM!––stubble underneath smeared lipstick and worn-out foundation. Don’t get me wrong: the idea is so hot. You’re really feeling yourself in drag. You are the moment! You look gorgeous and this hot manses comes up and wants a ride you’re like, “Fuck yeah!”
I used to have a sexy time with this beautiful man who used to come over after my gigs. He was this seven-foot-tall, ripped, long-haired beauty and our time together was always so lovely. There was another standout time in Amsterdam with Judy Virago and a pair of twins…but I’ll save that for the next interview.
Ride Bodyworx: When the wig comes off and the make-up is removed, when does Matty feel their sexiest?
Scarlett BoBo: I love getting dressed to the nines when I go out. When I’m all done up looking cunt as fuck, I feel so sexy and powerful. But fully, the time I feel sexiest is when I’m around my fiancé, Pete. The way he looks at me when I’m just lounging in my comfy clothes and he tells me he loves me in this cute little voice is when I feel sexiest. He doesn’t see all the imperfections I try to fix. He just sees Matty as this amazing, sexy, kind person, and that’s all I need.