Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



TELEVISION Original 'Queer Eye' cast member Thom Filicia reveals his 'Secret'
by Jerry Nunn

This article shared 1578 times since Tue Sep 27, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race debuted in 2020 on VH1 as a spinoff of the Emmy Award-winning RuPaul's Drag Race. For its second season this year, there were more episodes and the celebrities' identities were hidden from the at-home audience until later in the season.

The grand prize in 2022 was $100,000 (donated to charity), with a cast of nine contestants lip-synching in front of a panel of judges and a studio audience.

Thom Filicia, from the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, competed on the show as Jackie Would, lasting for three episodes; he will return for the finale. This accomplished interior designer has written several books over the years and has been nominated for several awards for his work.

The man behind the makeup met up while in Chicago to dish about his experience on RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race.

Windy City Times: What brings you to Chicago and The Geraghty?

Thom Filicia: Design Edge is a trade event created by Lee Hershberg. My partners—such as Vanguard Furniture and Eastern Accents, among others—are all here. I told Lee I wanted to be a part of it since it is such a great idea. I love coming to connect with all of the designers.

WCT: Let's talk about your drag persona, Jackie Would. Where does she come from?

TF: I had to come up with some background information about her for the show. She is from a Chicago suburb and is the kind of person that would steal her father's car and go into town with a fake I.D. and get drunk with her friends.

WCT: Does she still live here?

TF: No, she lives in Aspen after going there to meet some guys to go skiing. She misbehaved on the airplane on the way there and was not allowed to return. She has decided to take up residency in Aspen!

WCT: What does Jackie Would drink?

TF: Just about anything! [Both laugh.]

WCT: How hard was it to keep the secret on RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race?

TF: It was tough. I didn't want Carson Kressley to know I would be on the show. I am good at keeping a secret but there were times when I wanted to tell someone about it.

WCT: How were you cast? Did they contact you?

TF: Yes, they did. They offered to give recognition and resources to a charity of my choice. My brother and I had gone through a bone-marrow transplant, with me as his donor.

WCT: Was that painful?

TF: No, they have really improved everything and it is done through stem cells. I did it for that and to punk Carson!

WCT: He recognized your voice, didn't he?

TF: Yes. it took him a while, but he eventually guessed it was me.

WCT: You could have disguised your voice.

TF: In the first episode, I said very little.

WCT: Were you nervous about wearing drag?

TF: I have never done drag and I am not a very good drag queen, I will tell you that right now, but I am a good sport and I had a lot of fun doing it. I have respect for what you have to go through and the creativity involved.

WCT: What surprised you about the other contestants?

TF: I was surprised every single one of them was a singer or a dancer. There weren't any plumbers, engineers, football players or hairdressers. I was up against people from Glee.

WCT: [Fellow competitor] AJ McLean chased after me one time on a red carpet when I was interviewing the Backstreet Boys to tell me he supports gay people.

TF: He's a great guy and a gay ally.

WCT: How much rehearsal time did you have?

TF: We had one day of rehearsal out of drag and one day partially in drag. The next day we shot the episode. I would be panicking some days, but it was a lot of fun.

WCT: You had the shoot in front of a live audience.

TF: And in front of RuPaul! She can be intimidating. It was kind of like giving Mario Andretti a ride home. RuPaul has defined drag as a category and given recognition to it.

WCT: What did you think of Michelle Visage as a judge?

TF: She's a doll. Her critiques were clear, accurate and kind. She is professional and I appreciate that. Not everyone is good at everything. She is okay with that but wants people to be good at what they are good at. I think that is really important.

WCT: What is one takeaway from being on RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race?

TF: Never say never. It is amazing when you are open to doing things that you never thought you would do. It challenges yourself and hopefully helps others open up about their challenges. You get to walk in someone else's shoes and sometimes it is six inches stilettos!

I'm excited to see who the next group will be. I have a greater appreciation after doing the show for people who are willing to take a risk.

WCT: So Jackie might come back one day?

TF: Jackie is a crazy bitch and might just show up at your house! She wouldn't borrow a stick of butter, but instead maybe a fifth of vodka…

WCT: Did you see your Queer Eye castmate Jai Rodriguez in the movie Bros yet?

TF: Not yet, but I just saw him in New York the other night. I watched him on the Netflix series Uncoupled recently. He is happy to have all this new work. He is feeling his oats and coming into his own. I am happy for his success and taught him everything he needed to know about being a bro. I'm joking, but I treated him like my little brother and hazed him when we were filming Queer Eye.

WCT: What is next for you?

TF: I am going back to New York to work in my office and then travel to LA. This trip to Chicago has been quick and fun!

RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race ru-veals the winner on Friday, Sept. 30. For more adventures with this classic Queer Eye cast member, visit .

This article shared 1578 times since Tue Sep 27, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

SAG-AFTRA and WGA join GLAAD in releasing Studio 11th Responsibility Index
--From a press release - Hollywood—Sept. 14, 2023 — GLAAD released its annual Studio Responsibility Index in a joint press event in Hollywood alongside the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio ...

Gay News

Dykes to Watch Out For Audible series returns listeners to the '80s
By Ro White - From 1983-2008, Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For captured the drama and hilarity of lesbian life. Now it's been adapted into an Audible Original series that draws parallels between the queer past and ...

Gay News

Billy Masters: Billy unlocks the DaVinci Code
"Mmmkay! And I'm 110lbs and a virgin! I'm not a scale or a doctor but I have spent some time beneath 215 lb. men and Tiny was not one of them." —Stormy Daniels' Tweet about the alleged weight of the former president. ...

Gay News

Matthew Shepard film to be shown ahead of 25th anniversary of his death
Ahead of the 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death, a new two-hour documentary has been announced to honor the posthumous impact made by the gay college student who died after being abducted, beaten and left for ...

Gay News

Judge halts Texas' ban on drag performances
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas David Hittner has stopped the state's ban on drag performances—which was scheduled to go into place on Sept. 1—enforcing a temporary injunction, media outlets reported. A coalition ...

Gay News

Chicagoans remember Selena at downtown tribute concert
Despite a two-day heat wave topping 100 degrees, a near SRO crowd attended the second annual Selena tribute concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park on Aug. 24. The event, which was sponsored by the ...

Gay News

Bisexual ex-'Bachelorette' contestant: Hacker posted false death report
Josh Seiter, a former contestant on ABC's "The Bachelorette," posted a video on Aug. 29 saying reports of his death were due to someone hacking his Instagram account, according to NBC News and TMZ, among others. ...

Gay News

LIPS Chicago presents Second Annual Night of Stars Fundraiser
On Aug. 17, LIPS Chicago presented its second annual Night of Stars featuring a special appearance by Cher impersonator Michael Dean. The nearly sold-out event benefitted Connections of Abused Women and their Children, and featured a ...

Gay News

Orlando Pride crushes Chicago Red Stars
In Florida's Exploria Stadium on Aug. 20, the Orlando Pride thrashed the Chicago Red Stars 5-0 in professional women's soccer action, according to WFTV. Four players scored for Orlando, led ...

Gay News

'A League of Their Own' cancelled; second season not filming
Prime Video is not moving forward with the previously ordered second and final season of comedy-drama A League of Their Own, which is about a WWII-era women's professional baseball team, according to Deadline. The show's fate ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Variety event, Saucy Santana, Liberace, 'Kokomo City,' Robin Roberts
Videos below - Variety held its 2023 Power of Young Hollywood event honoring actress Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria; The White Lotus), out actor Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) and LGBTQ+ musician Steve Lacy, per a press release. A few of the ...

Gay News

Man pleads guilty to hate crime at UpRising Bakery
Alsip, Illinois resident Joseph I. Collins, 25, pled guilty on Aug. 16 to committing a hate crime last summer at UpRising Bakery and Cafe, a Lake in the Hills business that was preparing to host a ...

Gay News

Lips Chicago to present 'A Night of Stars' with Michael Dean as Cher
--From a press release - CHICAGO (July 27, 2023) — Lips Chicago, the ultimate in drag dining, is proud to present "A Night of Stars," with special guest Michael Dean as Cher. It's the second annual charitable fundraiser in support of ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Scream,' 'Paris Is Burning,' Shea Coulee, Noah Schnapp, Broadway
Gay film director Christopher Landon—who's helmed Happy Death Day and Freaky—will take the reins of the next Scream movie, Out noted. While Landon usually also writes the projects he directs, it is not known if he ...

Gay News

WORLD Sauna raid, HIV items, World Bank, 'Barbie,' JK Rowling
In Venezuela, three men who were arrested when authorities raided a gay sauna on July 23 have been released from jail, per The Washington Blade. Officers in Valencia, the country's third largest city, arrested 33 people ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.