It’s been a few months since the world was introduced to Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté on Season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Although her time on the show was short-lived due to an ankle injury, Kornbread still won the hearts of fans and today, she is considered a Season 14 fan-favorite!
Shadow and Act Unscripted spoke with Kornbread about her overnight fame and how her popularity has continued to grow, even in her post-Drag Race career.
S&A Unscripted: How would you sum up your post-'Drag Race' career? How would you say being on the show has impacted you?
KBTSJ: I would say I used to get a lot of sleep. I think it changes your momentum of like how much you work, which is a great thing, but it also changes your mindset and the impact you have on people. You never know who considers you a “hero.” So it’s a big difference in my personal opinion and the best way. Less sleep, but more work and I think you get more motivation and inspiration after the show’s done.
View this post on Instagram
You were really the talk of the internet and social media during your time on the show, especially during episode 1. How did it feel to see this reaction from fans straight out the gate?
KBTSJ: So it’s always nerve-racking. You go through the show and you have a set thing in your mind of how you want to be and what you want to portray and you just go in– all of it goes out the window because of everything. You just give your natural self. I’m a firm believer in just being myself and if you love it…you love it, and if you don’t–that’s on you. And I was just happy to see people be very receptive of what I can offer, which made me very happy because we put a lot of time and a lot of effort into our drag, so to see the world accept it and love it, it changes your mindset about yourself completely, so I was thrilled! [I was] nervous as hell for the first episode, but after it was done, I was like ‘Yeah, this is great. I can do good.’
One of the most heartwarming moments of the season was your friendship with Willow [Pill]. Why do you think you two hit it off so well?
KBTSJ: Honestly, it probably started out personality-wise. I’m a very loud and outgoing person at all times and I full-on mean it. I think Willow’s the complete opposite. Willow stays to herself and she observes the room to see everyone’s natural state and personality to see who she’ll get along with. And I think she gravitated towards me because I think we’re like a yin and yang kind of situation where I’m the boisterous personality and she’s more calm and quiet and like intricate in the mind personality. We complement each other [and] we gave each other the chance that the other person lacks, if that makes sense. [We’re] very strong in our own ways and to develop to be better people with the things that the other person has, so I think that’s what made us go towards each other.
It’s funny, [Willow] and I sat down on the show one day, and I was just talking and I said something out loud. And she was like, ‘I was thinking the same exact thing.’ And then that’s when we’re like, ‘OK, cool. We’re definitely like, meant to be friends with each other because we have the same twist that mindset about a lot of concepts and things.’ So yeah, I think opposites attract and that definitely happened with us.
What's one thing that you hope fans remember, in seasons to come about season 14 and its history-making transgender cast, as well as your journey?
KBTSJ: Honestly, I think they, they’ve learned a lot from it already as far as like, being themselves as far as their trans identity or the identity as a person in general. But personally, I just hope people realize that you don’t have to sugarcoat who you are and what you are as far as your personality.
I think a lot of things that come with this fandom are loving people for certain reasons and not liking them for other reasons. And I just hope future queens who get on don’t block themselves from being themselves. I went to Drag Race as myself and did not want to waver in it or change it for anybody, and the outcome for me was great. [It was a] sense of rewarding to myself and my personal spirit and my personal being for the sense of just naturally being myself and not worrying about anybody’s opinion. I just hope that what the fandom takes from season 14 and me alone is that we’re all different in our own right and we all are deserving of love, deserving of attention and we are deserving of being respected for what we can do.
Drag is very hard, drag is very political and drag is very draining– not in the sense of tons and tons and tons of work, but you’re exposing yourself to a world of people and allowing them to have opinions on you based on who you are and what you do and what you love in your heart. Just acceptance is what they need to learn and I hope they do learn from it.
RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14 is currently nominated for multiple Emmys including Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.