Michael Ciriaco | The success of RuPaul's Drag Race has elevated drag from subversive counterculture to mainstream pop culture, making participants household names. And while Rhea Litré has yet to ascend to their echelon of recognition, she's working on it.
"Trying to keep up with that is hard, being, as they call it, a 'local queen,'” the West Hollywood-based Litré says during a recent phone interview. "For someone who has not been on RuPaul's Drag Race, it's a constant struggle to stay relevant and make a good amount of money. When you are not on RPDR, you are not catapulted onto TV, and given $5,000 to $10,000 a gig."