Mrs. Kasha Davis is a Workhorse Queen... And Is Not Slowing Down
Timothy Rawles READ TIME: 7 MIN.
You thought RuPaul was the drag mother of the world, and that might be true, especially to the kings and queens who have graced her court, but there is another. Her name is Mrs. Kasha Davis and what sets her apart from Mama Ru is her desire to be the maternal figure to literally everybody.
"I remember as a child always wanting to be the helper, always wanting to --- whether it was the kid that was being bullied at school or mom having an argument with dad --- I was always there to swoop in to do whatever I could to help," Davis says in an interview with EDGE.
The pop culture archetype of the mother figure has changed throughout the years. The biggest influence of how mothers are usually portrayed in their home life is a product of television shows. Coincidentally, the first television show to air regularly in America was in 1928 and was titled "The Queens Messenger," then thirty years later the 50s ushered in something called the "situation comedy," or sitcom, and the ubiquitous stay-at-home mom trope was born. One of the first was shows was unironically titled "Mama."
Perhaps Mrs. Kasha Davis is a modern extension of that model as her drag character resembles a lot of what 50s sitcom housewives stood for: doting on their husbands, keeping the children safe, and housekeeping. The ratification of the 19th Amendment was still in its infancy and women's lib wouldn't really get into gear until the late 60s. There was this time in-between where TV wives' lifestyles were vouchsafed by their husband's success. It was an unfair, but simpler time.
"I wanted to be in Endora, I wanted to be Mrs. Jefferson --- all the missus characters," she says. "The moms; I related to them, and I related to my own mother, and I thought I can't do this. I'm a boy. I can't be a mom. Like, this doesn't make any sense."
Little did she know at the time, she would become a mother both figuratively and literally. She would embody everything those women on television represented. However, unlike them, she would blaze trails for herself and the LGBTQ+ community while maintaining that comforting maternal spirit.
Davis started her television career on Season Seven of "Ru Paul's Drag Race." Her entrance quote was layered. She, a man dressed as a woman, paid homage to 'classic sitcom speak' by incorporating an underlying gender swap: "Hiya my honeys, I'm ho-ome!"
Her looks are usually unconventional and conservative. Imagine a 50s sitcom mother by day, who's hooked on Swarovski crystals by night. Instead of making her children's clothing, she creates fabulous gowns saturated with glitter and rhinestones for herself. It's a spiritual middle finger to the Hays Code.
Taking care of people on the outside doesn't mean you are taking care of yourself on the inside. Mrs. Davis has been very open about her alcohol addiction and recovery since Season Seven, often using self-deprecating humor as a conversation starter. Her entrance quote for her stint as a returning contestant on "Ru Paul's Drag Race All-Stars" Season Eight was much different from her first one, "My name is Mrs. Kasha Davis, and I'm an alcoholic," she says looking around the Werk Room. "Oops... wrong meeting."
Given that her famous tagline used to be, "There's always time for a cocktail," her admission to being powerless over it exemplifies her strength and determination. Mrs. Davis has been sober, and present, for seven years. That has undoubtedly given her the freedom to clearly focus on other things such as her family and career.
Aside from her backstage kids, Mrs. Davis has two children with her husband of 20 years, Steve. She recalls that when they were first dating Steve didn't tell her he had children. It wasn't until things started getting serious that he sat her down for a serious conversation, "And then he said 'I have two daughters' and I was over the moon because all I ever wanted was to have a family and have that Christmas morning and those bright eyes and the excitement, and to be a part of their life. I came into the picture when they were around seven and nine."
Now 27 and 30, their daughters are dedicated LGBTQ+ allies. "Just last weekend they both worked the Pride Festival in their city, and they don't need to do that," says Davis. "They're allies of the community and gosh, that makes me so proud. And their mom --- we had our struggles --- but we've come to this family unit that's so unique and so fun. And she and I are a team in a different way than she is with her ex, my husband. I got the gift of being invited to pick out the wedding gown with our daughter and she shared in that moment so gracefully. She didn't need to do that."
Since her journey (spoiler alert) has come to an end on All Stars Eight, Mrs. Davis is now free to pursue her other endeavors. Writing under her boy name Eddie Popil, and loosely based on his life, the "Little Eddie P." book series is going strong. She just ended an appearance in New York City and is hoping that her one-woman show will get televised someday.
Another television project she hopes to make happen is the offbeat children's story hour series called "Imagination Station." She says it is sort of like Mrs. Doubtfire meets Mr. Rogers. Then there is "Workhorse Queen," about her life and navigating through the ever-changing logistics of televised drag culture. That movie is now streaming on STARZ.
Watch this clip from "Imagination Station Episode 1"
So, the question stands, what will Mrs. Kasha Davis do once the spotlight fades?
"Well, if I should retire from entertainment, I'll probably still want to work, and I always dream of opening a coffee shop that is like this recovery touch point where there's books and there's meetings and then maybe there's a little bit of a show here every once in a while," she says.
At 52, Mrs. Kasha Davis isn't slowing down. In fact, she is just getting started. She began her career with a cheeky motto about booze which she then turned into a message of hope.
"I was very proud to have my departing line on 'All Stars' be: 'There's always time for kindness.' But I think really what I wanna continue to pass on is the message my mother gave me as that child watching her do her makeup. She said, 'Listen every day after you brush your teeth, look into your own beautiful eyes and say 'I love you' because when you love yourself, everything is possible. And I think that covers a lot of ground for people in good times and in bad. It's a matter of saying, 'yes, I am the best writer and yes I am a runner, I am sober --- I am whatever --- and believing and loving yourself into these next moments of our lives are just really so important."
Davis is hopeful that the recent discomfort created through activism and protest is just the growing pains of a changing, more accepting society. She says just the fact that people are talking about it is revolutionary. Through all of the seemingly insurmountable strides and struggles, she says, "I see a light."
"Ru Paul's Drag Race All-Stars 8 is currently streaming on Paramount+. "Workhorse Queen" is streaming on Starz.